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How to set up an offshore software development team

An offshore team works exclusively for one client. Because they don’t work for multiple clients at the same time, they can focus their attention and commit to one client’s needs. On top of that, their client gains all the usual benefits associated with hiring offshore software development teams.  

Offshore teams are often engaged in long-term projects. They become an extension of your in-house team and work closely with you to meet project goals and objectives. If that sounds like something you could benefit from, here’s what you need to know about hiring an offshore team.

Why consider an offshore software development team?

There are many reasons to choose an offshore development team. Here are some of the main reasons to take this approach to software development:

  • Specialist skills: Offshore development teams are made up of professionals with expertise in specific technologies, programming languages, and domains. This allows you to tap into specialist skills that may not be readily available in your in-house team or location.
  • Cost efficiency: Offshore teams are usually based in regions with lower labor costs. This provides significant cost savings compared to hiring full-time employees in high-cost locations – something particularly beneficial for startups and small businesses.
  • Scalability: Offshore software development teams can be easily scaled up or down according to your project needs. You can adjust the team size and composition to match the demands of your development initiatives, ensuring flexibility in resource allocation.
  • Faster time-to-market: With an experienced, offshore team, you can accelerate the development process and get your products or solutions to market faster. This is especially important in sectors with rapidly changing market dynamics.
  • Focus on core competencies: Outsourcing software development tasks to an offshore team allows your in-house team to concentrate on core business activities and strategic initiatives, while the external team handles more technical development work.
  • Reduced recruitment burden: Hiring and onboarding full-time employees can be time-consuming and costly. With an offshore team, you can bypass the recruitment process and access ready-to-code professionals.
  • 24/7 development cycle: If your offshore team is in a different time zone, you can benefit from a continuous development cycle. Work can progress around the clock, reducing project timelines.
  • Risk mitigation: Established offshore development providers have processes and methodologies in place to manage project risks effectively. They also offer contractual guarantees and service-level agreements to mitigate potential issues.
  • Predictable cost: An offshore software development team should come with a predictable and transparent cost structure, making it easier to budget and plan for your development initiatives.
  • Quality Assurance: Many offshore teams have a strong focus on Quality Assurance testing, helping to deliver high-quality software products with fewer defects.
  • Reduced overheads: When working with an offshore team, you don’t have to bear the overheads associated with maintaining people in-house, such as office space, equipment, and employment benefits.
  • Compliance and legal obligations: Experienced providers of offshore teams should ensure that your projects adhere to relevant regulations and standards.
  • Global expansion: If you’re considering expanding your business to new markets, an offshore software development team can provide local expertise and support to facilitate this expansion.

How do you set up an offshore software development team?

At Proshore, we take a 3-phase approach to setting up your offshore team. Here’s how it works 

Phase 1 – Build 

  1. Book a discovery call with Jeroen, our Co-Founder: Spend 15 minutes with our Co-Founder and outsourcing expert, sharing about your business and goals.
  2. Get a free outsourcing plan: Jeroen analyzes your remote dev readiness and identifies outsourcing threats. You get a free, custom outsourcing plan ready in 48 hours or less.
  3. Meet your new team: Your plan covers setting up team roles and tasks. Babish, our CTO, assembles the best team available from our talent pool and shares it with you for approval.

Phase 2 – Test

  1. 2-month trial period: Test your team’s output during a 60-day trial period. Not happy with someone? We work with you to replace them at no extra cost.

Phase 3 – Adopt

  1. Expand or scale down: Add new talent to your team or scale down based on your goals and roadmap. No recruiting, hiring, or HR paperwork.

