Outsourced.Team Blog

Key Outsourced Development Strategies for Long-Term Success

Outsourcing software and mobile app development tasks to offshore teams help companies save money without sacrificing quality.
When outsourcing development is done well, the strategy works so well that companies like Facebook and Dropbox have used offshore software developers.

Keep the phrase "when done well" in mind. Outsourcing to remote software and app developer teams can lead to adverse consequences unless you rely on strategies that lead to long-term success.

The following article should help you identify critical tips and steps you can incorporate into your strategy to make your outsourced team more successful.

Know that you do not have to choose a team on your own. You can always get help from outsourcing professionals who work with developers all over the world. Talking to someone who specializes in connecting companies with offshore teams could give you the benefits you need without forcing you to waste time (and increasing the risk that you choose a group of developers that cannot fulfill their promises).

Find a Team of Software Developers with the Right Skills for Your Project

Most importantly, you need to find developers with the right skills to work on your project. Often, that means outsourcing to teams that can show you a portfolio of work that includes iOS apps, Android apps, backend development, and front-end development. Referrals can also help you choose the right group by talking to other companies that have used their services.

Mobile Developers

Mobile developers should have experience working with iOS and Android app technologies, including Objective-c, React Native, Flutter, and Swift. Depending on your goals, you might also need backend developers who know how to scale applications quickly, distribute microservices, and rely on RESTful APIs.

Backend Developers

When comparing teams for backend development, you need to find highly-vetted professionals with experience working with coding languages that your on-site team plans to use. Backend development may require expertise working with:

Without expert coding from your backend software developers, you could find that your products will not scale or coordinate seamlessly with front-end features.

Front End Developers

Today's front-end developers need to know how to use popular JavaScript frameworks like React, Vue, and Angular. Talk to your on-site team to determine whether they prefer one framework over the others. If they do, you will want to outsource to a group that feels comfortable following your on-site team's lead.

Digital products rarely succeed without excellent UI and UX that makes it easy for users to learn processes and identify icons. A team that can contribute to your front-end design and functionality makes it more likely that your product will succeed in the market. Even if you want to make products for your employees, a better front end should lower your training costs, reduce errors, and improve efficiency.

Determine How You Can Manage Your Outsourced Development Team

To some extent, outsourcing your app and software development means that you do not need to oversee every step of the process. You get to shift some managerial responsibilities to people running the offshore team.

You cannot drop all aspects of management, though, because you need to make sure that your on-site and remote teams have opportunities to collaborate, build on each other's work, and reach milestones on time.

Ideally, you can outsource to an offshore team that adapts to your needs. The following approaches can make it easier to manage your outsourced development team.

Overlap Schedules Between On-Site and Offshore Teams

Depending on where your employees work and the location of your offshore team, you may need to coordinate your schedules closely to ensure overlap. Without overlap in your schedules, your teams will have trouble communicating with each other.

The entire work schedule doesn't have to overlap, but you should have at least a few hours when your teams can coordinate easily.

Consider the differences in time zones when you choose an offshore team.

Keep the Offshore Team's Task List Full

Since you might not always have time to oversee your offshore team's progress, you should ensure that the group has a full task list that exceeds what they can accomplish in a day. If the team finishes everything that you give them, they won't have anything to do. That will lead to wasted time that stalls your project's development and could increase the amount of money you spend.

This is why having a cohesive development plan is critical for your team. If the development roadmap isn't clear and isn't properly spec'd out, your project may stall. If you must, include a secondary list of tasks that your offshore manager can use when the team fulfills tasks sooner than expected. If they do not reach the day's secondary list, you don't lose anything. It just moves to the next day.

Provide Straightforward Communication to All Teams

According to Babble, the popular language-learning platform, about 20%of the world's inhabitants speak English. Most of those people speak English as a second language. Many of the people in your offshore development teams know how to speak English. They may, however, have a strictly literal understanding of the language.

Using idioms (like "raining cats and dogs") and slang could create miscommunication between teams.

Stick to simple, precise sentences that leave as little room as possible for confusion.

Create Opportunities for Open Communication

Distance doesn't have to create breakdowns in communication. You have plenty of software options that can help you talk to team members face-to-face. Other tools let you assign tasks and send encrypted messages and notes to entire teams.

