How can you manage your offshore developers’ teams?

February 10th, 2021

Software development is actively moving from in-house face-to-face work into developers working most of the time remotely. Offshore team management does have its own difficulties and general rules, but they may be far from obvious for anyone who has never worked with an offshore software development team. In this article, we will tell you more about how to successfully manage your offshore development teams and to be sure that you get a high-quality product as a result.

What are the best practices used in offshore team management?

Managing offshore development teams may bring some difficulties, which are not met often in managing the team face-to-face in your office. The most popular of them are time zones difficulties, culture and communication troubles, and last but not least – constant control and discipline. There are 2 the most popular offshore team management methodologies: Agile and Waterfall. Both of them have their own advantages and disadvantages and are actively used in modern project management. 

Waterfall methodology is a good concept for projects with “fixed-price” funding because the main idea of this concept is to state all the requirements at the “planning” part of the project. Developers and customers agree on what will be delivered early in the development lifecycle. This makes planning and designing more straightforward. However, this solution leads to a major disadvantage of not being able to update any of the requirements later on, which may lead to the possibility that the customer will be dissatisfied with their delivered software product. As all deliverables are based upon documented requirements, a customer may not see what will be delivered until it’s almost finished. By that time, changes can be difficult (and costly) to implement.

Agile, on the other hand, is a great match for working remotely. It emphasizes the rapid delivery of an application in complete functional components. The whole project scope is “time-boxed” into phases called “sprints.” Each sprint has a defined duration (usually in weeks) with a running list of deliverables, planned at the start of the sprint. Deliverables are prioritized by value as determined by the client. As work is completed, it can be reviewed and evaluated by the project team and customer, through daily meetings and end-of-sprint demos. Managing offshore teams in Agile relies on a very high level of client involvement throughout the project.

Why is it beneficial for a business to use Agile offshore development teams?

Agile is a powerful tool for software development, not only providing benefits to the development team but also providing a number of important business benefits to the client. Using Agile methodology for managing offshore teams will bring you a lot of benefits, the main of which are:

  • Frequent communications between client and development team bring opportunities for detecting issues and difficulties early and thus solving them quickly
  • Daily meetings and sprint demos give the client more control over the offshore development team. By visiting those demos, the client can be sure that work was done as it was planned
  • Producing frequent builds and demos brings a higher quality to the final product
  • If deployment time is more important than releasing all functionality at once, Agile can quickly implement an MVP of the product and improve it iteratively after the initial release

Of course, this methodology can not be ideal and also has a list of disadvantages:

  • Active client involvement may be a problem for some companies, which do not have any free time or interest for frequent participation
  • Agile is open to reprioritization of requirements, overuse of which may lead to time scope and budget increasing

Managing offshore teams and BWC.Technology

Our company will help you to avoid most of the problems described above. We can help you to:

  • save on internal resources
  • isolate from complex technical topics
  • save time on team and process definition
  • save time and focus on preparing detailed requirements
  • save time on testing

We define the processes which lead to product increment, deployment and roll out. Our company has successful experience of using both Waterfall approach for relatively simple projects and Agile for more complex challenges. BWC.Technology can introduce an understanding of the agile practice both in development teams and on the client-side. We promote factors that are inevitable for agile collaboration: transparency, trust, respect to limitations, and focus on the step forward. BWC.Technology is experienced to comply with elevated quality standards, having worked for large clients on multinational projects. Our team will guide you through the process of transforming your idea into a working digital product.