Communication with your Nearshore Development Team

Gimena Aguerreberry
April 2, 2021

The main reasons a business outsource software product development are to reduce costs and improve service. Nearshore software development outsourcing is so common in tech, that almost 60% of companies with a mobile app outsource their development.

Communication with your nearshore dev team is crucial, and while this is much less of a problem when you outsource to a nearshore software development company that will have similar time zones and speak your language on a daily basis, is still worth paying attention to.

Poor communication is never good, but it becomes more damaging when the nearshore team employs highly-iterative development methodologies such as Agile.

In Sophilabs, we’ve been doing nearshore development for almost a decade now, so we have some tips to share on how to keep communication open and smooth with remote clients and teams.

In this article, we’ll talk about why communication is so important and give you some actionable tips on how to solve miscommunication during your project outsourcing.

Communication Tools

When your team is agile, then you are flexible to quickly adapt to changes and you’re not strictly tied to a certain framework. But that doesn’t mean not having a plan.

Every project should start with a plan that includes a framework for all the actions the team members will have to take. Software engineers will have to make a lot of decisions, and they will have questions on the way.

A good project manager must be as available as possible.

Using collaboration tools like Jira or Trello, where the entire team can see what their colleagues are working on, (adding tasks, resources and important information) is a great way to improve dev team communication. A clear set of rules will allow no confusion improving the work environment.

Here in Sophilabs, we use Slack as one of your core tools for communication with all team members.

Asana is also a good task management tool, while you can use Calendly to schedule meetings and know when everyone is available.

Having a clear guideline on how, when, and which communication tools team members use is important.

If project notifications are constantly sent via instant messaging, not only it will be distracting, but important information will be lost in long threads.

If you are not using tools that allow you to store information accessible to everyone (like Google Drive), then emails are excellent, while scheduled calls can be used in brainstorming and exchanging new ideas.

As a nearshore outsourcing partner, our time zone will overlap with those in the United States, making communication much easier.

Offshore development teams will require you to make big adjustments to your working hours in order to communicate. Poor communication leads to errors and misjudgments.

Clearly, the overlapping time zones and geographical proximity make it easy to reach out when clarification on an issue is needed. But it’s also a great idea to identify the best time in the day where a quick heads-together can happen.

Sometimes during the development process, there will be issues that need urgent attention, but regular contact keeps us all on the same page, and therefore is equally important for team building.

Encouraging meaningful connections

Remote teams don’t have the opportunity of bonding over lunch breaks. Instead, companies need to think up some creative ways to connect, inspire, and motivate team members.

Here, at Sophilabs our teams periodically have meetings where they can share work-related inspirational stories, or software development project solutions they found while working with our clients.

While communication between in-house managers and the nearshoring company is vital, it is also imperative that team members from both companies who are involved in the same project can communicate with each other.

It is not just the bosses who need to understand each other, but also your team members and the nearshore development team. After all, their work directly affects each other. Establishing meaningful connections with everyone working on the project will lead to a truly integrated team.

In offshore software development, this is a little bit trickier, as we mentioned earlier because time zone restrictions will make it difficult to communicate as much as you need.

Choosing a nearshore partner is about teaming up with someone who is more than merely a vendor doing business with you. It’s good practice to spend time getting to know the outsourcing team with whom you will be working.

Process Alignment

Quality work comes from clear processes. A source of discontent between clients and outsourcing companies involves how and why virtual teams deliver work products in a certain way.

You should always have a clear understanding of the methodologies, processes, and work methods that your nearshore software development team will be using.

High-quality teams will adapt their work deliverables to the clients’ needs, within reason. However, it always helps if managers are open to understanding and learning the process used by virtual teams.

While working on outsourced software development projects, clients and service providers should clearly understand the other party’s perspective or why something is being done.

Development outsourcing has already been proven successful, but you have to make sure that the model is implemented in an efficient manner.

Nearshore development will be successful if both parties are proactive to ensure they will be in constant communication with each other. Sustained communication helps improve productivity, efficiency, and most importantly, allows team members to work alongside each other to achieve a common goal no matter what part of the world they are located.

We are sophilabs

A software design and development agency that helps companies build and grow products by delivering high-quality software through agile practices and perfectionist teams.

"Communication with your Nearshore Development Team" by Gimena Aguerreberry is licensed under CC BY SA. Source code examples are licensed under MIT.

Photo by Zan.

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