Some of the most outstanding tools for open communication between distanced teams include:

Also, make sure you share your work calendar with the people managing your offshore team. Access to your calendar will make it easier for them to know the appropriate times to contact you or schedule meetings.

Define the Role That Your Offshore Team Will Play Within Your Company

What role do you want the offshore team to play within your company? Suppose you think you might want to form a long-term working relationship that leads to collaborating on future projects. In that case, it probably makes sense for you to integrate the offshore team into your company as much as possible.

If you only need the outsourced software developers to fill menial tasks on a one-off project, you might not need to worry about how to integrate their skills and team members into your company.

Make the Offshore Team a Part of Your Company

Making the offshore team a part of your company essentially means that you will use it as a remote department. When doing this, you might need to work toward aligning core concepts with your culture. Even though the offshore team can fit into your existing company, you still benefit from lowering the amount of money you spend creating products and finding niche skills you need to perfect mobile apps and software.

Treat Work from the Offshore Team Like Supplemental Material

When working on short-term or one-off projects with offshore development teams, you might want to treat their code as supplemental material that helps your team reach milestones on time. You don't necessarily have to get involved in their day-to-day operations. You just need to make sure that they send you deliverables when you need them.

Understand What Could Go Wrong by Outsourcing to Offshore Software and Mobile App Developers

You can get several benefits from outsourcing work to offshore development teams. Outsourcing, however, doesn't work well for every company. Understand some of the challenges you might encounter before you commit to working with an offshore team.

Less Control over Standards and Processes

When you outsource to offshore software developers, you lose some control over the development process. The offshore company probably has its own set of processes that it uses to reach goals. The company might not mind working closely with your team to alter their processes somewhat. Still, your managers do not have the level of control that they experience when working with on-site teams.

Ensure you outsource to a team that can provide the level of coding that your product needs. In this regard, the quality of the outsourced team is everything. Any lapses will put more strain on you and your on-site group of developers. That's the opposite of what you hope to get when you outsource some of your responsibilities.

Time Zone Differences Can Create Barriers

Time zone differences can make it difficult for teams to collaborate in real-time. When it's 7:30 a.m. in California, it's 5:30 p.m. in Ukraine. In other words, your workday might start at the conclusion of the offshore team's workday.

Compare the differences in time zones to decide whether you can find overlap between working hours. Many offshore teams know they need to follow flexible schedules that meet their clients' needs. Don't disregard a development team because of its location. Reach out to its management team to learn more about how they can adjust schedules so on-site and offshore teams can communicate with each other.

You might not get a full day of coordinated schedules, but you could find that the remote team is able to work a few hours alongside your group in North America.

Language Barriers Can Disrupt Workflows

English is the world's most popular language. About 1.35 billion people speak English. Mandarin is the second-most spoken language with 1.12 billion people.

With so many people speaking English around the world, you can probably find an offshore team with good English comprehension skills. In many cases, though, ESL (English as a Second Language) speakers learn formal English. They don't necessarily know the idioms that native speakers frequently use to express themselves. The language gap, therefore, can lead to miscommunication even when you work with an English-speaking team.

In most cases, you can solve this issue by reminding your employees to use straightforward language when communicating with offshore software developers. Stay on point, using simple language that accurately communicates your thoughts. Otherwise, the gap in communication could make it harder for you to reach milestones.

Partner with an Agency to Lower the Risk of Outsourcing to Offshore Software Developers

Partnering with the right agency can make it much easier for you to find the software and app developers that you need for your projects. Outsourced.team evaluated development teams around the world to find groups with exceptional coding experience, the ability to meet deadlines, and the flexibility to fill various roles.

Instead of interviewing offshore developer groups to find an option that fits your needs, you can leave that part of the work to the professionals at Outsourced.team. That way, you get to focus on planning your software development plan, establishing milestones, and creating a schedule that gets your product to market on time. While you complete the details, Outsourced.team will find teams that integrate seamlessly with your employees.

Reach out to the managers at Outsourced.team to learn more about hiring offshore developers. After a brief discussion, they can start finding the perfect candidates for your project.