7 Tips to Partner well with Your Offshore Development Team
Outsourcing is not a new concept anymore, because it has been around for decades, though perhaps not in the format that we are familiar today. But now the concept of outsourcing to an dedicated offshore development team. has metamorphosed into something that companies all over the world use, to enjoy a number of benefits such as:
- Lower infrastructural costs
- Quick project completion
- Avail scalable talent and skills
1. Start with the "Hiring" Process
An actual partnership happens right at the time you decide which team to hire and from where. Even if the developer's resume says they are technically adept, conduct a technical interview so you are aware of the extent of their skills and can relate to them. If it is not feasible to have telephonic conversations with the team, which has anyway become obsolete, you can do a Skype or a Google Hangout discussion instead. It would also be a good medium to check on their communication skills as well.
2. Communication is Critical
Communication is a crucial point whether you are conducting business or dealing with your employees. Wrong communication can trigger a saga of mistrust and hate, with probably, a termination of contract at the end. As communication is very important among remote teams and partners, we are going to deal with this a little elaborately here.Development path obstacles can be mitigated by holding daily meetings. This could be useful mainly for agile development teams. During critical projects, daily meetings at the end of the workday surely have their pros and cons, but at the end, really, it is your decision.
When you entrust a task to the offshore development team, ensure you hold review meetings to check whether both of you are on the same page. You can get the team to prepare a report where they can list out all of your requirements as they have understood them, and later you both can tally it to make sure all the requirements are met. Project management tools would be helpful in keeping track of tasks assigned to the offshore development team. Active Collab would be a good example of this. You can assign the program developer's name to an individual assignment, and this can help in timely delivery as well.
3. Miscommunication is the Villain
We have cited the importance of communication. But it is important to mention the evil brought about by miscommunication as well. This is because, English, usually the language of communication among global partners, is the most misunderstood language of all. Offshore teams often have problems understanding the terminology and accent of their international clients. So it is imperative to maintain a local contact who is an expert on English language and can communicate and guide you so there will be no misunderstandings and no disappointments. Indians often have the habit of saying they have "understood" their requirements even if they have not fully grasped them. This is because they are afraid of displeasing their clients by admitting their shortcomings.
4. Eliminate the "Us Versus Them" Mentality
An offshore team would never be the company's employees. They are brought together for a particular project, and that's it. However, in order to develop a good partnership with the offshore team, you can involve them in all the main company announcements. Share with them the culture and success of your company and they would feel a part of your company. When they feel that way, they will deliver better and relate to you better.
5. Factor in the Time Difference
Plan for the difference in working hours because your team could be 8 or 10 hours ahead of you, and you must certainly take that into account. Perhaps, it might so happen that you have to hold an urgent meeting when it is actually midnight for them. If you have just hired your offshore team, you can probably ask them to work during your working hours so that you can train them; after which they can set their own working hours.
6. Pay Fair Market Salaries
Irrespective of where your development team is based, you must pay them fair market salaries. Talent must be recognised and rewarded. If they are paid well, they will not move on to take other projects that may seem more lucrative. You can also go a step further and give them stock as a sign of your appreciation. That way, your engineers would treat their code as their own baby and will be more involved with the project.
7. Treat Them as You would Treat Your Native Developers
When companies hire developers from third world countries, they have the tendency to take them for granted and may not give them due respect. It is not that all companies do this, but it is a known fact that some companies are guilty of it. Treat your developers as partners, or as you would treat your native developers. It is important that you treat people in the way you want to be treated. And that makes a world of difference. An offshore development team will solve a lot of time and resource allocation issues that companies may face. The tips shared above will definitely help avoid some crucial misunderstandings that may arise in project partnerships.
Has your company partnered with an offshore development team for projects in the past? What was the experience like?
Feel free to share your thoughts/experience about outsourcing with us. Looking to get the project done with remote team? get in touch : [email protected]