Have you ever thought about how much more you and your team of software developers could achieve if there were more hours in the day? Working across different timezones makes that possible. Here is a look at the benefits and some of the pitfalls of ‘working all hours’.
Benefits of Outsourcing
Outsourcing software development has become a popular choice for IT companies. Numerous benefits explain why this is a growing trend within the industry. Development costs vary widely between countries, which allows IT businesses to save costs without compromising on quality.
Another advantage is accessing specialist skills as and when they are needed. This allows companies to take on a greater variety of projects without having to hire additional full-time staff. Instead, your business can utilize programming expertise and knowledge when a specific development project requires it.
Outsourcing software development to professionals in a different timezone helps you extend your working day. The concept is simple: your senior managers set a task at the end of their working day, and your (outsourced) developers start work. When you start work on the following day, the project has progressed already. In fact, you could choose to leverage several different timezones at once.
This is possibly the biggest advantage of splitting a team across timezones. At the same time, it is also a challenge.
Challenges of Outsourcing and How To Make It Work
Working across timezones requires each member of your team to be aware and respectful of the different working hours. This may sound obvious, but it really is crucial.
Generally, there will be a few hours of overlap. Visualizing these is useful for your whole team. It allows them to see at a glance which times offer good windows for meetings, for example. A degree of flexibility helps as well as setting boundaries when you are not available.
Managing a team across timezones can be tricky initially. Setting clear tasks and measurable goals is important because you cannot phone for clarification as easily. Crucial details of the project should be written down and agreed upon at the start. The clearer the outline, the better the results will be.
Avoid micromanagement: senior developers in any country are highly qualified professionals. They do not need to be supervised in great detail. Instead, you can trust them to approach you for clarification if it is needed.
Establish one communication channel for your software development project and choose a suitable project management tool. Simplifying communications is key to saving time and avoiding confusion over missed attachments and updates.
The more complex your project is, the more beneficial it is to use project management software. It allows everyone to keep track of the progress of your development and reference previous stages where necessary. Once set up correctly, these apps allow everyone to raise issues and update on progress in their own timezone. They eliminate the need for phone calls or emails repeatedly chasing information.
Bringing It All Together
Working successfully across timezones requires managers to trust their team and avoid micromanagement. Building trust starts with choosing the right team. Before signing a contract with your outsourced IT developers, take the time to choose a team with the right skills for your development project.
Above all, if this is the first time you are outsourcing software development, be prepared to adjust the process. There may be a few snagging issues at the beginning. However, as your in-house team is getting more used to working this way, you will see the benefits.
Your company will save development costs, valuable staff time, and you will be able to fulfill a greater variety of projects.