Offshore developers and Onshore Clients – Part 2

As explained in Part 1 of this topic Onshore Clients are all those project owners or project managers who are working in developed countries handling projects done by thee Offshore (remote) developers, who are mostly operating from developing countries.

What I will try to address here is what you should keep in mind while dealing with developers from that part of world. What all criteria’s you should have in mind while awarding a contract to someone remotely operating in developing countries.

For Onshore Clients:

  • As a client you have to set clear expectations and not deviate too much from those commitments.
  • If you are deviating from your previous agreed deliverable (for any reason) it’s always best to provision for that in your budget and timelines. Because developer most of the time may not be saying no to you, out of fear of loosing you as a client or (some other personal reasons), and in order to complete your extra requirements he will compromise on quality and may not feel the same level of commitments to your project as he felt when he started on it.
  • Sometimes when you communicate with developers offshore on messenger’s or Skype audio/video, it’s best to record the commitments and communicate that in email as well, as sometimes what you have communicated verbally may not be translated same in developer’s language (especially if English is not his first language).
  • If you are getting your project done in developing countries because of cost advantages please keep in mind the work culture/problems those countries have as a part of their infrastructure (electricity, internet, turnaround time in case of natural calamities like flood or sever storm causing electricity breakdown).
  • Always be proactive with your communication through email and set clear dates for deliverable, as sometimes if you just say do this task and you expect to hear result in next call but the developer assumes that they haven’t been given any timeline so they will wait until you ask him for deliverable.
  • Try to get a fair idea of how much work your project needs in terms of hours/weeks/months, It’s best if someone locally can give you good time estimate on time/efforts, price can be varied based upon where you are getting it done, but never expect same project to be done on same price in all the countries/or from all consultant.
  • When you post your projects on websites where you ask developers to bid, most of the time in order to outbid other bidders developers make bids too attractive to deliver/believe (I remember one incident where I saw bidding’s for a project, which was suppose to be a replica of a project, which I had managed in one of my company in the past and we had developed that project for our client in 5 months with 4-6 developers + 2 testers working over time and 2-3 analyst/tester from client side,  I saw bids by developers as low as $500 with time of 1 month) I am still not sure if anyone can make that project in 1 month even if you put 10 developers, even if you had to rip of the existing project from the internet.
  • Just beware of these hard to believe commitments.

In the end it’s all about how well you are communicating with the person/team on the other side, and how well you understand his/her work environment limitations and work culture and how quickly or best you adapt to get best out of your offshore team. Communication is the key, as even if you have the best developers in your development team and if the things are not communicated properly to them they wont be able to deliver as per your expectations.



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