6 Tools that Simplify Work with Offshore Development Teams

When the topic of offshore development comes up in conversation it always leads to questions about how to make it successful. Offshore IT outsourcing is hot, and for good reason. Software development outsourcing services provided in the offshore destinations have such crucial benefits as substantial cost savings based on low offshore labour rates, access to specialized technical skills, and continuous development process. At the same time, it’s easy to lose the benefits of cheaper offshore resources by inefficient use of tools created for simplification of work when you hire dedicated developers in the offshore destinations. Follow our guide and pick the right tool for your business.

Conference Calls and Video Conferencing

Communication is a cornerstone of any offshore development project. Regularly scheduled conference and video calls, emails and chat-sessions are necessary for managing offshore development projects:

  • Skype. Classic VoIP tool. Use video conferencing to get your whole team together, and send files, photos, and notes within seconds.
  • GoToMeeting. This app offers unlimited online meetings for up to 25 attendees. Whether you need to get your virtual team together for important progress discussions, meet with investors from all corners of the world, or discuss projects with clients – GoToMeeting is for you.

Chat Tools

Communicating with your offshore development team can tell you valuable things. Project members should follow some form of etiquette, since not all issues can be resolved by instant messages.

  • Slack. This app may save your workplace sanity. Over 125,000 people use the app every day, among them 13,000 teams at companies as large as eBay, Sony, Yelp, and NBC Universal.
  • Priority Matrix by Appfluence. If you want something that you can exclusively use for work, you might want to consider using this web app which is free on the app store offering a lot of useful features for free, and paid versions available with more complex features like reports.

Document Management

Explore the application sharing tools to aid collaborative development with an offshore team. With the right document management software, you can banish paper from your office, cut costs and make members of your team more productive. These tools allow teams to whiteboard different solutions and to work on a common document together (such as app sketch or diagram).

  • Dropbox. Startup founders often work in a variety of locations and on different devices — a challenge when important files are stored on one device. This tool is a good use for your development team (software engineers, UX designers, and PMs who need to manage all the necessary files in one environment). Dropbox eliminates this hassle by storing files in the cloud, making them accessible from any device with an internet connection.
  • Google Docs. With Google Docs you can manage documents, spreadsheets, presentations and surveys from anywhere.

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How To Handle An Offshore Team

Though it may be quite challenging to find out how to handle an offshore team, it is still possible to do it successfully if keeping in mind a few things. Communication is crucial, thus it is vital to create an auspicious atmosphere, considering all the peculiarities of the culture and mentality of your remote employees. Try to find the right balance between excessive monitoring and ignoring your team: both sticking to the deadlines and providing enough flexibility is of paramount importance. And of course, be responsive and constantly share your feedback along with acknowledging team’s achievements – make your offshore colleagues feel important and valued.

Written by
Yura Riphyak

Yura Riphyak is the CEO at YouTeam.

A serial entrepreneur, Yura has founded 4 companies since 2010, with 1 successful exit. Before starting YouTeam, Yura co-founded Hubbub.fm - a “Twitter for Voice”.
Yura is also an LSE-graduate in Economics, mentors a number of startups and teaches a crash-course on business modelling in several universities.

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