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What You Need to Know before Building An Offshore Team?

The Covid-19 epidemic was one of the most significant drivers of the IT outsourcing sector. According to Fortunly's estimate, market sales will reach almost $413.7 billion by the end of 2022, which is a large sum for good reason. Because software development is time-consuming and costly, outsourcing it to offshore teams is an excellent option. It enables businesses to remain nimble in today's competitive tech industry by totally outsourcing product development to a remote team and focusing their in-house workers on other critical areas. Working with overseas teams, however, is not without its challenges. In a word, it's similar to building an offshore team, with identical issues caused by time zone variations, ineffective communication, a lack of physical encounters, and so on.

This article discusses the important strategies for overcoming these challenges when building an offshore team, as well as why your firm should use offshore developers or teams.

1. What is an offshore team?

Companies are increasingly collaborating with offshore service providers in prominent nations such as India, China, and the Philippines. But, before you start looking for a team, you need first to grasp what an offshore team is.

The term "offshore team" refers to hiring a group of specialists from areas remote from your headquarters. Due to the significant time difference, the crew may also work in a separate time zone. Or, if required, they must change their shift to meet your needs. For example, the Vietnamese serve as an offshore development center for clients from the United States and other nations.

Working with an offshore team
Figure 1. Working with an offshore team

However, the terms "offshoring" and "outsourcing" are not interchangeable. The latter implies that staff from a partner firm manage your business procedures. On the other side, your firm employs an offshore crew, however, they do not work in your main office.

2. Why companies are increasingly building an offshore team

Companies must scale their employees up or down as needed to meet the ever-changing product needs and consumer expectations of today. However, this necessitates either acquiring talent yourself or firing in-house personnel. Both need time-consuming documentation, legal processes, and enormous time commitments, which are extremely unsatisfying when you need to grow your personnel for a short-term necessity.

This is where offshore teams excel, allowing businesses to execute rapid workforce augmentation. That is, you outsource the assignment to an offshore development team rather than investing a significant amount of time, cost, and effort in hiring the necessary personnel or developing the software solutions yourself.

By doing so, you avoid the difficulties of finding developers specifically for the project, assuring you obtain a top-tier product ready for market. Let's take a closer look at why so many businesses prefer to use offshore development teams.

2.1. A cost-effective option

One of the primary reasons businesses use offshore teams is to cut operating costs. Working with offshore developers saves you money on expenditures like insurance, employee salary, office rent, vacation, software licensing, recruitment charges, and so forth. Instead, you will invest in the most important area, the development of your MVP (the most valuable product).

2.2. Increased flexibility compared to working with an in-house team

As discussed before, hiring offshore teams can help you be an agile company to remain competitive. This is because of your immense flexibility when working with such teams.

With an in-house team, it can be quite challenging to scale the team or change the pre-existing tech stacks to match your project’s size. This scaling is a common problem with companies undertaking one-time or short-term projects, requiring them to scale their staff accordingly. By hiring offshore development teams, you can easily work with the professionals you need, and you won’t have to retain them after project completion.

2.3. Largely improved efficiency

When dealing with in-house employees, you can't do much if they get sick, are late, or don't show up at all. When it comes to employing offshore teams, however, this is not the case. You don't have to worry about personnel not showing up and your development cycle being delayed because they are less prone to understaffing. When an offshore crew is working on a project, it may be completed around the clock.

This also allows you to focus on business operations, which may easily slip your mind while you're preoccupied with the development process. Instead of hurrying after project completion, your in-house team members may focus on branding, marketing strategy, demand planning, and other critical activities while the offshore developers work on your project.

3. Key challenges of building an offshore team

The global epidemic has a significant impact on remote work. Everyone is now accustomed to collaborating on Zoom or Google Meet conversations with team members spread across cities and countries. Most remote teams have abandoned the idea of working in an office.

Challenges of managing an offshore team
Figure 2. Challenges of managing an offshore team

Managing offshore development teams follows a similar pattern. It's related to working with remote teams in that it presents identical obstacles, the most notable of which are as follows:

  • Unclear expectations and goals: Clients failing to articulate clear objectives and goals is by far the most significant problem when dealing with offshore staff. Because of unstandardized communication or various time zones, remote teams frequently lack a clear vision of what they should be working on.

  • Logistic difficulties: When dealing with offshore development teams, it is critical to properly coordinate meetings, deadlines, team syncs, and varying expectations to keep everyone involved on the same page. Furthermore, the varied time zones necessitating meetings at inconvenient times might result in higher turnaround times. These logistical challenges can soon become a source of irritation for both parties, resulting in scope, timetable, and money overruns.

  • Poor performance due to lesser quality control: When working with an unfamiliar team, quality control might be complex. They may include developers who operate under distinct assumptions regarding project management and commercial methods, whether they are distant or offshore. This may result in a product that may not fulfill your expectations.

  • Miscommunication: Given the preceding two points, it is easy to see how an offshore staff could not grasp your broader business strategy or needs, resulting in further bottlenecks. Furthermore, cultural and language variations might make articulating nuanced/niche requirements or recognizing difficulties that arise throughout development more difficult.

4. Tips for building an offshore team

4.1. Search for reputable outsourcing companies

The first step to building an offshore team is by hiring from the right outsourcing company. This involves collecting all the necessary information about native consultants. It would also be a good practice to request sample CVs of their current employees, so you can assess the quality of talents they can procure for you in this manner.

A reputable consultant company will help you find the right candidate to build an offshore team
Figure 3. A reputable consultant company will help you find the right candidate to build an offshore team

Doing this can help you make a more informed decision and eliminate inconveniences resulting from negligent hiring. This will also ensure that only suitable and sustainable team members are brought in.

4.2. Don’t skip the minor engagement

It always makes sense to start projects with a small engagement when building the offshore team. This helps your employees become more familiar with your company and other team members.

Keep communication simple by using standard and understandable language statements to ensure that everyone is on the same page, regardless of where they are from.

This will enable you to understand better the work quality, worker skill proficiency, professionalism, work ethics, and team member attitude.

4.3. Talk to an offshore team about the company products and visions

A common mistake made by many business owners is randomly assigning tasks to a new building offshore team who doesn’t understand what the company’s vision is and how to achieve it. This can create a problem of people not working as a team towards a particular aim.

When working with an offshore team, make sure that everyone on the team understands your objectives and what you want to accomplish with the product or service you’re selling. Assist them in seeing the big picture of your vision. As the project progresses, it is now up to them to improve their process and make better decisions.

4.4. Eliminate the inhouse vs the offshore mindset

Treat your offshore team as if they were an extension of your company at all times. If they feel like they’re part of a large family and have a good working relationship with their coworkers and supervisors, they’ll be more motivated to work harder.

4.5. Appreciate the offshore team

As we mentioned above, regular communication with your offshore team about project progress, deadlines, and problem resolution should be second nature. It’s also important to keep in mind that they’re people. Positive comments, regardless of their location or cultural background, can significantly improve their working relationships and productivity.

Like the inhouse team, offshore team achievement should be honored
Figure 4. Like the inhouse team, offshore team achievement should be honored

Thank them if they do an excellent job completing your project on time and within budget. And, if your customers are happy with the product, thank them by informing them of the valuable customer feedback.

Conclusion

To create a wonderful working environment for your offshore team, ensure that you are flexible and adaptable to them. Give them autonomy, inspire them, and take their input into account when making business decisions.

Sources: Internet

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