Engaging an offshore software development team can be more cost-effective than recruiting people in-house or outsourcing a project to UK-based consultants. However, it is important to choose a consultancy with a highly skilled and well-managed offshore team that is easy to communicate with. Here are some questions to ask before choosing a consultancy offering offshore software development services.
What qualifications, skills and experience do the software developers have?
You would not hire a software developer in the UK without checking that he or she had all of the relevant qualifications, skills, experience and personal qualities required for the project. In the same way, it is important to find out if the offshore developers you will be working with are suitably qualified and experienced.
How fluent in English are the software developers?
Find out the English language capabilities of the software developers. Each team member needs a high level of fluency in spoken and written English in order to understand guidelines and perform their duties well. You can assess the developers’ fluency in English and their understanding of key aspects of the project when you interview them, either in person or remotely.
Does the consultancy employ native English Speakers who are also fluent in the local language?
It is extremely useful for one or more native English speakers, who are fluent in the local language, to be based in the offshore location. They can then act as a bridge between clients in the UK and the team of offshore developers, explaining anything that the developers find unclear in the local language. This makes it much less likely that miscommunications and misunderstandings will lead to delays and problems in the development of the software.
What is the time difference between the UK and the country where the offshore software developers are based?
If there is a time difference of more than a few hours between the UK and the country where the work will be carried out, there will be delays in communication because developers who have finished their working day won’t respond to emails and other communications until the next working day.
In order to reduce such delays, some offshore software developers work outside standard office hours so that they can communicate directly with their clients in other time zones.
Find out the exact working hours of the software developers you will be working with. Decide whether or not there is sufficient time for communication and collaboration during the hours in which their working day overlaps with the working day in the UK. Alternatively, choose offshore software developers in a time zone that is not very far away, such as Eastern Europe, which has a time difference of just one hour.
Although offshore software development services offer UK companies many advantages, it is important to find out if you will be working with suitably qualified people who will be able complete the project within the agreed time frame. It is also a good idea to ensure that communication between your company and the offshore team will be as fast and as clear as possible. This will help your project to run smoothly and be completed successfully.