Offshore resource management practice has increased dramatically since the last 10 years. Analysis of the US IT-industries data reveals that 43% of these companies share responsibility with the offshore software development team. Offshore management is not an easy task but demands experience and skills.
This article is meant to enlighten its readers regarding offshore resources, management and challenges associated with it.
There can be several reasons to opt for offshore outsourcing approach including:
1. Faster development - In the offshore partner company a working infrastructure is already available. This helps in launching the products in the market simultaneously with the software being developed on the other hand.
2. Cost and Time effective - The accessibility to at hand infrastructure and resources help to reduce project start-up time, and cuts down on expenses that would have been a liability.
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3. Better quality and reliability - The offshore teams have a certain pressure to meet the high end demands of their clients as well as the global standards. Therefore, they have to work with distinct expertise and a steadfast approach generating not only quality products but also trust among the clients.
4. Less skilled core team? No problem - Offshore software development brings in diversity as well as the required expertise to create world class software. This eliminates the pressure and chase of finding skillful and experienced human resource.
5. Faster availability of resources and Quick response to issues - Owing to the vivid time Zones, overlapping (more time) hours of work is present at hand. This makes distribution of services and resolution of any lingering problem quick and efficient.
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1. Unmatched mindset
The way we communicate in India, for example, and that in another country is a lot different. This may cause difficulty in developing an understanding between the vendor and the client regarding our vision and intention.
2. Matching up with clients’ needs and attitude
The background information of the client is important to build the relationship between the client and the company to match up with the client’s needs and attitudes as a person from a technical background will look for things that may not be apt for someone from an industrial background.
3. Cultural disparities
Cultural differences sometimes create problems because what is considered normal in one culture may be completely weird for the other one. This grows further if people of that region are sensitive towards religion and are discriminated against on the basis of their culture and skin colour.
4. Expectations management
Despite several contracts and legal service promises, it is hard to meet the expectations in offshore management. Therefore, it is important to channelize the facts clearly beforehand for expectation management.
This term comes to play when the demands are high but the pay is insufficient. This makes it difficult to manage the product quality and on time delivery.
6. Demands Patience
It is too ambitious to expect profits at the very initial stage of offshoring. Gains require a fair amount of patience and perseverance.
7. Language barrier
There are several companies that have all the prerequisite skill set to be successful but that is not enough for offshoring. To know their language and the way to communicate with clients is the key to a successful project.
8. Fear and uncertainty
Despite numerous agreements, the fear of information leaks and losing control still lurks. Lack of experience hinders the management of offshore activities.
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Having the right team and a business partner who understands your business goals, is from a similar background as yours or understands your business needs and has prior experience, is the foremost crucial step towards offshore software development and resource management. This will enable you to exercise project management techniques to the maximum potential.
“Too many cooks spoil the broth”, this applies to making a structured team as well. A large team with lowly skilled offshore developers will ruin the business model while a small team with highly skilled developers will be easier to tame as well as more efficient. However, as you will expand, the team will also grow. That's the time when you need to divide it into small teams and identify team leaders who will be taking care of the functionality and management.
Independent working conditions are preferable for software developers but at the same time an ample amount of collaboration is also essential so as to stay updated and informed about the ongoing work and any lurking crisis. So in the long run, for smooth running of the project, it is advised to have a team member assigned the accountability of progress.
It is said that words can make or break a deal from happening. Communication is extremely necessary among onshore and offshore partners, clients and the developers for them to clarify the doubt areas and build trust. Besides, quick tackling of issues, a healthy work atmosphere, development of mutual respect and so on becomes possible only through communication.
This can be done online via various platforms available or offline by organizing social or collaborative meetings.
While working with a team where the time schedule is 8-12 hours different, it is logical to say that you might lose track of progress and might also get days behind work. A simple exchange of emails can make you wait for an entire day which can very fluidly cause the timeline to be distorted.
However, there always is an overlap of working hours which if exploited to its maximum can help maintain the smooth running of the project.
Diversity of intellect creates room for innovation and eliminates monotony at work and in working style. While it is helpful in looking at a problem with multiple sets of eyes and vivid minds offering a variety of possible solutions, cultural differences might become a barrier in many aspects of the project due to distinct professional etiquettes and working style.
To curb it out, teams should be motivated to collaborate and do shared projects.
While a simple phrase, for example, “ Do the needful'' means “take care of the work” for us, other national might get offended because of understanding it differently. Only if you have good command of the language in which you are communicating can eliminate such potential stressors. Poor language skill is one of the factors for retarted progress. This suggests to either upgrade the attendant’s language skills or hire a translator which most companies have these days.
What might be considered acceptable by you, may not meet the expectations of the client or your offshore software development partner.
The expectations are usually high in terms of quality and providing the best user experience, and a bias here is usually common. Be transparent in terms of sharing expectations and have clear documentation to resolve the issue. Also, exchange respect and allow the expectations to be appreciated.
Intellectual Property (IP) rights are provided when an owner registers itself for protecting its most valuable asset against theft or infringement of possession.
IP includes Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks, etc. IP risks come in two forms – Property and Casualty risks. IP Risks can be cut down:
To assist the offshore software development partner in maintaining the level of interest and engagement, give them the ownership of the software’s design and anatomy. This will elevate the confidence of the partner company in you and accelerate the performance and quality of the software.
Build Operate Transfer Model refers to a type of partnership in which at least two parties are involved (usually, public and private partnership) in which a contract is so formed that the partner company builds, develops and operates the programme for a fixed tenure then it has to transfer it to the core company.
Application of BOT model offshores all the development tasks and enables you to focus on business expansion. Besides, it is cost-effective and economical.
We have grown up studying the 3Rs (Reuse, Reduce and Recycle). When practicing offshore resource management “Reuse” is a salient feature of a top-notch software company. A gallery of reusable components can be created that can be employed for fast development of new software from existing components saving both time and money.
Make sure that you are receiving sufficient pay in return for your efforts. The outsourcer should be asked to provide written documentation of the requirements and review of tests and responsibilities. These activities should be done from the beginning to take necessary corrective measures which will be less costly if done early.
Scan the Linkedin account of the developer/candidate to look for his/her proven track record. You may also connect with his/her previous clients to see if they recommend that developer.
Analyze the profile of the candidate and make sure he/she is from a technical background. Also enquire about their experiences and previous works to get acquainted with his/her skills and abilities.
It is recommended to hire candidates with prior experience in software development because they have more knowledge about effective project completions. This will ensure on-time consummation of the projects.
Low-priced candidates might be a tempting hiring choice, however, you should focus on economical candidates that develop high-end codes.
Demand workflow pattern of the outsourcing company to ascertain their attitude while managing clients and methods of resource allocation.
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The financial benefits of offshore resource management are quite handsome, however, the risks associated with it cannot and should not be denied. Sofyrus will guide you in adopting proper offshore management techniques and analyzing its potential threats. Engage with us and shape your offshore business model to yield maximum value.
Aslam Hasan Khan is a software developer and CEO of Sofyrus Technologies, a software development company focused on providing services including cloud, RPA, ERP, Automation, app development, and more. Contact us at [email protected] to learn more.