Working with offshore developers

Hiring offshore developers has been a trend in the business world for the past couple of decades. Their cost-effectiveness and specialized skills make hiring developers around the globe worth it for companies. Every company is looking for a way to bring down operating costs and hire top talent without spending vast sums of money, especially small businesses. Offshoring offers them this solution without compromising on quality.

But, like any new business undertaking, offshoring also comes with challenges. We have previously discussed how hiring offshore developers is an important task, and proper care should be taken during this process. Hiring can have a huge impact on your project, so it needs to be done right. But once you have hired and on boarded the new offshore developers, you come across the second challenge of offshoring, which is working with the offshore developers. If you have never worked with remote employees, it will be an adjustment for your company’s in-house team. In this post, we share with you a few tips that can help you in working with offshore developers and ensure offshoring is successful for your company.

Define the project

It is vital that you define your project to your offshore developers. It would be best if you gave them the bigger picture. Simply giving them a project, without explaining the final result, can sometimes backfire. It is not necessary that the software they develop will fit in with your product seamlessly. If they understand the larger picture, they can keep it in mind while working on their part of the project. They will know what exactly you expect from the product that is being developed and will plan their approach towards the project accordingly. You may feel they may not need all the information, but sometimes that information can give them better insight into the project outsourced to them, enabling them to produce better and accurate results.

Breakdown of the project

To maximize the efficiency of your offshore development team, breakdown the project into stages. If possible, you can include deadlines for each stage to keep the project within the time frame. This approach helps the developers not to overcomplicate the tasks and thereby be more productive. Defining clear tasks on small intervals allows the developers to know the milestones that they are achieving. It also helps estimate the length of the project and know well in time whether it will require extra time than expected. Essentially it allows the developers to be organized and motivated. It also helps you to track the progress of your development team easily.

Respect their expertise

There is a reason why you chose particular offshore developers for your company- it is because they have the skills and the knowledge required to perform their job optimally. They are right for the project. So, trust and respect their expertise. They are a part of your team, and it is your job as the team manager to make them feel like it. They should be part of the meetings regarding the project. If they have insights to offer, hear them out. Just because they work for you remotely does not make them any less qualified or any less of an expert in their field. They should know that you trust them to make decisions regarding their own work. Let them perform their job without being micromanaged. Value them as you value an in-house developer. The more they feel respected, the harder they will work for your company.

Keep them informed

The success of your project depends on both the in-house and offshore teams working together in sync. To do that, both the team needs to be on the same page. Despite a company’s best efforts to keep the offshore team in the loop, unexpected developments sometimes occur, not necessarily during the meetings. Actively make efforts to inform the offshore developers of these new developments as early as possible. Document them as well. By keeping them uninformed, you are making them spend their time on work that may not be useful or relevant anymore. We understand it is an honest mistake, but it still impacts your team’s productivity and sets you back. So, at all times, keep your offshore developers informed of all the updates and developments that happen in your office. Even if you feel it may not concern them, you’ll be better served to let them know about it if it is part of the project. Communication is key.

Utilize project management tools

When working with offshore developers, project management tools are your friend. It can be hard to communicate with a team located on the other side of the world. But it becomes a lot easier with the use of project management tools. Tools like Jira, Trello, Asana, ProofHub, etc. allow the teams to collaborate with another seamlessly. It allows everyone to track the work being accomplished by every member, thereby allowing the manager to manage the project efficiently. Also, the numerous documents generated during the lifecycle of the project are extremely important; they can be stored and shared using project management tools. The whole team can access the documents without needing to email back and forth. A project management tool makes it easy to plan, track, and manage a project, especially with offshore developers.

  • Use overlapping hours

Hiring offshore developers to be a part of your team means having a part of your team in a different time-zone. It doesn’t sound good. Working in different time-zones can be challenging, but it is not impossible. You only need to think differently. The overlapping hours are your window of opportunity. Any overlapping hours you get with the offshore developers should be used to their maximum. Use them to communicate with each other and discuss what you want your offshore team to achieve in the time you are off work. It allows you to convey all the updates and necessary information as well as take advantage of the hours your in-house team is not working. It keeps you ahead in the game.

Yes, working with offshore developers is challenging, but it is beneficial as well. All you need is a bit of practice. Hopefully, our tips will be useful to you.