How To Manage An Offshore Development Team

Many businesses choose offshore development because it is cheaper than hiring a local team. However, real cost-effectiveness can’t be achieved without correctly managing your remote contractor. Our friends from Belitsoft have prepared a list of best practices from well-known companies.

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Focus On Hiring The Right Type Of Remote Employee

Founded in 2013, Hubstaff manages a virtual team of 25 employees spread across nine countries and has an income of at least $3M ARR. David Nevogt, Co-Founder of Hubstaff, admits that running a fully remote company is the most significant competitive advantage. However, working remotely allows him to hire the best talent available.

Dave is scrupulous about hiring remote workers. On average, he spends about 25 hours on managing the entire hiring process. He sifts through hundreds of resumes and asks the candidates the same questions that help him identify suitable staff. Above all, Nevogt wants to be sure remote workers assume their responsibilities and make things easier for the business.

Ghost hopes for expanding its fully remote team spread over five continents, composed of 7 nationalities. John O’Nolan, Co-Founder and CEO, gives utmost attention to the candidates. He understands clearly that remote work is not for everyone, so he looks for the self-motivated individuals who need no ongoing monitoring.

The opportunity to hire anyone from anywhere seems excellent, as there is no limit to the international talent pool. He also insists on the importance of trusting your remote workers. Credentialed offshore professionals will definitely help your business grow.

Stay Informed About Day-To-Day Progress

InVision is recognized by Forbes as one of 2016’s Next Billion-Dollar Startups. It is an entirely distributed company with employees in more than 20 countries around the globe. Clark Valberg and Ben Nadel, founders of InVision, consider it necessary to conduct 45-minute virtual meetings every day at the exact same time.

The primary purposes are to share information and help remote teams achieve a high collaborative level. Every InVision department participates in the meeting, during which employees submit their individual progress reports. In other words, each of them answers the following questions:

  • What are you working on now?
  • What are you planning to do?
  • What disrupts your work?

Daily meetings help remote employees feel a part of the team by communicating with colleagues in real-time instead of being left to their own devices.

The 100% distributed team of Chargify spreads out across three continents. One of the most common questions Michael Klett, Co-Founder and CTO of Chargify, gets from people who work in offices is how can he be sure that remote employees are actually working. He is confident that daily reporting helps remote employees determine deadlines and complete the work within the required timescales.

In addition to daily meetings, Michael Klett organizes monthly company-wide video calls and annual meetups to discuss future priorities and goals. He encourages employees to keep a schedule and reach out with questions at any time.

First, it helps remote co-workers know your working hours that allows everyone to collaborate effectively. Secondly, it is better to get reassurance than to work on a project blindly and risk making rookie mistakes.

Groove remote team manages collaboration across 17 cities and earns $10M in annual revenue. Alex Turnbull, Founder, and CEO of Groove have a 15-minute team call every Monday morning. During the virtual conversation, they make sure they are all at the same stage of the project development, define goals and challenges for the coming week.

In addition to that weekly call, Groove teams schedule daily meetings where every teammate shares what they did the day before, what he wants to accomplish today, and what barriers stand in his way. The team stays accountable to each other for making progress every day that allow for moving faster and doing better work.

Use Proven Tools And Platforms To Control Your Offshore Team

Buffer is a company with a fully distributed team worked from multiple countries around the world, whose Monthly Recurring Revenue is $1,31M. Joel Gascoigne, Co-Founder, and CEO of Buffer work with the team on all areas of product, thus developing regulations that support productive virtual collaboration. The Buffer’s team is united by using specific communication tools.

They call HipChat their office and use it for keeping in touch with the team. Trello is a great way to visually organize the personal workflow and collaborate with teammates to keep track of what is getting done. Sqwiggle is used to maintain face-to-face contact and serves as Buffer conference room.

In order to share information among the team and collaborate on documents, Buffer employees run Hackpad. The tool makes it possible to write up meeting notes, work on a new copy, and share the results of any testing they do on the product.

Zapier is an American company that manages 110 employees based around the US and in 13 countries. Zapier went from zero to 1,000,000 users in just five years, with total funding of $1,300,000. Wade Foster, Co-Founder, and CEO of Zapier, strongly believe that correctly selected tools are an essential ingredient for a distributed team.

They enable remote workers to organize their time better and share information about project development. Zapier team members keep connected daily with Slack and HipChat. However, a group chat like Slack creates and improves camaraderie. For project management, they use Trello that also serves to keep track of the editorial calendar and support documentation.

Sometimes remote teams run Skype or Google Hangouts for video conferencing, but when they need to host a group chat with more than ten people, Zoom responds to their needs. Google Docs and Hackpad are used for documentation: the first one is great for sharing spreadsheets with team info and other viral data; the second one is used for internal documentation.

ConverKit team is spread around the globe, counting 30 employees across 23 cities. The company was founded in 2013 in order to develop an email marketing tool for professional bloggers. Nowadays, ConverKit earns $859K/month in revenue.

Nathan Barry, Founder, and CEO of ConverKit consider offshoring a specific kind of software development that requires the use of tools and procedures checked in practice by each employer individually.

ConverKit employees use Slack to communicate via chat and Intercom for messaging throughout the day. Each team has its own channel in addition to company-wide channels. They use Zoom to have quick video conferences standup on a daily and monthly basis. Baremetrics (analytic tool) and Base CRM (CRM software for sales acceleration) complete a set of required tools.

Takeaways

  • Effective managers handpick their remote teams.
  • Regular updates, reports, and meetings improve discipline.
  • Managing an offshore team requires the use of specific tools, but the exact list of them is up to individual preference.

If you are interested in even more technology-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.

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