Offshore development is the standard practice in many organizations. It is said that agile software development process was not be able to work with the offshore development as high level of communication is required in agile development. But, by stressing on practices over processes can make offshore and agile development work.
Here are some practices that make the offshore development project successful. These practices are useful for both agile or non-agile environments. The only requirement here is the offshore team must have talented and knowledgeable developers.
1. Onshore Technical Team Lead
The companies should not assume that offshore development will be handled by someone in their free time between other responsibilities. There need to be an onshore technical team lead or manager whose sole job is to manage the offshore team. The team lead will explain the priorities of business for each enhancement or project, give some technical direction, review code, establish coding practices and standards and train the offshore team.
2. Offshore Team Lead
The onshore and offshore team lead must work together. The offshore team lead must be authorized to make the technical decision. Due to this, the onshore team lead will not overburdened with the work. Offshore developers can either go to the offshore team lead or onshore team lead with their technical queries. It lets the onshore team lead to have one primary reason to contact for the status of the work.
3. Regular Meetings
Both the team leads must have a work status meeting daily. Other meetings can be held occasionally as per the requirements. All these meetings should be done by web video conferencing. This makes both the teams to have a clear conversation better than email or in the chat session.
4. Knowing The Whole Team
The lead of onshore team should know and talk to all developers of the offshore team and not just its lead. This communication step can be done once in a week and must occur through video conferencing. It lets the lead to know about the communication effectiveness of the team member. In most of the cases, talking directly to the offshore developers can reveal issues earlier. It may be possible that the offshore team leads sometimes intentionally downplay any potential problem that could be figured out by talking to the team.
5. Highly Skilled Team
It is true that the small team of highly skilled offshore developers can be proven far more effective than the large team of average developers. If the offshore development team has become more than 7 in size then the best way to achieve accuracy in work is to spit that team into multiple teams. In addition to that, each team must have the separate onshore team lead.
6. Design And Architecture
It is necessary for the success of offshore development project that offshore team also participate in the design and architecture discussion along with the onshore team. In an agile environment, many team members get involved in that discussion. In the more traditional environment of offshore development, only onshore and offshore technical team leaders meet. But being the part of the architecture and design confirmation discussion help the offshore developers to understand the process better if they are going to be the part of app designing. It will help the offshore team to grow in their experience, increase job satisfaction and retention and eventually lead to better code and more effective product.
7. Challenge The Team
The offshore team likes to be challenged. They may present better solutions for the bugs occurred in the project. Offshore developers need to be encouraged to come up with their own idea for the design. Companies will have good offshore team when the developers look at their idea and suggest the better one. Moreover, offshore developers also stay and contribute more to the project if they get challenged and believe that they are helping with the technical problems and difficulties faced by the company.
It is challenging to develop the software with a team that is half a world away along with different time zone. To have a successful offshore development, many difficulties need to be overcome. The above-discussed practices will help the companies that are currently working with the offshore development team or planning to have one. These practices will make the offshore development easy to manage and also lead to the successful projects.