Top Tips on How to Optimize the Remote Development Life-Cycle

YouTeam
3 min readSep 6, 2022

As more and more development teams switch to remote or hybrid types of working, they now face some problems they didn’t have when they were in the office. Mostly, remote employees struggle to optimize their work: meet all the deadlines, have efficient conversations with their teammates, gather everyone they need at the same time to have a call, and have a lack knowledge of how to create a convenient development process.

The founders of Paperform decided to share some tactics and tips about staying productive while having a remote development team. Let’s look at how to deploy a development life-cycle.

6 Week Cycles

Following a well-defined development process is essential for a successful outcome when starting a new project. A six-week development cycle is a standard template for projects of any size, and it’s a great way to manage risk and ensure timely delivery. The co-founders at Paperform have managed such kind of working process by using the following tactics.

Each week has the following options to do:

  • Week 1: determine features to be created and create approaches for the development process.
  • Week 2: develop the needed features.
  • Week 3: feature lock, which means all the features should be created by this time and be ready for testing and maintenance.
  • Week 4: feature release.
  • Weeks 5 & 6: maintenance, errors fixing.

At Paperform, it is also a common practice to split engineers into two groups–”Feature” and “Support” and assign them related to the role tasks.

The feature role means the following tasks:

  • Feature development.
  • Testing and bug fixing.
  • Understanding where support engineers can be helpful during the development process.

The support role has the following tasks:

  • Maintenance, code release, urgent bug fixing.
  • Issues solving got from customer success.
  • Check for new feature code and include it in weekly releases if necessary.
  • Assist and collaborate with feature engineers where needed: implementation, QA testing, and technical issues discussion.

Default Async

Due to Paperform’s philosophy, default async means that development team members shouldn’t be available to reply quickly or be expected to present on call if they are outside of the scheduled meetings.

It means that all the stuff should be preplanned, including dates and times, so that the worker’s day is not interrupted.

Group Meetings

As group meetings are essential to every remote company, Paperform also has such practices. They provide meetings about once a week to discuss their present activities and solve issues. There are also several meetups during the week that help in better planning and understanding the development process.

1–1 Meetings

Paperform uses such options as 1–1 meetings frequently, depending on the need, and take place not more than several times a week. Dean McPherson, co-founder, and CTO at Paperform, thinks it is more convenient to interact with employees than constantly text messaging.

Tech Support Shifts

Paperform also has a Technical support team that talks with customers, solve their issues, and even creates custom solutions. The company also created an option for being “on duty” when several engineers are responsible for searching and fixing bugs. Such an approach helps prevent the software from bugs and later fixing processes, simultaneously saving both time and money.

Conclusions

To sum up, the 6-week cycle is really important for the remote development process as it has a default async, and meetings create a healthy environment in the team by communicating personally and in a group. In addition, the tech team, which distributes the work between team members equally, allows having a development process with fewer bugs. If you want to read more about the 6-week cycle, you can find it in our blog.

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