The IT industry has seen some major changes over years, Offshore development is one of those. Today terms such as offshoring and outsourcing are pretty much in vogue and businesses. And why not since both of them save time, money and energy significantly. The following post emphasizes on how to manage time zone differences with offshore teams.
All About Offshore Development
What is Offshore development? The term means delegating your project and other tasks to a team of experts located in a different region or maybe the country. And you know what offshore development comes with a wide range of advantages such as:-
- Cost-effective Project
- Access to wide Talent
- Focus on the core competencies
- Managing Teams
- Recruiting at your own Convenience
- Short-term goals can be achieved
- Increased productivity and efficiency
- No employee training required
- Expedite time-to-market
Does the concept of offshore development doesn’t carry any limitations or drawbacks? Of course, it does! And one of the major drawbacks or disadvantages of conducting an offshore development project is time zone difference.
Of course, you are working with a bunch of people who are located very far away. The time-zone gap shouldn’t be ignored at any rate. Ideally what happens is when you are working your offshore team will sleep and when you sleep they will be working. So how to manage the sync? How to establish effective communication? Also, how many companies, especially software development companies, are committed to working during the night just to match the working hours to their end clients? So you see time zone difference is one of the major issues but who says it cannot be managed wisely?
Further below I would like to mention certain ways through which you can manage time zone differences with your offshore team and come up with an intimidating development idea.
How to handle Time Zone Differences with your Offshore Teams?
Surviving in today’s fast-paced world is not easy, especially when there is no time. Every business wants to gain a competitive advantage and that’s the reason why outsourcing software development services is pretty much in vogue. By doing that, businesses can surely focus on core competencies and a plethora of time and energy can be saved. Now, what exactly is this time zone difference?
The world comprises different countries featuring different time zones. For example – in India it is 13th July, 10.25 Am then in Chicago it is 12th July, 11:55 pm, in Australia it is 13th July, 2:56 pm, in Africa it is 13th July 6:57 am and so on! To be precise:
- EST USA – India is around 10 hours ahead
- MT – India is 5 hours ahead
- Mid-East Africa – 2.5 hours ahead
- Australia – 4 hours behind
- Europe – 5 hours ahead
These 5 to 4 hours of delay can result in major management issues and to prevent them from occurring. Here I would like to mention certain tips or strategies to take into account.
Communicate on Daily Basis
The first and foremost thing that needs to be done is to try communicating daily. Having consistent communication between both parties can save lots and lots of time, and energy and avoid relevant misunderstandings. Imagine your employees and clients keep in touch on a regular basis, what would happen? With a strong foundation of trust, a good rapport can be built and in case of any misunderstandings, things can be well taken care of in no time since both the parties have known each other so well. Overall the team strengthens with daily calls and communications permit compliance. Just make a schedule for calls and see how things work out!
Consider Certain Tools and Technologies
Another tip that must be taken into consideration when managing time zone differences is to make use of the best tools and technologies available. I mean you no longer have to do the math all by yourself, let the technology do its job. Some of the best tools such as Timezone.io or world clock meeting planner, and world time buddy can surely help. These tools certainly help in keeping a significant track of local time, enabling you to plan meetings and calls, schedule transnational meetings even in a jiffy, etc.
Follow Agile Methodology
Apart from effective communication and the use of key tools and technologies, what you can do is follow agile methodology. What happens when you do that? You have to conduct scrum meetings on a day to day basis, send relevant logs to management, deploy code, test it as many times as you can, and conduct a discussion when needed.
In today’s times, i.e. post-pandemic, conducting a face-to-face meeting is a very big thing. However, you can certainly fill the void with virtual video meetings. This surely results in building trust and making each other well-aware of the corporate culture.
Apart from time differences, language barriers are the second most important obstacle that must be avoided at any cost. Well, for that you can surely use the general vocabulary. By doing so some of the common errors in context of pronunciation, etiquettes to follow during the conversation can be avoided. Also, chances of miscommunication and misunderstanding becomes way less. Choose precise words and crisp statements.
Flexibility is the Key
Lastly, the best way to handle time zone differences with offshore teams is to incorporate flexibility. I mean you are working with a different bunch of people. They can’t just turn up at your service whenever needed for an instant chat or queries-related chat. Try scheduling meetings at relevant intervals irrespective of their present location.
Be flexible with your approach, they are humans and not machines who are bound to follow your command right away.
Of course, Time zone difference is one of the major drawbacks faced among businesses when hiring an offshore development company. But by following or considering the aforementioned strategies, the drawback can be certainly managed in the right manner. All you have to do is look out for a reliable offshore development company that works in its best interest. Good luck with your future endeavors. Hope you enjoyed reading the post and if you did, feel free to share it with your peers.