How to Build Successful Offshore Software Development Teams for Your Business?

Offshore Software Development Teams

The software development process is complex and time-consuming. Having a good idea for a software product is only a part of success. You need to have somebody who is will develop this product for you – you need a software development team. And that in fact occurs to be the hardest part of the whole process.

Your own software development team vs software house.

The first question you might ask yourself is whether to outsource your project to a software agency (software house) instead of taking the effort to build your own development team. This first solution would be perfect – but not for long and complex projects, when you would prefer to have your own, dedicated team focused only on your product, maintenance and scaling. Software house is also a much more expensive option in a long run. Besides finding a really good one might be also challenging task.

The bottom line here is that the software development teams guarantee you more stability, independace, ang in general better understanding of the product and scalability options for the future.

Understanding software development success factors.

Before jumping into more specifics software development team topic it is worth consider some core principles that have a major influence on your software team and the success of your software product.

The below catalog of good practices should be much wider and deeper – but these are some fundamentals of the software development process that we think gurantee the project success.

offshore development teams

1) Customer centricity in the center of the product

The best approach to increase your chances of success is to make sure you’re designing and developing for your intended customers. This is why it’s so important to comprehend your user’s demands throughout the process. You may establish what solutions your product offers to your target audience when you produce a statement that focuses on value creation. For example the value for an adult women audience will value other arguments than narrow group of male golf players in Miami.

Consider which phase of your project you want to implement user testing. It is very important not to lose value for your cutomers during development. You can use different methodologies depending on where you want valuable user feedback. Conducting user testing before you design can determine whether you have an adequate user interface while conducting it post-build can compare your product to competitors. Make sure that you prepare your participants and testing zone to achieve accurate results.

2) Set up clear product roadmap for your offshore development team

It is critical to create a product roadmap that outlines a strategic plan and emphasizes each product development stage. Make sure you’re detailed and explicit in describing the needs of your team to help you achieve your ultimate objective. Create a value-driven statement before diving into the software development life cycle.

3) Prepare a development plan aligned with product roadmap

The success of a project is dependent on careful planning. Everyone must know their role in the project so that it may be successful. You should figure out the project strategy and approach before you start working to get to your goal. Frankly speaking you are the Project Owner and your development team should take the direction from you. Take some time to analyze which development tools you’ll use throughout the process, as well as the technical architecture that will support your offshore development team.

software product roadmap

Here are some basics to conduct with your software development team:
– Sprint plans with clear milestones
– Application framework talks
– Code reviews
– Automated testing
– Bug and task tracking-

4) Focus on experienced software developers

Well, it is all about quality vs quantity. Hiring competent developers speed up the development process and simply helps to avoid many mistakes. A good strategy would be hiring experienced professionals and building the rest team around them to learn. The additional expense of senior developers will undoubtedly be greater, but it will save you time and money in the long run.

5) Implement effective project management

To avoid scope creep and additional expenditures, all participants in the project must sign off on a set of deliverables and acceptance criteria. A formal contract between your business and the software development team is an excellent method to clarify expectations and eliminate any ambiguity.

The modern trands favours team that practices agile project management, which uses an iterative approach to software development. Set clear milestones with hard deadlines to ensure that your project keeps moving ahead.

The software design and development company should have weekly, internal standup meetings where they discuss what was completed, what will be completed next, and if there are any obstacles hindering their progress.

6) Don’t forget about proper risk management

We’ve all had to face it. Things frequently go wrong, so you’d be well-advised to attempt as gracefully as possible. Create a plan that helps you effectively communicate and manage risks. Also, it’s important to focus on the issue at hand and not pass the blame to another party, as this can lead to further issues down the road. If there is a problem with your project, make sure you determine what went wrong and how it will be fixed.

CostAccounting_1000x

7) Practice a clear, transparent communication

There are a lot of studies showing that this factor is actually underestimated in the majority of the project (also non-software projects). Clear communication is critical at the onset of a project. As a client, you should clearly communicate your product requirements and vision for your product. Communicating your needs ensures that the development team builds exactly what you ask for. Document your scope of work to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Clear communication will increase your chances of creating a successful software project.

