While working with an outsourcing partner in an offshore location with different time zone, attracts key challenge of close co-ordination between teams for smoother project execution. You may not need to stretch extra hours or have sleepless nights for co-ordinations with your offshore team if you have set specific protocols and make it a practice within your onsite as well as offshore team.
Such better practices and processes will help your dream come true to have “round-the-clock” development activities and gain speed on project completion.
If you’re considering outsourcing your project and wondering about time zone differences, we have listed proven ways to make outsourcing be a great decision for your business.
Ways to Overcome Time Zone Differences
These are common guidelines which will help you in defining protocols between your offshore teams and onsite teams regardless of business engagements with the offshore vendor.
Any communication should be done through established channels. This will encourage the recipient to grab the message. While communicating with teams, keep single email id or use tools like GoToMeeting, Skype etc.
Single Point of Contact
Have a single point of contact from your own team and ask for the same from your offshore team as more people, more communication gaps and more confusion.
Fix a Daily / Weekly Meetings
There will always be overlapping timings to have daily quick updates however to get the best use of everyone’s time, pre-decide day(s) of the week & time for conference calls at every alternate day or once in a week depending upon the project lifecycle. The development methodology and phase of the project ideally defines frequency of the communications. Have a glance to the following infographic which showcases some alternatives to co-ordinate.
Project Management Tools
To have complete transparency over project, use mutually convenient common task assignments and project management tools (Redmine, GitHub etc). Having the tool will not solve the problem, you’ll have to ensure both the teams strictly use the same tool for task assignment instead of giving tasks over emails / skype.
Common Source Code Repositories
In scenarios where onsite & offshore teams working on same project, its essential to have common source code & version control system to ensure each team member work on latest source code. You MUST ensure each team member finishes his work with proper commenting at the end of the day.
Intelligent Task Assignments
The onsite project manager should take some extra care while assigning tasks to offshore team keeping in mind the dependency of onsite team. As much as possible avoid dependent tasks assigning so as you do not see waiting period by any team member.
Project Progress Reports
Although, you have detailed idea about the status of various tasks from the project management systems, it’s essential you set a comprehensive reporting structure which includes – overall project progress status, completed tasks, planning of next set of tasks, project risks, etc.
Minutes of Meetings & Recordings
You need to ensure teams do prepare MOM with specific items discussed, conclusions made, and action items. Those meetings should be recorded and put it up in the centralized project portal to access it anytime.
Local Holidays List
You must have a clear-cut idea about local holidays of your offshore team to avoid any last minute dependencies.
Have Emergency Numbers
You must be having emergency numbers of your offshore team so as in time of emergency they can also be available during short notice depending on your defined SLA with them.
Time zone differences offer opportunities and cost simultaneously. It is a problem when it causes delay. It can be a great opportunity when it’s been used to reduce costs, shorten time to completion and leading to earning competitive advantage. As technology advancement has driven companies into tighter global networks, companies are bound to think about time zones differences in new ways.
Having a team of dedicated and expert technology professionals, we are committed to provide you satisfactory IT outsourcing services experience. We @Radixweb leverage structural approach for process orientation to reduce outsourcing risks of our clients and help them drive business effectiveness.