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Best practices for collaborating with an offshore software development team

For a number of reasons – including different time zones, language barriers, and cultural differences – collaborating with an offshore team can be challenging. Here’s a table of best practices and advice for getting collaboration right:

Best PracticeAdvice
Keep communication clearMaintain open and transparent communication channels. Establish a communication plan with meeting schedules and reporting structures.
Set clear expectationsDefine project objectives, scope, deliverables, and timelines. Ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. Establish KPIs and metrics for measurement.
Have cultural sensitivityAcknowledge and respect cultural differences. Be aware of varying work styles, holidays, and communication norms. Encourage an inclusive work environment.
Schedule regular check-insSchedule regular meetings to review progress, address issues, and provide feedback. Identify potential problems early.
Use collaboration toolsUse project management software, version control systems, and communication platforms for efficient workflow management and document sharing.
Maintain documentationMaintain comprehensive documentation of project requirements, design specifications, codebase, and other relevant information.
Empower the teamTrust the offshore team’s expertise and encourage them to make technical decisions within their areas of expertise.
Provide access to resourcesRemove technical barriers by providing access to hardware, software, development tools, and required resources.
Have a single point of contactDesignate a Project Manager or Product Owner as the main point of contact for the offshore team.
Foster a collaborative cultureEncourage knowledge sharing and collaboration between offshore and in-house teams. Promote mutual respect and shared commitment to success.
Give feedback and recognitionProvide constructive feedback to help team members improve. Recognize achievements and milestones to boost morale.
Address issues promptlyResolve challenges or roadblocks proactively. Encourage early communication of concerns.
Quality Assurance and testingImplement robust testing and Quality Assurance processes to meet required standards.
Data security and complianceAgree on data security measures and ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
Continuous improvement Regularly review and evaluate the collaboration process. Identify areas for improvement and implement changes.

The challenges of working with offshore software development teams

There are challenges with any type of offshore software development. These also apply to hiring offshore software development teams. Here are some common issues to consider:

  • Communication barriers due to time zones and language differences.
  • A lack of face-to-face interaction hinders relationships and trust.
  • Misconceptions arising from different work cultures and expectations.
  • Quality Assurance difficulties lead to inconsistencies in coding quality.
  • Concerns about data security, intellectual property protection, and compliance.
  • Limited visibility of offshore team activities and progress.
  • Integration challenges in merging offshore and onshore teams effectively.
  • Turnover of developers in offshore locations, impacting project continuity.
  • Risks of misalignment in goals and expectations.
  • Legal and compliance issues – and possible disputes – around contracts.

The good news is that by hiring an offshore software development team from Proshore – a trusted and experienced provider of ready-to-code tech talent based in the Netherlands and Nepal – you can avoid these pitfalls and overcome potential issues.

FAQs

When should you get an offshore software development team?

Companies typically consider using an offshore team when they require specialized skills not readily available in their local talent pool; they need to reduce development costs whilst maintaining quality; they need scalability for fluctuating project demands, or aim to accelerate project timelines by adding capacity via a remote workforce. 

An offshore software development team can be beneficial for long-term collaboration, allowing you to focus on core business activities while entrusting technical development work to experts. This can be an advantage when you are looking for specific software development skills at a competitive price.

What’s the cost of hiring an offshore software development team?

The cost of hiring an offshore software development team depends on a number of factors. The following table shows the main factors impacting cost:

Cost FactorExplanation
LocationDifferent roles within the offshore team – such as developers, project managers, and Quality Assurance engineers – have different hourly rates.
Expertise and skill levelRates vary based on the expertise and skill level required for the project, with more experienced professionals commanding higher rates.
Technology stackSpecific technologies or programming languages may require specialized skills, impacting the cost of hiring developers with expertise in those areas.
Role and responsibilityDifferent roles within the offshore team – such as developers, project managers, Quality Assurance engineers – have different hourly rates.
Contract typePricing models can include hourly rates, monthly retainers, or project-based fees, affecting the overall cost structure.
Additional expensesCosts beyond hourly rates – such as setup, infrastructure, software licenses, and ongoing operational expenses – also need to be considered.
Cost Savings vs Quality Balancing cost savings with the need for a highly skilled team is essential to ensure project success and value for investment.
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