Best Practices for Working with Offshore Development Teams

Working with offshore development teams can be tricky if you don’t follow some best practices. With teams located across the world in different time zones and cultures, communication and alignment are key. But with the right approach, offshore services can give your project a huge boost in talent and cost savings.

In this newsletter, we’re going to share some pointers to make working with offshore groups smoother and greater powerful. We’ll communicate about the way to set clean expectancies, preserve open conversation, construct relationships, monitor development, and more. Whether you are new to operating remotely or an experienced global supervisor, you’re certain to choose some useful hints.

By the end, you will have an extraordinary framework to get the most from your offshore partnerships. Let’s bounce into our fundamental subject matter and discuss the fine practices for running with offshore development teams!

Clear communication

Clear communication is super important when working with offshore teams. Set up regular video calls to align on goals, provide context around priorities, and discuss progress. Be very precise when giving instructions to avoid any misalignment or confusion down the line. Also, be patient and ready to clarify or re-explain things if needed. Offshore teams appreciate this and it helps build trust! With good ongoing communication, offshore teams can produce great work.

Set expectations

It’s key to set clear expectations with offshore teams from the very start. Define the objectives, timeline, specific project requirements, quality standards, processes, etc. in detail. This gives them a solid roadmap to follow from day one. Setting proper expectations upfront also helps avoid frustrations on both sides later on. Make sure to discuss expectations frequently to ensure everyone is on the same page. 

Define requirements

Take time early on to define very detailed requirements when starting work with an offshore team. Provide complete specs, mockups, use cases, scenarios, etc. The more info you can give, the better output you’ll get. Answering all their technical questions early also prevents roadblocks from popping up later. Requirements always evolve so keep the conversations going for shared understanding.

Regular updates

Super-consistent updates are essential in distributed teams. Set a cadence for daily or weekly sync calls to discuss progress, blockers, issues, etc. Updates keep everyone tightly aligned, surface problems early, and build trust. Both sides should proactively provide status updates, not just wait to be asked. Even small wins should be shared quickly. 

Build relationships

Building strong relationships with offshore teams requires real investment. Meet them in person if at all possible or socialize virtually. Learn about their culture and backgrounds. Bond over non-work topics occasionally to nurture comfort and trust. This helps people ask questions or raise concerns openly. Good rapport enables great collaboration despite physical distance.

Respect timezones

Respecting time zones and cultural differences is vital. Don’t expect instant Slack replies if teams are asleep. Similarly, accommodate their local holidays and traditions. Find overlapping hours that work for meetings. Asynchronous communication on tools like Slack or Jira helps minimize disruptions. A little thoughtfulness and flexibility go a super long way here!

Monitor progress

Keep a very close eye on progress with offshore development. Require demos, conduct code reviews, request status reports, etc. Monitoring prevents big divergences from goals or timelines. However, avoid micromanaging. Trust their expertise but verify important milestones. Provide extra support if anything seems off track. 

Address issues

Issues will arise when working cross-border. Have candid, open conversations to address them ASAP. Determine the root causes – was it miscommunication, lack of skills, tech tools problem, etc? Discuss solutions collaboratively, provide additional support if needed, and aim to prevent recurrences down the line. Don’t just sweep issues under the rug when they come up.

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