We all know that communication is key, but when you are dealing with your offshore software development team, this can be incredibly difficult because they aren’t there on site with you.
So how do you make sure that you effectively communicate with your software development team? Here are some tips on what you can do to open up communication.
The first thing that you want to do is remember that consistency is key, so make sure that when it comes to team meetings, you have these meetings the same time for the same length every week. When it comes to leading team meetings, make sure that you have an agenda every time. Not only on that agenda you must have what you’re going to talk about; but also put who is responsible for talking about that specific subject.
With this, you are going to set clear expectations and it’s also going to make sure that every member of your offshore software development team is included when it comes to that team meeting so that they feel like they’re actually a part and contributing to the communication of what’s going on.
The second thing that you want to do is be completely transparent when it comes to your communication. Usually for an onsite software development team, if you have a question, you email the team leader who then answers that question.
But for offshore software development team. It is recommended to use technology for collaboration as well, whether it’s Google docs or something like Slack. This would make sure that if you have a centralized location for your team to be able to ask and answer questions, everybody would know about it.
With this, you would not be having little side conversations that can make people feel left out or where you could have misunderstandings because not everybody received the same communication.
When it comes to opening up communication with your offshore software development team make sure that you have guidelines on when technology should be used.
Here you want to make sure that when a situation arises, you are able to reach the team lead or a software developer easily. You should also specify what communication platform is generally acceptable, like Skype, Google Chat, FaceTime.
If it’s just general chit chat, you can reach out to the team through other means like texting. With this, the normal means of communication channels don’t get clogged up. You can really open the lines of communication with your team if you just take the time to plan and put in the consistency that they need to have those clear expectations on when and how you all communicate.
Have a Communication Pattern
You need to set rhythm of communication based on project execution. This is because people can get distracted very easily and lose focus on executing on their work. You can set up communication to either daily, weekly, or a biweekly.
For very sensitive projects, you should not be meeting with people less than once a week. If you end up meeting with people monthly, you just won’t get anything done and they may go in a completely separate direction that you didn’t really intend them to. So make sure that it’s either daily, biweekly, or weekly.
Finally, make sure that in the meeting, you have very clear identifiable goals that everyone needs to meet.
Means of Communication for Offshore Software Development Team
Video is the most important level of communication, followed by audio, chat and email. So if you can always have video chats with your team, then you should do it.
Basically, you should have orientated your team on how to go about communicating with you when need be. It’s really important to make sure that you have levels of communication and how to reach you depending on the situation on ground. For example, email is very slow and video is very fast, so if you need something done quickly and efficiently, video is probably the best way to do it.
Some other communication strategies include:
A good means of communication with an offshore software development team is having a chat room open constantly. An example is a Live chatroom. In situations when you want to have a general meeting, you can talk about anything that you want. This gives your offshore software development team deeper insights into how you expect them to carry out operations, as well as how they should handle deadlines.
Video conferencing technology
This is very critical because video is the most important form of communication that you can have with your remote software development team.
Project Management System
You can set up a project management system and use it. People constantly do not use their project management systems. But it’s very important for remote software development team to make sure documentation is well maintained.
This is because when stuff is in your head, it unfortunately can’t be communicated to the rest of the team. So you need to keep it in comparison to a local organization where you’ll have a lot of general communication that happens. So for communication with your offshore team, you should invest in a project management system and use it religiously.
By keeping above things in mind and following it consistently, it will help you for a successful execution of software development. Feel free to contact us if you need help in building a remote software development team or hiring software developers. We will be happy to help you.