Remote development work for your company can be a difficult decision to make given the amount of providers available that all seem to be the same. Outsourcing development to another country is an entirely different story with its own set of fears and concerns. However, there are several major companies that have utilized remote development to become successful, including Slack, Skype and Github. Most business owners feel very similar fears about having developers that are located in other countries:
- We won’t be able to communicate effectively with the offshore team.
- The work will take too long to complete.
- There will be a lack of accountability.
- The finished product will turn out to be entirely different from what was asked for.
While these concerns can be valid, the solution to them all is the same: Project Management. Having a seasoned Project Manager in the U.S. to manage the project can alleviate all of these concerns and ensure your project ends up a success.
I’m afraid that development work will take longer than expected due to time differences: Project Managers should be masters of scrum and agile methodology to prevent this. Sprints, or a weekly listing of which tasks will be completed that week, helps both the developers and the client to have an idea of what will be completed each week and when it will be delivered. This strategy helps both parties to adhere to timelines as well as address any potential roadblocks or bottlenecks in coming weeks, despite differences in timezone. With a good project manager, the time difference is a value and can actually expedite the completion of your project.
I’m worried that a task or feature will be misconstrued by overseas development: U.S. based Project Managers help to prevent miscommunication between development and client management by drafting and revising detailed feature requirements before development even begins. The use of visual tools such as wireframes and video commentary, combined with frequent daily communication in the form of a project scrum, a strong project manager can ensure there is little or no disconnect and catch any potential problems immediately.
I’m concerned that an external development team will disappear for days or weeks without an update: Luckily, all good Project Managers have a series of standard processes in place to prevent this. A communication plan complete with U.S. and global employee contact information is developed prior to beginning a project, as are project roles and responsibilities for every client, stakeholder and developer. A daily scrum with the project manager and the project team will ensure constant and clear communication.
U.S.-based management should not just be an additional amenity when considering an outsourced development company, it should be a requirement and part of the core project team. The ability to pick up the phone and call a person in the same timezone as you can be a comforting thought for many companies, as well as the overall transparency and standard practices that Project Managers put into place to ensure a project’s smooth success.
For SourceFuse, U.S.-based Project Management and utilization of management tools such as Jira, Slack, and Confluence are a part of every project, and is a value-adding layer to make the development process cohesive and ensure the end result is on time, as expected, and a success for everyone involved.