Businesses who decide to outsource software development make a strong commitment toward getting software and apps developed to power their businesses.
But you’re at the finish line yet.
Dealing with independent contractors or teams of software developers from other countries poses its unique challenges. No matter where your contractors are located, even if they’re within the country, the work process changes because not everyone’s “in the room” to get things done.
The “management” factor
When contractors live outside the U.S., these challenges only increase. Be prepared to face significant communication hurdles, such as:
- Language barriers.
- Time zone differences.
- Cultural issues.
Your team should be ready to spend more time learning the ropes and managing a team that’s several time zones apart and don’t speak the same native language.
Your onsite team should be ready to implement procedures and tools to facilitate better communication and have the bandwidth to manage the team. When team members aren’t in the same location, can’t meet face to face to hash out project specs, or chew on ideas together, you need more management layers to manage diversified teams at many locations.
Time zone differences, cultural issues and language barriers also add to a level of difficulty to managing and working with developers in other countries. Daily and weekly reporting is essential to ensuring everyone’s on the right track. Your teams need clear directives and specific timelines so that every player knows his or her expectations. See our free webinar on managing efficient and results-driven teams to learn how we do it.
Time zone issues make communication difficult, especially if your offshore contractors don’t share any of the same workday hours that align with your time zone. Consider the ramifications of hiring a developer in Asia who is always asleep when your office is up and running. This kind of time zone difference turns a simple bug that takes 20 minutes to fix into a multiple-day process.
Learning the ropes
If you don’t have existing personnel within the company who can handle the added responsibility of managing the team and keeping it on task, the likelihood of success for the outsourcing relationship decreases and the project immediately becomes more challenging – and costly.
For businesses that lack the experience managing a team from a considerable distance, can’t work with significant time zone differences or overcome culture and language barriers, outsourcing the software or mobile app project can still work. Work with a project management and outsourcing company with decades of experience managing outsource teams.