Offshore Development Center (ODC) is a business model that helps reduce cost & optimize internal resources by setting an ODC in another country. There are significant benefits to working with offshore development teams but, just like your in-house staff, it takes a lot of work & great amount of care to maximize their productivity & output.
As COVID-19 has caused many companies to consider offshore teams or remote working, we wanted to provide a few tips for optimizing your team. During such unprecedented times, Productivity is critical for every company, and an offshore team has the potential to enhance your overall output.
If you have decided to have an offshore development centre set up in India, what should you do to achieve maximum productivity from your offshore team?
Share Your Goals & Objectives
All developers need to understand what the goal of the organisation is & where the project is Heading. Paint a clear picture of your product vision & mission and goals, so they can make smart choices while implementing the project assigned. They also need to understand and be able to see the upcoming work items to do. They want to know that they have job security and are taken care of. Be sure to share with them details about release & sprint plans.
Team Engagement & Belongingness
It is important to keep Your Onshore Teams Close & The Offshore Teams Closer.
Make sure that you engage with your offshore team and have 1 on 1 daily to track their work progress, assist when they need help. One of the major factors affecting productivity is engagement, and this typically requires treating your remote or offshore employees the same as your on-site team. At InsourceIndia, we encourage companies to treat your offshore development team as a natural extension of your in-house team. Do not just assign tasks & wait for results – communicate & collaborate with them as the way you do with full-time employees. You need to make them feel as they are part of your team. To help the offshore team feel at home, ensure they get the same newsletter as everyone else at your company. Recognize their accomplishments & acknowledge the important dates. If possible, visit your team and/or have them visit you as well.
Manage working around Time Zones
One of the biggest challenges with the offshore development team is working in different time zones. The offshore team can sometime not be flexible with time zones difference. Schedule activities and communication on a time zone which suits both teams. This enables us to have time for daily meetings, scrum, and Q&A. The shifted hours can also work as an advantage if you could spend extra cost on your team for working on overtime.
Communicate Efficiently but Frequently
Communication is the key, and it is important to get straight to the point and state the obvious. Be clear with your directions. Do not leave any space for Assumptions. Try not to confuse your offshore team. Talking to your team every day creates clarity and prevents problems before they occur. We suggest having someone from your in-house team join the daily stand-up calls of your offshore development team so that everyone understands the accomplishments and clear if any roadblocks occur and can respond accordingly.
Have an organized Workflow
Workflow management can be a great challenge and time consuming when you need to plan, organize & assign tasks to people remotely. Get to know the specialized software for workflow management such as Jira or Asana to automate task assignments & deadlines.
Assign a Project Manager or a CTO or Both
At InsourceIndia, we suggest prioritizing a strong offshore project manager that you trust & that He/she is a person that communicates well. This solves potential language barriers, creates a seamless development process and, most importantly, centralizes the responsibility for a successful project. A project Manager would nurture trustful relationships with your offshore team. Consider hiring a local supervisor like project manager, CTO or both. This will also ensure a smoother workflow and communication between your offshore and in-house teams.
Provide Feedback to the Offshore Team
The absence of feedback can take a toll on your team’s productivity. It is crucial to give both positive and negative feedback to your offshore team as often as possible. Sharing positive feedback increases the Teams output. But at the same time, negative feedback can be as useful especially if given in private.
Encourage Knowledge Sharing & Skill Enhancement
Provide your offshore team with Tutorials & Webinars to enhance their knowledge and help them be abreast with technology and latest updates. At the same, do not forget to value the experience your offshore team already possesses. This fosters a knowledge-sharing culture, and that is crucial for a healthy workplace. Also help them with Training & Certifications to enhance their skills.
Foster Agile Methodology
Agile methodology breaks software development into flexible iterations and sets tangible goals thus fostering productivity & efficiency. For an offshore team, an Agile process with clearly defined sprints is even more helpful as it simplifies the workflow and establishes clear expectations of every Team member.
Invest In Project Management Tools
Technology has become a game-changer for measuring an offshore team’s productivity. Project management tools keep track of the progress, set out priorities, deadlines and team roles thus minimizing the time zones impact.
Invest in Tools Like:
- MS Project
Thanks to new age technology & Offshore Services such as InsourceIndia, distance is becoming less & less of a hurdle. Nevertheless, productivity issues can still affect any team whether in-house or offshore alike. The best solution to such problems is thoughtful management. As long as you treat your dedicated offshore team as full-fledged employees, give them all the tools for successful work and be there for them when they need it, you can expect to see fantastic results.