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We publish articles on different topics related to project management, agile methodology and philosophy, software and application development.

How to Manage a Remote Project Team with Jira & Confluence

Today's business experiences a shift towards hiring remote workers. This happens because Millenials want to have a flexible schedule, days off, and extended vacation. Modern people value freedom, they are not happy with the office walls. They prefer working from different locations and change them as often as they wish.

As a rule, freelancers and digital nomads are more productive. They don't suffer from depression, burnout syndrome or stuff like that. They get inspiration from visiting different countries, studying exotic cultures, networking with local communities, and so on.

They successfully balance work and personal life, get hired by international corporations for the positions of their dreams.

Is Hiring a Remote Team Beneficial for the Employer?

Surely! In fact, an employer is saving money hiring freelancers and collaborating on projects with a remote team.

They don't need to rent an office, pay for the design, buy furniture, computers, and other office supplies. No monthly rental fees, no maintenance costs. All these are the responsibility of employees.

Besides, remote teams move the project forward 24/7 and you can find real gems when hunting for talent on distant markets. If professionals don't need to relocate to get the position, they take the job offer more willingly.

Are There any Trade-offs of Working with a Distributed team?

Everything has its dark side, the shadows don't stop to exist even in the brightest day. That's why you should be ready for some common challenges remote teams face.

  • Sometimes it's not easy to adopt best practices of agile teams when the workers are devoid of face-to-face interaction.

  • Different time zones may cause certain inconveniences as people must adjust and coordinate their activities.

  • Everyone working on the project has to input efforts to reach harmonious relationships as if the whole team is located at the same place.

  • Developers in various countries have different skills, methods, approaches to writing code, yet, all of them need to collaborate somehow.

  • It's impossible to complete the project without a team meeting at all. But when team members are available online all together for a few hours only, it may turn into a challenge.
These issues are annoying but not crucial. With today's technologies, it's really easy to set up the workflow with a remote team and build a bridge linking all employees. There are tools for every working process. You can plan, create tasks, assign people to those tasks, control their performance, track time, share documents, generate reports, arrange meetings, etc., etc.

Jira is one of the project management tools that makes managing a remote team a breeze. Let's learn what it has to offer together with Confluence.

Merging Teams All Over the Globe Using Jira & Confluence

It's difficult to argue the fact that remote work is becoming something natural, a new progressive way of balancing career and personal life. Current IT technologies make it possible to recruit staff for your business remotely, however, it's critical to know what tools to use in order to make the remote teams' work well-coordinated and highly efficient.

A lot of tasks may become stumbling blocks for remote team members. There is definitely a tool to address each of those issues. But do you know how to properly match all those tools? Can you select the best tools that can be perfectly combined?

I will give you some insights on tools by Atlassian - Jira and Confluence. They help you understand why it's wise to consider them for managing your remote projects.

Track the Progress of Your Project

When you collaborate on a big project, it is broken into multiple tasks assigned to different people. Those tasks vary a lot but each of them contributes to the result. If a remote team has problems with communication, its members don't know which tasks are finished, which are in progress, and which need to be done.

A uniform space for all the tasks completely solves the problem. Team members can see task statuses, managers can monitor the general progress of the project, create new tasks and assign them to members, state deadlines, and estimate the delivery dates.

Jira is the tool that provides the required space where you can observe daily progress of the tasks, edit the estimated delivery dates, and monitor the work of each team member. The tool provides transparency, which is very important for working with dispersed teams. Each member can access this single space and get information on the tasks they are interested in. They don't need to get in touch with each other for the update, which saves a lot of time.

Manage Your Team More Efficiently

There is no chance for employees to miss an urgent task assigned to them. When a PM does it in Jira, an associated person gets a notification to the email box. A person starts to work on the task, leaves comments and shows the progress.

This is very convenient. The manager can check the task status right away, without contacting the employee. The data can be later used for making up detailed reports on the project. Managers use them to understand at what stage is currently the project and if all deadlines are met.

By the way, do you think that Jira is suitable only for software development projects? The software is great for sales and marketing projects as well.

A Single Source of Information for Everyone

It's of utmost importance for every remote team member to have access to a single database containing true information.

You can do it in Confluence. This product by Atlassian is like a corporate Wikipedia. You will use it to share various information (knowledgebase, task requirements) on the project with all team members. With Confluence, you can add pages, upload essential files and share them with employees. The platform is highly customizable, which means you can extend its functionality with apps facilitating all aspects of the working process.

Confluence interface allows to quickly and easily generate a kind of file storage, a reference library for employees. This will free your staff from sending info to each other, which is not the best way to run a project. When you exchange basic files all the time they stop to be error-free. It's better to keep them in one place available to all people involved at any moment. Confluence takes care of this and all your essential docs are at team fingertips, always.

Setting up Communication with Customers

Being a project Wikipedia is not the only mission of Confluence. You can use it for communication with clients as well. For instance, you can create project areas, share them with customers to update them on project progress. Moreover, you can ask your clients to contribute essential information to the team.

All-in-all, Confluence facilitates structuring your project files. It also helps to pass vital info to employees and customers, which is a great relief for teams residing in different locations.

Final Thoughts

The main takeaway is that awesome project management tools allow us to successfully run and deliver even the most complicated projects with remote teams. Jira and Confluence will help you build a water-tight bridge between teams located overseas from one another. Country of residence is not an obstacle for the teams to be result-oriented, effective and productive.

I hope the info above helped and now you know how to organize your workflow smoothly. If you have any questions as to the mentioned platforms' features or you want to share your own experience of successful projects completion with Jira and Confluence, your comments are welcome right below.