The backbone of a successful software project is a clear and consistent agreement, which helps to avoid confusion, delays, and mistakes down the road. Communication plays an important role at every stage of the process. There should be a specific communication channel (i.e. Slack, Skype, Email, etc.) supporting team’s communication needs (understanding concerns, achievements, goals, indicators, etc.).

8) Don’t sacrifice the design and user experience

The design phase is extremely important. Some say it actually never ends and evolves during the project lifecycle. UX designers should create a detailed design document that specifies the techniques and tools that support your product goals. The whole development team should then review the document to correct technical changes. The design is the blueprint for what is going to be built. It may take a few test runs to find the right design. This is why it’s important to have testing and improvement phases throughout the development process. You should have an excellent team of UX designers that prioritize the user experience. They’ll need to have some technical tools such as wireframing and prototyping tools for user flow mock-ups.

Wireframes and visual compositions are critical for your project’s objective. To create a software project such as a website or a mobile app, you’ll need to begin by creating wireframes that show picture representations of information and features. Wireframes are valuable as they help you visualize a general layout of your website or app. They are also used to define specifications and obtain approval from clients. Wireframes can supplement visual comps as these mockups go a step further to provide a visual representation of your product. Other diagrams that provide value to your project process are flowcharts which help define the workflows by providing clear visual models of what a programmer will code.

9) Secure the sufficient budget

It sounds very obvious, right? Unfortunately, the studies show that many software development projects have been overoptimistic when it comes to cost and timeframe. Your budget should consider at least a 20% annual reserve for unexpected delays, obstacles or HR issues, etc.

10) Conduct constant and post-release review with the software development team

This is all about the team development process. Your team members should always hear the true feedback after every feature, iteration release. This creates a much better understanding of the project and helps to mitigate the bigger mistakes. The offshore development teams are not easy to manage (not easier than the internal, local team) and that is why post-development retrospectives have even more impact on the whole process.This is all about the team development process. Your team members should always hear the true feedback after every feature, iteration release. This creates a much better understanding of the project and helps to mitigate the bigger mistakes. The offshore development teams are not easy to manage (not easier than the internal, local team) and that is why post-development retrospectives have even more impact on the whole process.

Your software development team structure.

Once you have decided to build your own team, it’s time to think about how many people will work on your product. In general software development team is composed of 5-20 developers, lead analysts, and a project manager, however, there is no exact size – it really depends on your project and development process.

Let’s now describe the main software development team’s roles and their duties:

software development teams structure

1) Project Manager / Product Manager – this person will work with project stakeholders to define the product requirements and prioritize them. He/she should also be responsible for the deadlines, the development process, and product quality.
2) Lead Analyst / Business Analyst – this person is responsible for defining business requirements, conducting interviews with stakeholders and users, analyzing market trends, etc… While he could be also an offshore team member, it’s better to hire an offshore lead analyst only in case you need offshore team members.
3) Software Developer – this is the role that requires offshore skills the most. The development process takes much time and requires collaboration between front-end and back-end software developers, analysts, and lead developers.
4) Lead Developer / Architect – offshore team requires offshore Lead developers or Architects if they cooperate with offshore software development teams that don’t have strong experience in the business domain testers – you might need up to 5-10 testers for each team member you hire in the software development team.
5) DevOps Engineer (Agile teams) – an important role in the intersection of IT operations and software development – understanding much of what it takes to maintain and scale IT infrastructure while also being able to write code and deploy new services. DevOps-minded teams not only create services – but also maintain them. A DevOps structure forces teams to take accountability for their applications and infrastructure instead of allowing developers to throw code over the proverbial wall to IT operations. DevOps continues to grow and change with the implementation of Scrum and Agile in the development process alongside the continuous improvement of communication and workflow visibility.
6) UI/UX Designer – this role is an absolute must-have. UI designers that work closely with front-end developers, business analysts, and lead developers to define project look & feel. The customer experience is the key to product success so it can’t be a subject of a trade-off for speed or other tasks.
7) Tester – it is crucial to have at least one tester on board to conduct research every time the new feature, iteration is introduced. Many companies hire testers after the final product is deployed and the possibility to change something is limited. That is a mistake. Testers should work with the whole software development team and have strong, independent positions.

