Working Effectively With An Offshore Development Center
A study by Gartner shows that India is one of the leading software development providers along with countries like Ireland, Israel, and China. The Offshore Development Centers (ODCs) use has significantly increased in outsourcing projects. This outsourcing comes with its own share of challenges. When the project is happening between people who are in two different continents and time zones, the co-ordination becomes difficult and hard to maintain if established at all. The challenge doubles due to the difference in cultural perspectives. This implies a good communication is a key for smooth processing of the development process. A good quality code-writing and the infrastructural issue should not hinder one’s ability to give out great results due to bad communication.
The question is how can you then facilitate the process from India smoothly and without any hurdles? To begin with, be a part of the team selecting the developers on the upcoming project. Once you have a team, use your interpersonal skills to know your workers better. Along with this, make sure to get rid of small technical issues. The most significant point is communication and here are the ways in which you may achieve the desired results that would make you feel like you are working with the coder next to your cubicle:
Do good research about the company’s offshore projects you’re going to work with and how long they’ve been in this field. See the complexity of their work and try to find out if it matches with your demand or not.
Assess The Talent of The Workforce
As mentioned, get involved in the selection process and keep the coders on selecting panel you’d be working with. Prepare questions from the coding languages you will need in the upcoming project(s). Keep the questions of various difficulty level. This is one of the many ways to assess the potential of the candidates in terms of applying theoretical knowledge.
Be sure to know through your skills that the developer can do more than talking as being offshore the interactions will be limited, and it won’t be easier later to find out that the developer isn’t hard-working or does not really know the work.
Timing is Everything
Workaround the time zone difference smartly. Say you get a bug report 30 minutes before you need to leave for the day. Task the work out to your ODC and look forward to seeing the fix or workaround when you arrive at work the next morning. This extended workday can be handy for projects that require quick turnaround.
Begin with a small application project to test the waters. It is important to keep track of team meeting deadlines, returning good codes, and following ethical practices on smaller work before moving to an overseas project with the same workforce.
Flexibility is The Key
The time difference restricts face-to-face interactions. When you are awake, the other person might be asleep. Thus, if work requires a conference call then you may need to be up late or early in the working or may have to shift dates. This implies that one must be flexible with time and be ready to allow such changes in lifestyle for the sake of the project.
Choose Someone to Call The Shots
You must have an individual who is thorough with the work and business at hand as differences of opinion are liable to happen when so many people will work together. This individual must be friendly, tactful, clear in carrying out decisions too.
Using a Web site as a central repository for code documentation, task clarification, schedule listings, etc., can be useful for any distributed team. The latest version of online documentation will help keep both sides of offshore development on the same page.
The online world comes with its own share of glitches and issues even after so much advancement in this field. Thus, a good back plan is a must in case something unexpected happens which may lead to the loss of data.
Be Aware of Your Reasons
What do we mean by this? This means that as a team you must be prepared to tell your in-house design. New projects mean new ideas and expectations. It is in this stage the offshore development resource will understand your capabilities too. It is important to be able to defend your designs. This does not mean you should reject new ideas either, be receptive.
The code standards, source control, and bug fixes must be communicated and clarified. You may want to conduct frequent code reviews, in the beginning, to make sure everything works well.
Coordinating work with an overseas group is really not different from coordinating work with someone in your own country. Many companies are using offshore development as a cost-effective way to fulfill development staffing requirements. Smaller companies are also following the same and are expected to increase in the near future. When your company jumps on the bandwagon, your effort to avoid hiccups can make all the difference in project success.
Check out the article on Why setup your Offshore Development Center in India?