Tag Archives: #remote team

Distributed team: what about the tools?


Most people, especially those who work in tech, and most especially Millennials like me, really like where we work — if we didn’t we would leave and work somewhere else.

I know from all the recruiters who contact me that I could move easily and probably for a little more money.

So why do I stay? Because I love the way NTR does business. I may not have a lot of work experience, but I have been on the receiving end of companies whose sole interest is taking my money and not giving a damn once they have it.

I know from chatting with people in other countries that the attitude isn’t unusual no matter how many times they say “you are very important…”

And that’s why I stay, because NTR isn’t like that.

Nick and Anton (our founders) have spent 16 years “improving the customer experience,” as they say at Amazon.

Over those years they developed a really good process and continue to tweak it, constantly evaluating the tools to be sure we use the best ones for the job, incorporating new tech because it’s better — not just because it’s new.

So let’s take a look at the tools.

 In the course of a series on outsourcing last year the importance of good communications was prominent with everyone we talked to.

Because our project managers all speak and write competent English, we can use a variety of different communications tech, partially dependent on client preferences, combined with written documentation that avoids misunderstandings, mishearing or memory lapses.

There are many tools available, so we set up

  • a rhythm of daily or weekly meetings by Skype, Slack, Google Hangouts etc.,
  • continue with online communications beyond the scheduled meetings;
  • a tool to collaborate and share all sorts of documents about the product (Google Docs, Confluence);

However, as critical as good communication with clients is it’s still not everything. Teamwork tools are also extremely important, since we are communicating across time zones. So in addition to Skype, Slack, and Google docs, we add

All of the tools we use are cloud-based, so our clients can work from anywhere.

Tech tools are great, but, as a client said to me, give a fool a tool and you still have a fool — they need to be used correctly.  That means they need to integrate smoothly into whatever process is being used.

NTR’s process is what truly sets us apart, as I will explain in detail next week.


Do you use Uber or Lyft, order takeout, subscribe to Plated, buy from FreshDirect or use MollyMaids?

If so, you are outsourcing.

If you ever had someone else mow your lawn, paint your home or design/build a website you outsourced.

Outsourcing simply means having someone else do the work.

You can outsource everything — even your life.


image credit: here

In terms of business, outsourcing means hiring outsiders to perform tasks that would be done internally if the time and/or talent were available.  

What it’s called — outsourcing or contracting — is more often a function of location — the workers location, not yours. Continue reading Outsourcing