The software development team structure would be also determined by your current needs and the deadlines. The best option is to scale it based on the real needs rather than on an excel spreadsheet.

The global software developers shortage

The first and the most obvious way to build a software development team is simply to hire skilled software developers from the local area. Sounds great, does it? Unfortunately, if your company is located in a high-developed country you will face severe competition for every talent you’d wish to hire. Even, if you’ll decide to pay more than others – there is no guarantee you’ll find the people on time or find them at all.

The shortage of software developers is a fact, and it is not “transitory’ like some say about inflation. According to U.S. Labor statistics, as of December 2020, the global talent shortage amounted to 40 million skilled workers worldwide. By 2030, the global talent shortage is expected to reach 85.2 million. Сompanies worldwide risk losing $8.4 trillion in revenue because of the lack of skilled talent. The reality, though, is more complicated than just a shortage of developers – this starts to become a real threat to the economy of each developed country.

The rise of software development outsourcing services.

The shortage of software developers in developed countries has created a huge demand for immigrant workforce and outsourcing solutions. Companies around the world are trying to migrate their software development teams to countries with more human potential. The whole IT outsourcing market is projected to grow globally from $74 billion in 2014 to over $221 billion by 2024.

How to build a software development team in an offshore / nearshore location?

The most obvious way would be just to set up a local subsidiary and start the recruitment process with your local HR team. However this startegy requires some time and time is a very valuable asset in modern business. However there are companies that prefer this solution due to security and brand reputation reasons, we can definetely recommend more agile ones:

1) Building offshore software development team with traditional staffing companies.
This option allows building a software development team with a help of local HR, outsourcing agencies. You are still pretty much involved in the process and fully responsible for the team-building activities. Local recruitment providers usually focus on delivering candidates based on the information provided by the client. You must bear in mind that HR agencies are definitely not experts when it comes to software engineering and tech skills assessment. They are also missing knowledge regarding software processes and skills required for the team, project management. All these factors could cause some issues when creating your perfect software development team structure. The bottom line here is that this offshore software team development model may be risky unless you’ll be 100% engaged and dedicated or hire a local IT Manager who will work with agencies to deliver the final outcome.

2) Building an offshore software development team with offshore software companies.
Another offshore software development team-building method is to cooperate with professional, local offshore vendors. Unlike traditional staffing agencies, these companies offer offshore development services as their core business, so they can help you how to structurize, recruit, manage and scale your future software development team. This option offers is a very interesting one due to business factors. Local IT partner provides you with expertise and resources from the first day of cooperation. The whole setup phase is much faster and less risky for the client. The level of efficiency and quality is also much higher due to advanced specialization only in this field.

3) Building a distributed, remote software development team.
Yet another option for building a product development team is to hire freelance professionals and manage them remotely. This approach however requires a lot of micromanagement and communication activities from your side (different time zones, different cultures, etc.). Remote, distributed teams are practiced especially in a startup environment, where we experience shorter, less complex, nootstrap projects. This option could be considered rather as a team extension when we can’t find specific skills even in chosen oofshore / nearshore location.

Create a Software Development Team with NxTide

Over our 7-year company activity we have helped many US and EU companies to successfully build Software Development Teams and Software Development Centers in a variety of locations in Poland.
Interested? – Let’s discuss your case on a call.
Marcin Dziedzic, CEO of Pragmatic Coders and NxTide.

Choosing the best location for your offshore software development team.

