Success in offshore development teams

Welcome to our guide to the benefits of using offshore teams for your next IT project.

Offshore teams are not new; we at Evolve have been working with all types of teams for several years. We continue to deliver successful projects with these teams, reducing the dependency on our clients’ internal teams and management overhead.

The Blended Approach and the Benefits
Evolve offer a fully managed service for all of our clients. We deliver successful agile projects without ambiguity but with innovation, and with client questioning where necessary. Roles and responsibilities are clear from the outset, reducing your management time.

Communication Handling
Evolve is the onshore point of contact for all of our clients. With a great working relationship with the offshore team, we can help all team members work through any communication issues. These issues range and differ due to language, accent, and dialect limitations, therefore our verbal communication is always very concise, clear, and with simple instructions.

Meetings are an integral part of our approach; making sure all members of the team are included in team meetings and daily standups via video conferencing or Skype. Communication it is key in completing a successful project, regardless of geographical locations. Conference calls also help us have a visual picture or video of all team members along with verbal communication, which can be very helpful in picking up forms of non-verbal communication such as gestures, body language, posture, facial expressions and eye contact.

Written communication used in our offices are e-mail, product documentation, and instant messaging. These all provide members of the team time to read, process, possibly re-read, and comprehend all the information before responding.

Evolve never assume that one method of communication is enough; more than one can help clarify the point. Also, many assumptions are made in all forms of communication. To help combat this, we always state the obvious, as it might not be obvious to everyone – we never assume; as well as time, assumptions can cost lots of money.

Productivity Tools
Evolve as the onshore point of contact for all of our clients provide the tools required to communication, these include:-
JIRA Core & Project
Scrum Boards, Sprints, Daily Stand-Ups, Design Reviews, Retrospectives.
HANSOFT Resource Planning
Resource & Capacity Planning
JIRA Service Desk
Issue Tracking, Bug Fixing, Knowledgebase, How To Guides, FAQs, SLA Management

Business Hours
We appreciate and accommodate cultural customs and differences that can lead to different hours being ‘standard’ for the business day. For instance, in the US, the standard work day is 8am – 5pm. However, for a nearshore team in Mexico, the more standard day is 10am – 2pm, and then from 4pm to 7pm or 8pm. It is their custom to take a 2 hour lunch early in the afternoon. In addition, all cultures and different parts of the world are sure to celebrate different holidays. Not being tolerant of these days can have a negative impact on morale, and thus productivity.

Turnover and Knowledge Loss
Our turnover in both our own and offshore teams are low at just 8%, which means we retain knowledge. We also have established up-to-date processes, which creates situations where anyone can step in and do the work. Most of all, the answer to knowledge loss is better documentation, which we ensure is paramount on any project.

Who is the customer?
You are! With us managing offshore developers, we remove any stress or confusion that comes with dealing with people in a different country. We work with you as one team – as partners, with strong leadership and management.
As our priority, we will keep you up-to-date in a transparent partnership that gives you project information on a daily basis, including accomplishments and progression of the offshore team. This ensures offshore and onshore teams are all working cohesively and that all team members feel integral to the project.

Quality and Best Practice
At Evolve, we do not accept variability in the quality of delivery, we work very closely with our offshore resources to ensure they are following best practice, we carry out peer code reviews and there is always a Lead Developer assigned to each project. The role of the Lead Developer is to ensure our best practice is being adopted throughout the project, assumptions are not being made, and the product will meet our exacting standards and when delivered to our Customer is fit for purpose.

Testing
We practice ATDD (Automatic Test Driven Development) this means test is embedded at every stage of the project, from creation of user stories through to delivery again this ensures we deliver the highest quality solutions to our Customers.

Cost
It is impossible to ignore the cost savings in an offshore scenario. The entire model was invented to save costs. But does it actually save money? Absolutely it does, in certain scenarios. Most of these savings are: management overhead, on costs (pension, NI, employee benefit), IoT, software licenses and hardware.

The following table demonstrates the cost comparisons of onshore and offshore resources.

*Can typically recruit in 4-8 weeks including notice periods
*Fully costed salaries include NI, Pension, Recruitment, Management Overhead, Office Space, Office Equipment

Ethics and the Modern Slavery Act
As an ethically sound business, it is key to point out that all offshore teams used by Evolve are selected based on good environmental circumstances, fair trade and fair pay at all levels.

There are additional costs that must be considered when using offshore:
● long distance phone bills
● web meetings
● hardware required to effectively collaborate
● additional travel and setup costs of onshore resources
● additional software or hardware required.

In addition to all of those costs, the management and coordination of an offshore team can surpass any setup cost, i.e. a failed project can cost much more!

Evolve have a blended team of both onshore and offshore which balances the customer costs vs increased speed of delivery, improved quality and less management overhead for the client.

For more information or to discuss using our offshore team for your next project, call us on 0116 2987460 or email us at enquiries@evolve-consultants.co.uk