The Definite Guide to Managing Your Offshore Development Team

The Definite Guide to Managing Your Offshore Development Team

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Software development is no task for the faint-hearted given its intensive nature. For this reason, companies are going out of their way to pick the best experts to do this job. In this quest, you will establish that offshore development teams are preferable especially when it comes to cost.

The elephant in the room is how to best manage the far off software development experts. This excerpt seeks to walk you through the steps to undertake in order to achieve effective management.

Describe Your Vision to the Team

As you embark on working with an offshore development team, it is fundamental that you start on the right footing. One of the ways to achieve this entails painting a clear picture of the product vision. Basically, you have to sell your idea and the features that are to be found on the business application.

Moreover, you should ensure that the offshore development team understands the expectations. This further implies that you have to discuss the timelines for the completion of the business application.

Consistent Communication

Let’s be realistic, managing an offshore development team requires consistent communication. Nonetheless, this can pose a challenge since the experts are not based within your workspace. That said you should ensure that you over-communicate with the team to monitor the progress made.

Under this, you should ensure that you at least timely communications with the team. This way, you are assured that the software development team is on the loop of the happenings of the business. By doing this, you get to receive regular updates and inform of any new changes that need to be done on the application.

Avoid Communication Barrier

In most cases, you will realize that outstanding offshore development teams are based in different parts of the world. This implies that there are issues such as culture and the language used in communication. It is your sole duty to ensure that you have translation services to circumvent communication barriers.

Furthermore, you ought to take a moment and understand the culture of the offshore team. For instance, you have to figure out how to seek for clarification without being rude. The last thing you want is to be at loggerheads with the experts especially when you want the best outcome.

Use of Simple and Clear Vocabulary

One of the common errors that businesses make is the use of complex and sophisticated vocabulary. As much as it may sound cool, there is the likelihood that some information will be overlooked or misunderstood.

As part of managing the offshore development team, it is prudent that you go straight to the point. Short and precise statements will go a long way in explaining aspects such as sprint planning.

Video-conferencing

You can never underestimate the need to have one-on-one interaction with the software development gurus. Given the gap in distance, you ought to make use of video conferencing services. During these interactions, you get to understand the mood and emotions of the team.

Notably, people tend to hide their reactions/feelings behind the keyboard and emails. If not addressed, you may find it challenging to get to the desired vision. Subsequently, you get to have an image of the team that is working for you.

On a lighter note, you have a chance to chat freely and even crack jokes with the team on the other end.


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Provide Them with Work

There is a misconception that most offshore development companies cannot handle robust projects. You’ll be surprised to find that there are gurus with amazing skill sets in this field. Having said this, you should make an effort of designating real work to the team.

Despite the subsidized prices offered by the company, you should not shy away from having high expectations for the company. By trusting these experts with the task, you get to analyze the output. At the end of the day, you need to account for the money invested in the offshore development company.

Bring Them on Board

A lot of companies tend to treat offshore development companies as aliens to the inbound development team. However, this should not be the case. Instead, you need to treat these experts as your own team. Remember, this is not a competition between the two teams.

Under this, you should include the team during the company’s meetings (either online or physically). If you adopt this approach then both sides get to learn one or two things about programming. In the long run, the strong ties created will aid you to attain the desired results without any conflicts.

Take Note of Different Time Zone

Before commencing on the project, you need to factor in the time difference. Afar development companies are likely in a different time zone. If your company is based in the UK and the offshore team is in Asia, then there is a gap of around six hours.

Once you have analyzed this, then you will be able to adjust your schedule accordingly. In other words, you have to overlap your schedule. This implies that you have to contact the team at the most suitable time to avoid any inconveniences.

In terms of your staff members, you need to have shifts or extension of the working hours. But you need to make this effort count for the in house team. Furthermore, you should invest heavily on automated systems to ensure there is a fluid flow of information to all parties involved.

Avoid Micromanaging the Team

It sucks when you have a manager that is always on your back when developing business software. This is something that you need to avoid by all means. It all narrows down to the issue of trust. In essence, you need to let the offshore development team work on the programs and codes then present the output.

This further implies that you trust the management of the team to ensure that the work is done accordingly.

Parting Shot

As you can clearly see, managing offshore development team is not an impossible action. In fact, you can achieve so much when you have the right mindset and management model. It is up to you to take heed of the advice shared in this article and alleviate your business to the next level.

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