Historically, the main location for outsourcing was Asia with its market leaders like India, China, and the Philippines. By now software development has been dispersed all over the world with software developers working in more than 65 countries worldwide. The new regions that have gained more importance and strong reputation are:

Central & Eastern Europe – a region that stands out defined by a high concentration of software labs and R&D centers along the west coast of the Black Sea from Romania through Bulgaria, an amazingly good education system providing good education at reasonable prices combined with low cost of living. As it turns out, Poland is also one of the most significant locations with nearly 800 outsourcing companies operating with global clients.

South America and Mexico – a region with large metropolises and software development hubs is not a surprise since they certainly can provide software developers fast and at quite competitive rates. We must indicate that there are significant differences between the various locations in Asia, South America and Eastern European countries. Some of them offer more consistent delivery times and software quality, some of them are focusing more on lower rates.

Kraków

Over 0,8M population, 13% of total IT Engineers supply

nearshore software development team

Warsaw

Over 1,8M population, 24% of total IT Engineers supply

Wrocław

Over 0,7M population, 12% of total IT Engineers supply

Katowice

Over 1,8M population, 9% of total IT Engineers supply

Poznań

Over 0,7M population, 8% of total IT Engineers supply

Łódź

Over 0,7M population, 7% of total IT Engineers supply

Gdańsk

Over 0,6M population, 6% of total IT Engineers supply

Bydgoszcz

Over 0,5M population, 4% of total IT Engineers supply

The attractiveness of the CEE region
It’s surprising that the CEE countries’ potential for software development and IT outsourcing is so often underestimated. The total number of software developers in the region is estimated to reach over 2 mln in 2020. This factor makes it a much more attractive IT nearshoring /offshoring destination for Western European and US companies. Furthermore, CEE countries are focused on developing new financing schemes to encourage investment in R&D, including innovative technology companies; promoting their economies as favorable locations with skilled IT professionals; providing incentives such as tax deductions; and developing technologies that lower business costs, including R&D outsourcing.

The software developers’ talent pool in Poland.
When it comes to numbers and the estimated potential, Poland offers the tenth-largest talent pool in the world. The country is home to 584,000 offshore software developers (a variety of programming languages), of which nearly 60% are working in the IT services industry (software houses, BPO centers. Offshore Development Centers, etc.). Poland’s software development sector is growing rapidly; the number of software developers in the country increased by 16% between 2018 and 2020. This growth is expected to continue, with the number of software developers reaching 663,000 by 2022 (without migration). These numbers indicate that creating dreamed software development team structure won’t be any problem at all.

How to find a reliable offshore software development team vendor?

There are many companies offering offshore or nearshore software teams, but only those experienced can guarantee the speed, quality and full transparency. Your partner should be strong when it comes to IT / software skills, business approach and human resources capabilities.
Here are several crutial steps you could consider in your research process:
1) look at the company’s experience and specialization (HR agency is not a technological partner)
2) analyze Management bio, background (look for IT skills, experience in managing large offshore / nearshore projects)
3) analyze some customers testimonials and ask for the contact to one of them – double-check the vendor’s company financial records 4) analyze the Project Team that will work for your project (is it large enough to handle the complex operations?)
5) conduct interviews and discuss your KPI’s with the Management of every IT partner (make sure that they will follow the plan)

About Us:
NxTide is a specialized company focusing on building local, Software Development Teams or larger Software Development Centers in major cities in Poland. We take care of all recruitment and quality control processes making it faster and more cost-effective for you. Here is some more information about our expertise: – Over 7 years experience in creating a variety of software development teams – Over 60 teams and 300 engineers successfully hired and deployed – Several dedicated HR and IT Project Management Teams acting on your behalf.

Please take a closer look at a dedicated and flexible offer we have prepared based on market needs:
1) Software Development Teams: dedicated to clients looking to expand their software development teams or create small remote teams from scratch.
2) Nearshore /
Offshore Development Center: dedicated to larger and permanent projects. We’ve implemented the innovative Build Operate Transfer model to make the whole process faster, more efficient, and transparent. Please read more about us here: https://nxtide.com/about-us/

IT Outsourcing, Offshoring & Nearshoring in Poland

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