Collaboration with a dedicated software development team can be mutually beneficial for both the employees and the client. As an offshore software development company, however, we not only enjoy the respective advantages but also come up against the common difficulties of managing offshore development teams on a day-to-day basis. We have our own joys and struggles.
Dedicated software development teams
Here at Vilmate, we mostly work with the dedicated team model that actually gives an idea of what kind of challenges to expect. The dedicated team is one of the most popular outsourcing models and staffing solutions. It helps businesses overcome geographical and other barriers when building their software development teams. A dedicated team can be managed by the client or the client’s representative remotely and is usually hired for long-term projects whose scope and requirements are constantly evolving.
The main idea of such a setup is that our clients have full access to the team as well as to the HR and recruitment process. It’s also possible to negotiate directly with the developers on their vacations, overtime work, etc.
Transparency is Vilmate’s core value. For us, it primarily has to do with a financial matter. We don’t have any hidden costs. Information like developers’ salaries, as well as company fees, is subject to open exchange between the Client and Vilmate.
Availability of the dedicated teams
Probably, the biggest if not the only disadvantage of the dedicated team model is the lack of visual contact with the team during the day. And this brings us to the talk about the availability.
When you see the developer in your office working hard, trying to solve a complex task you usually try not to bother them and let people do their magic. When the same situation happens with the remote team, you don’t see anyone doing anything. It may lead to quite a lot of frustration. For instance, if the problem is urgent and has to be solved as soon as possible and you get no updates for 2-3 hours, it can cause some tension. And once you ping the team with a question like “Does anyone work there at all?” it undermines the continuum of human dignity on the other side, as developers might be working hard on the issue at that same moment.
This is why we pay attention to our developers’ availability. So, in order to achieve this, we have established a set of rules and values to follow.
1. Keep clients up to date on a daily basis.
It helps our clients to steer the project in time and feel the control over the work being done. When they are in touch with the current project status, there is no need to ping the developers asking them for the recent updates. In addition, there are professionally written, succinct yet detailed project status reports issued by every developer bi-weekly or monthly. These reports can be distributed among the stakeholders so that they could adjust future schedules appropriately.
2. Keep your task tracking tool actual.
By looking at the tasks board, it must be easy to visualize the strategic state of the project. It must be reflected there what tasks will be released soon, which ones require your attention and whether you should provide more specifications to the backlog items or plan the new milestones. Project management and task tracking tools will help you set dependencies between different tasks on the project timeline, so having one or even a bunch thereof is critical. In case our client does not have the development process established or does not have the tools in place, we will assist them in setting it all up.
3. Respond quickly to emails and messages.
It is important to send the first reply as soon as possible. Even if developers can’t give the answer on the topic right away, it is always good to know that the information was received and will be processed soon. It is considered a good style to let the client know when to expect a final response. One simple message like “Got it, will get back within 2 hours” gives the additional level of confidence.
4. Be proactive.
We encourage our devs and especially team leads to talk first about issues. The sooner the problem will be brought up, the easier it will be to manage. Clients know their business better than developers do. Quite often, they have a better solution with a much broader vision. They are in charge of prioritizing the company’s long-term interests and adjudicating on matters. But to be able to exercise these functions, they have to be aware of what is going right and what is going wrong on the project.
5. Be resourceful.
Talk first about possible solutions. Clients usually don’t know all about the latest tech innovations and might not be aware of all the edge cases. Quite often it is wise to speak out if there are more efficient ways of work. The resourcefulness of dedicated teams is all about taking the initiative to find the best approach to solving current technical challenges. So, having resourceful people on the development team will dramatically save the client’s time optimizing what they have to work with.
Following these simple rules is essential in making businesses and dedicated software development teams work efficiently together. No matter what development process the team follows or what technologies it uses, it is crucial to be in constant communication with the client and observe full transparency in the team performance and daily routines to excel in addressing offshore team challenges.
© 2020, Vilmate LLC
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