Building the TOP teams in the world - offshore

By Cam Upshall, Director & Co-Founder
on January 24, 2019

Building the TOP teams in the world - offshore

By Cam Upshall, Director & Co-Founder
on January 24, 2019
In a global business world, leaders are experiencing a shift in mindset. If you want to be the best you need to think differently. Let's talk about building high performing offshore teams.
Let's talk about building super successful offshore development teams, a topic close to my heart having done this many times.

First let me share the advantages of hiring and working with a remote team: lower costs, extended service hours (for the company, not necessarily for employees), and access to a wider range of skill and talent. Imagine being able to find qualified employees who can offer new perspectives and technologies with no need to spend money on infrastructure or other additional costs!

If you're interested in building your own high performing offshore development team and you're wondering where you should start, let me give you some food for thought.

Jumping in...
Step #1:
Decide -
will you benefit from a remote team?
The first step is to figure out whether or not your business will benefit from having a remote team as opposed to one in a central office. Having your team in the office means easier collaboration, connectivity, attendance and less distraction. But the big drawback to an in-house team is the higher cost -- up to 100% more than a remote team -- not to mention dealing with the taxes, commuting, and geographic limitations.

Managing a remote team requires an enormous measure of trust. True it can cut costs significantly and it opens up the opportunity to hire based on skill and qualification without the limitation of proximity. For us, it meant bringing world class talent and greater opportunity into the business.

Another advantage is the time-zone difference. While this might initially seem like an inconvenience, strategic use of time-zone difference can ease the implementation of the 24-hour development cycle. For example, in cases where implementation needs to happen at off hours, there is no need for your devs to work overtime. Meanwhile, having a development team carry tasks while you're sound asleep means no micromanaging and waking up to the sound of Done!
STEP #2:
Know where to look and
who to look for
Now that you're sure you'll benefit from hiring an offshore development team, you need to decide what kind of team you want and where to look for them. The first thing to consider is budget. Usually workers in developing countries will accept salaries at a fraction of the cost of those in developed countries, but that means working with teams from a culture you may or may not be familiar with and the potential issue of language barrier.

Whatever your budget is, you can find great people anywhere. What's important is you take all these differences into consideration and hire based on people share your values and are passionate about delivering good products.
STEP #3:
Collaborate and be involved
Take the time to onboard your team. Explain your company's culture and values -- your mission, vision, and everything. Provide direction. Have a clear product vision with defined scope and set of specifications to avoid miscommunications and other road bumps. Explain your target audience, your business processes and functions. While this does not necessarily require a lot of training, it does require consistent upkeep. You might even want to consider visiting them once or twice a year.

That means giving your offshore team enough attention, independence, and trust. Make sure they feel they're part of the team, so don't separate your offshore and in-house employees, otherwise there will be an us vs. them mentality you'll need to deal with.
step #4:
Communicate effectively
The biggest opportunity for failure is in miscommunication. When you and your team are not on the same page and not working together, an offshore development team will not work for you. Trust me, I've been in this situation and it's hard being on the other side of the world when you're out of sync. The first step in effective communication is a solid understanding of your team and their culture. There's subtle differences that I've picked up on like developers in Southeast Asia, for example, don't like confrontation, while Eastern European developers tend to be more blunt.

The second key to effective communication is in ensuring you have all the proper channels for keeping in touch. We're big on these channels and best practices:

  • Email - keep it decluttered and use it sparingly for project meeting notes, communications, schedules, and commitments
  • Chats - have some sort of application like Skype, Slack, Hangouts for quick updates, clarifications, and questions (Slack's our favourite)
  • Productivity tools - use a proper project management tool like JIRA, Asana, Trello, or Basecamp so that everyone on the team is always updated on each other's progress.

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If you want to hear more about Trampoline, send us a message at info@trampolineplatform.com
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