How to avoid problems with your offshore IT development projects

Offshore IT development continues to be a popular option for many organisations undertaking IT projects. It allows scaleable expansion for technical teams, maximising delivery.

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What is Offshore IT Development?

In the software industry, offshoring is the process of a company expanding or migrating its development teams to overseas countries. The key upside to offshore IT development is access to an alternate talent pool. This aids in protecting against resource shortages in your local country.

There are no doubt clear benefits to offshoring, however, what steps should your organisation take to avoid potential problems with offshored projects?

Below are some sure-fire ways to future-proof your offshore IT development project:
  • Clearly defining project objectives and scope: Before beginning the project, make sure that everyone involved has a clear understanding of what is expected and what the project goals are.
  • Ensure ethical issues such as wages and work conditions are reasonable: The main reason for offshoring should be that you can not obtain skills within your local country rather than just being solely from a cost perspective. Before offshoring, the first criteria should be to undertake due diligence through an audit to ensure that wages and conditions are of a reasonable standard.
  • Establishing effective communication channels: Good communication is essential when working with an offshore team. Establish channels of communication that are reliable, consistent, and suitable for your organization.
  • Building a strong relationship with the offshore team: Trust and mutual respect are essential to making the project work. Establish regular meetings and check-ins to help build a relationship with the offshore team.
  • Providing training and support:  This helps the offshore team understand the organization’s culture, business practices, and technical requirements.
  • Managing expectations: Manage the stakeholders’ expectations by setting realistic deadlines, highlighting potential risks, and identifying solutions in case of any issues.
  • Clearly Defining responsibilities and roles: A well-defined RACI matrix can help the offshore team understand their responsibilities, who is accountable, and to whom they should report.
  • Continual monitoring and review: Regularly monitor progress, review performance, and take corrective action if necessary. By having continuous monitoring, issues can be addressed early on rather than allowing them to escalate.
  • Having a flexible approach: Being open to different ways of working, as well as being willing to make changes if needed, will help ensure the success of the project.
  • Hire an experienced onshore Project Manager: having an experienced onshore Project Manager can help to ensure that the project stays on track. As well as ensuring any issues or concerns are quickly addressed. Get in touch if you would like to discuss how Millpond can help with this, as our Team has vast experience working with offshore IT Development teams.

It’s important to mention that, these steps are not exhaustive and the approach may vary depending on the specifics of the project and the team. The key is to remain flexible and willing to make adjustments as needed to ensure the project’s success.

There are a number of benefits to having an onshore project manager when working with an offshore IT development team.

Some of the main benefits of offshore IT development include:

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  • Improved communication: An onshore Project Manager can act as a bridge between the offshore team and the rest of the organisation. This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and that any issues or concerns are quickly addressed.
  • Cultural understanding: Cultural differences may arise between an offshore team and the rest of the organisation. Having an onshore Project Manager familiar with the organisation’s culture can help bridge the cultural gap.
  • Time zone alignment: Onshore Project Managers have the advantage of time zone alignment. This allows for better coordination and easier communication with the offshore team.
  • Better requirement gathering: The onshore Project Manager is physically closer to the customer or the organisation. This makes it easier for the Project Manager to gather customer requirements and communicate the same to the offshore development team.
  • Better quality assurance: An onshore Project Manager ensures the quality of work being done by the offshore team. Checking it meets the standards of the organisation.
  • Facilitation of issue resolution: Onshore Project Managers can help in resolving issues that might arise between the offshore team and the customer. Being present helps to minimize delays and keep the project on track.

It’s important to mention that having an onshore Project Manager is not a mandatory requirement. There are multiple models of successful collaboration of offshore and onshore teams, the choice depends on the project, organisation, and the team’s preferences.

Best of luck with your projects and if you’d like to discuss how Millpond can help with your next project, please get in touch!

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