How OnPath does remote QA after 12 years working in distributed teams

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Posted by Brian Borg

20 percent of U.S. companies worked remotely before the pandemic. Since Covid, however, 70 percent of companies now work remotely.

For us at OnPath Testing, we welcome this rise in numbers. And we're happy to say that we've been championing remote working since 2009, so we've got some brilliant advice to share.

The success of our remote QA agency

So, without further ado, let's look at how we've managed to keep success levels high within our remote team.

1. We use the right project management software

Our favorite way to optimize productivity? Use the right project management software for your team.

Fortunately, there are plenty of software platforms out there to help you achieve better organization.

Here at OnPath, we use Jira because it allows us to track issues, track issues back to their requirements, manage our testing strategy, and so much more. It's immensely customizable and has great team collaboration features.

Using the right management software enables meaningful connections with our clients and stronger productivity levels during test cycles. This has helped us to shift to a more rigorous, process-oriented style of work.

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2. We have a great communication portal

Every remote business needs a great communication hub that's quick, user-friendly and reliable.

OnPath has many different employees, from all over the world, so we use a hub which accounts for different languages and time-zones.

The right software should account for these time-zone challenges to allow for truly global 'remote' work. Many communication portals also use a Do Not Disturb mode to indicate when an individual is away or sleeping.

We like Slack because it's an easy channel to maintain an ongoing conversation flow. It integrates with many common tools like the Atlassian suite and Google Workspace, allows for communication with both internal teammates and guest accounts for clients and one-off users, and includes fun add-ons like emojis and gifs within your messages.

3. We've established strong virtual communications

Don't forget about communicating face to face. Studies show that virtual meetings are 22 percent more productive than in-person meetings. So utilize this!

Just because you're remote doesn't mean you can't connect with your team and clients via a reliable platform.

And with most video conferencing software, you can record and archive meetings for training purposes, as well as type to chat, set automatic reminders and share files. We frequently record walkthroughs, demos, and sprint reviews for new engineers to be able to come up to speed quickly without requiring repetitive conversations.

4. We have a collaborative leadership model

'Listening is communicating. If all you hear is your own voice, you are talking to yourself'

Lon Botta, Director of Technology at OnPath.

Maintaining strong leadership will ensure your team's remote work stays on the right path (that's us!). For OnPath this translates to better productivity, communication, execution, monitoring and reporting.

Most importantly, having a leader to talk to about individual and collaborative concerns, questions and feedback is useful for driving performance. This is known as inclusive leadership; studies show that it's 17 percent more likely to produce high performing employees.

Keep success levels high

As you might have gathered, we're pretty proud of how we manage our remote QA workforce.

We have global levels of client engagement, with 50 plus engineers working across 10 different countries, more than a few awards under our belt, and over one million performance tests executed across the board. All this, plus no Covid-safety concerns.

Once you're adequately sold on the broad benefits of a collaborative, inclusive and flexible remote environment, you, too, can achieve this level of success.

'The future we envision for work allows for infinite virtual workspaces that will unlock social and economic opportunities for people regardless of barriers like physical location'.

— Andrew Bosworth, VP of Facebook Reality Labs.