How to work with a design team remotely

remote working industrial design

How to work with a design team remotely

If there is anything that 2020 has taught us, it is that having an agile approach to how we do industrial design should be the norm throughout. Being able to remotely work with your industrial design team can ensure that processes run smoothly when regular face-to-face meetings aren’t possible.

Whether you are working with a freelance, global or in-house design team, there are several tools that are at your disposal to make remote working a success. Have a look at some of our top suggestions below.

Embrace video calls with screen share capabilities

The days of the board room might not be over, but it has, in some cases, shifted from four walls to the digital space. Industrial designers are no longer limited to meetings between four walls as several online applications allow real-time engagement – no matter where in the world your team members are based.

Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams are just some examples of how you and your team can engage with one another and make use of screen share capabilities to go through briefs, discuss work in progress and highlight any snags in projects.

Use platforms with the relevant capabilities as message platforms

You know how people often say that a meeting “could have been an email”? The same can be said for some emails. Often, when you need to do a quick check-in with your team or a team member, it is far easier to send a quick and punchy message or files, instead of sending email after email.

Platforms such as Slack and Microsoft Teams are perfect if you want to set up specific channels for projects that certain team members of your industrial design team are working on. This way, your team will know that a message is relevant to them and the tasks that they are busy with.

Consider agile project software for projects

Have you heard about the phrase “Kanban board” before? Atlassian defines a Kanban board as “an agile project management tool designed to help visualize work, limit work-in-progress, and maximize efficiency (or flow). Kanban boards use cards, columns, and continuous improvement to help technology and service teams commit to the right amount of work, and get it done!”

In real-life, project managers would typically use whiteboards and assign columns to various phases of tasks and their progress. This way of working can also be applied to the industrial design process in the digital realm.

Software such as Jira is an example of how this can easily be used when you are working remotely with your industrial design team. “Tickets” can be assigned to various team members, and as tasks move forward to be approved or are moved to the next design phase, there is a steady flow of activity that can be easily monitored without having multiple emails or back and forth calls.

Last but not least: Establish which online channels are to be used and ensure your team has proper on-boarding for each channel

Whether you provide online or one-on-one training, or even training manuals, it is important that when you and your remote team work on certain online platforms that each member is comfortable and able to work on each platform.

Also important is that etiquette for each channel is established, for instance, no memes or jokes unless banter is allowed. This way, you will ensure that processes run smoothly and everyone is on-board.

Remote teams are fast becoming the norm and you can effectively manage your design team with online software that is designed to make every process run smooth. So, embrace this way of working and watch as new opportunities present themselves!

Are you looking for an industrial design team that you can work remotely with? At Moss&Schmidt, we can assist you with lean, agile processes fit for the modern world.