How to Manage an Offshore IT Team

This article covers significant points and provides an in-depth explanation of managing an offshore development team

how to manage offshore developer team

Hiring an offshore workforce can assist you in achieving your organizational objectives and growing your firm, whether you run a startup or an established corporation.

According to Statista, by 2027, the global IT outsourcing services market is projected to reach a value of US $587.30 billion, with revenue predicted to expand at an average yearly rate of 8.26%. 

If you’ve decided to outsource the web development of your technological products, the first step is to identify your primary strategies for managing a distant staff. Considering all the wonderful advantages of outsourcing, like speed, cost-effectiveness, and top-notch service quality, managing an offshore development team that is thousands of miles away from you is quite difficult. To ensure that your offshore employees operate effectively, you’ll need the appropriate tactics and equipment.

In this post, we’ll explain how to effectively manage an offshore development team and examine the top methods for doing so.

Before jumping right into the management of the offshore team, let’s take a quick look at how you pick the best team for your dream project.

Table of Content

How to choose the perfect offshore team?
Challenges of offshore team
How to effectively manage offshore team?
Final thoughts

Selecting an Offshore team

An offshore team is a group of professionals that performs from a location other than the one where your company is headquartered. The only variable between offshore and internal teams often is their geographical location. Try the following advice to discover how and where to hire offshore developers or the whole team.

  • Check out their abilities. Make sure the individuals you are about to hire, have the abilities required for the specific project you are going to assign them. Ask for certifications and degrees to demonstrate their qualifications without holding back.
  • Inquire about prior cases. Looking at their portfolio is the only surefire approach to determine whether the offshore developers you are considering hiring are a good fit for your project.
  • Analyze communication skills. The key to effective offshore operations is communication. Since you won’t be able to physically supervise your team’s actions, you and your team must maintain open lines of communication. This will allow them to comprehend your expectations.

Challenges of Managing an Offshore Team

Poor Communication

Make sure your onshore crew is aware that they will be collaborating with a diverse offshore workforce. Foreigners may have different ideas about what defines professional work practices and communication.

Make sure that everyone in your organization is aware of and respectful of cultural differences.

Your offshore team’s varied accents, language, and dialect may obstruct clear, efficient communication. Prevent this communication gap by speaking at least one language in common among your teams.

offshore team and remote developers cta

Time Zone Differences

Timelines for projects may be impacted by communication delays brought on by being in separate time zones. If you have a maximum time difference of four to five hours with your local team, you can engage professionals from other countries with more ease. You can have a few overlapping working hours in this way, which will make communication much simpler.

Problems Related to Geopolitics

There could be a variety of international issues, depending on where the offshore location is. The efficiency of the vendor may be hampered by the outbreak of war, the imposition of sanctions, or the economic upheaval brought about by a new administration. Additionally, doing business with “risky partners” may have several unanticipated consequences.

Performance Management

Performance management is a big issue with offshore team management.

How will you keep tabs on their working hours and productivity?

Team performance evaluation is a crucial element in ensuring business profitability. Fortunately, you can track the expenditures and output of your offshore workforce using a variety of time-tracking tools.

How to Efficiently Manage the Offshore Team

What are the key strategies for streamlining the workflow and strengthening communication with your offshore development team then? The following are some practical suggestions for managing an offshore development team:

Set and Explain a Clear Product Vision

To get the best quality results, your offshore team needs to have alignment with your vision, make them feel connected with your dream product, and let them be the intrinsic part of your journey. It is not sufficient to just assign the assignment and expect it to be completed when you intend to achieve high-quality outcomes and an effective partnership between your company and an outsourced team. Management of offshore teams necessitates significantly more commitment and work. 

The most important thing to do is to properly clarify your end aim and give a brief overview of your product. When you provide them with a clear set of crucial details and information they can collaborate with your team smoothly and can make more precise decisions.

Build a Systematized Workflow

Project managers should create detailed operating procedures. Productivity and the development pipeline will be made more efficient as a result. Consider including a list of corporate policies in the employee handbook so that everyone on your team is aware of the standards they must uphold.

Employees should receive clear instructions from the project manager and team leaders, who should also be ready to address any concerns.

Communication and preparation are much more important if your business follows the Agile model. This is so because effective collaboration is a key component of the Agile development process.

Create a Thorough Documentation

To manage your offshore workforce as effectively as possible, providing thorough and educational product documentation is another crucial step. If you want to produce a cutting-edge, high-quality product, it is a must. It will assist developers in adhering to all specifications, eliminate code errors, and also assist you in avoiding possible technical debt.

Ensure Good Communication

Effective communication with your offshore team is essential for success. Presenting the responsibilities to your employees, particularly those who do not speak your mother tongue well, can occasionally be challenging due to the language barrier.

Use Skype, Slack, Zoom, Teams, or any tools designed specifically to facilitate clear communication among team members for this reason. That is a quick and efficient technique to ask your engineers for clarification in cases when verbal communication was unclear.

communication is the key to successful offshore team management

You must be as clear and direct as you can in your communication, therefore don’t forget to give prompt, precise feedback to avoid any confusion. As a result, you can quickly keep track of the development and alert the offshore app development team to any pressing problems.

A fantastic alternative is to routinely schedule meetings for Q&A sessions during project completion. This advice can significantly increase workflow efficiency, resulting in quicker and better project completion.

Use Specialized Software Tools

Remote IT professionals’ inability to comprehend the fundamental concepts and solutions of a project is a common issue faced by offshore development teams. The uneven development environment between the teams is one of the primary causes, it seems.

As a result, you may encounter subpar software, late bug discovery, and a list of fundamental integration problems.

All remote developers must use the specified tools for software development, control, and improvement to tackle this issue.

This can tremendously assist you in managing an offshore development team efficiently by ensuring that all necessary processes are carried out under the project plan.

Trust Your Partner Offshore Team

If you choose to micromanage your remote employees from a distance, it will just appear that you don’t have enough faith in them to do their jobs. Establish a point of contact for that, and just make sure that everyone is aware of their responsibilities. People are motivated to perform better when you have their trust.

Encourage Interaction and Send Them Feedback

Your offshore workforce might need to work remotely due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions in many nations.

You might also have internal staff members who have begun working remotely for the first time.

Isolation can harm a remote worker’s productivity and general mental health. Remote offshore team members and onshore teams should be encouraged to socialize.

Think about using Zoom, Skype, or any comparable video conferencing tool to host virtual parties, regular Scrum meetings, and team-building exercises. On Slack, you could even create a chatroom or channel for the water cooler. 

Any management process, but especially one involving an offshore development team, needs to include feedback. Giving your team feedback helps assure the quality of the outcome because, in the event of faults, your offshore app development team will be able to address them right away.

Conclusion

All things considered, using offshore teams to complete work effectively is today a practical and profitable strategy for businesses, which is why before hiring an offshore web or mobile development team, there are still a few things to keep in mind because doing so entails organizing and managing communication, workflow, project goals, knowledge, etc. However, after setting up a specialized development team, businesses can truly reap several rewards for their growth and increased ROI.

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