If you want to develop your online store, you need proper technical support. You can obtain it either by creating an internal team of experts, or by establishing cooperation with a specialized e-commerce agency. In the latter case, it will usually take place remotely. Are you able to effectively carry into effect the commissioned tasks remotely? In the following article we want to show that remote cooperation with an agency is possible and, despite the distance, makes it easy to maintain control over the store development.
Remote development team – is such collaboration even possible?
The pandemic has taught us that we are able to do many things remotely. Working in an office is no longer a “must do” and is rather the option of choice for those who find it difficult to stay focused at home.
What’s more, the popularity of remote work opens up entirely new possibilities. Without having to focus on local solutions, we have the opportunity to use the services of business partners that are often hundreds of kilometers away.
As an E-commerce Manager you may be wondering what opportunities this solution gives you and your store. The answer is simple – remote work allows you to establish cooperation with the best Magento experts, thanks to whom you will receive instant and professional assistance, as well as the possibility to develop your store over the next months. Even if they are in a completely different part of the world from you.
You’re probably wondering if such cooperation is even possible? Will you be able to enforce specific tasks? How will you contact your team and give appropriate instructions?
We want to answer these questions in the following paragraphs.
PM, i. e. the contact person from the agency
By starting cooperation with an e-commerce agency in terms of support for your online store, you receive a team of experts, experienced in supporting Magento stores. The team consists of developers and testers dedicated to maintaining and developing your store.
To ensure successful cooperation, the agency also appoints a Project Manager. He has two tasks:
- the first is to coordinate the work of the team, giving them specific tasks and keeping track of the work schedule,
- the second task is to contact you to discuss the current situation, proposed solutions, etc.
The Project Manager is the link between you and the remote team, and his role is focused on ensuring the best possible two-way cooperation. Cooperation which is possible with the use of appropriate tools.
Tools for working effectively with a remote team
We have already discussed the issue of contact with the team, it is time to address technological solutions that effectively help in this contact. In a world where more and more things we are able to do online, this is also the way you are able to maintain constant relations with the agency in order to exchange information instantly.
If you want to get in touch with the Project Manager you have a wide range of tools at your disposal: from the basic ones, such as telephone, sms or e-mail, to general messengers (Messenger, WhatsApp), as well as systems used by a particular agency for internal communication. At Gate-Software we use Rocket.Chat, where every E-commerce Manager cooperating with us has access to a dedicated channel. As all other members of the team are also assigned to the same channel, it is possible to quickly contact and ensure the full information flow.
If you want to keep your tasks in order, you should use a proven project management system. Our teams work on Jira (or Trello in some projects), well-known in IT circles, where you, as a store representative, get access to the relevant project.
In Jira/Trello you have an overview of all tasks we are currently working on. You are able to view their status, as well as comments of the team related to the implementation of specific stages.
The last system that supports cooperation with remote team is Helpdesk. It is a platform dedicated to reporting problems with the store. When such a need arises, a notification is created, which then goes to a dedicated expert dealing with its solution.
As you can see, using the right tools allows you to stay in touch with the team of developers on an ongoing basis, as well as to have an overview of all the work that is currently being done. However, the question remains – am I able to remotely settle accounts with the agency for the tasks performed?
Paying the remote team – how to do it right?
Not being able to check in person at what stage the project you have ordered is drives you crazy? Fortunately, even in the case of remote cooperation, billing of agency work time does not have to be a nightmare. It is enough to develop an appropriate system thanks to which you can control, among other things, completing specific tasks as well as time spent on them.
With access to the tools described above (Jira, Helpdesk, messengers) you have the opportunity to preview “live” the status of work on the project. However, in order to improve communication, a good e-commerce agency will often propose weekly or even daily status meetings – meetings held over the phone/Skype/whatever communicator you choose, during which the Project Manager will talk about the current status of the work, discuss possible problems or collect your feedback on specific tasks.
At the end of each week a report is generated for you containing a summary of hours used in your package. At the end of the month, you additionally receive another report, in which the hours spent on support and development of your store during the last 30 days are calculated. This makes it possible for you to monitor the work of your team on an ongoing basis and to hold them accountable for their work.
Collaboration with a remote team is possible!
Working with a remote team is possible. What’s more, it’s also a great way to find qualified, experienced professionals capable of taking your e-commerce business to a whole new level.
This is because when choosing the right agency, you are not condemned to companies operating in your closest neighborhood. Internet communication allows you to establish cooperation with a good and proven partner located in any part of the world. It is worth checking this possibility and provide your store with a team that will give you confidence and security in maintaining and developing sales.
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* Na temat platformy Magento i PimCore oczywiście. Konsultację dedykujemy małym, średnim i dużym firmom, które mają swój sklep internetowy lub system B2B, gdzie generują rocznie minimum 7 mln obrotu. Tam nasze doświadczenie sprawdza się najlepiej.
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