The results are in! How do decision makers really feel after hiring an offshore development team? Is working with an offshore development team reliable? Do I have to wake up in the middle of the night to work with them? What about language barriers? We recently conducted a poll on Twitter and asked people about their experience using an offshore development team. The results were interesting to say the least.
The following options were given:
THE MAJORITY of people felt offshore development did not go well for them. So why did most people feel let down? In my experience there are two sides to the coin. Managing an offshore development team is a skill and if it’s not something you’re experienced in, how can you expect good results? A company could hire one of the best offshore teams available, but without the proper guidance that a company like Green Mango provides, those teams can easily produce “bad” results.
Commonly when someone contacts us, they think they are looking for a developer when what they really need is much more. They need a complete development consulting experience that an offshore developer is unlikely to provide. The most common reason a software product fails is that they never find a market for their product. That means the first person you need is a product manager, but after that, you need a UI and UX designer. You need a few hours a week from a project manager, you need a software architect, CTO, and developers. You probably need some QA, you need a launch marketing plan, etc.
If you read any of those things and said to yourself, “I don’t do that well,”, or “I don’t know what that is,” then you’re going to need a team that can handle it for you, or you’re going to need to learn quickly and be very optimistic. Working with a development company like ours allows you to gain access to someone who has skills in each of these areas that can help guide your project to success.
In Green Mango’s 10 years of existence, we’ve had numerous opportunities to work with development teams from around the globe. During this time, we were able to build a network of reliable teams that have worked well for us in the past and we also developed a model that honed in on two goals:
Allowing our customers to capture some discount from offshore development, and secondly, ensuring a much higher product success rate than is traditionally seen with offshore development. We do this by being the gatekeeper between the two parties. On the client-side, we make sure the product plan makes sense and is properly communicated to the offshore team. We also explain details of tech that may get lost in translation or may be in general not palatable for a client who is less than a tech expert.
On the offshore side, we provide technical guidance, oversight, and auditing of the offshore work being done. We tend to make the big decisions and hire the right developers to fill very specific project roles. We also add roles such as designers and marketing experts from separate teams as needed. Soliciting feedback from the client is how we make sure they are happy with the results as we go.
One of the benefits of working with an offshore development team is having someone working while you sleep. While this coverage does seem great, it comes with a great challenge. If you don’t know how to communicate the proper details to the offshore team, they may spend a whole day going in the wrong direction while you’re sleeping.
While their hourly rate is lower, so is the value of the work since they were building the wrong thing. This is an example of where people often complain that the offshore team was not competent when really what is happening is that communication from the client to the development team was lacking or poor quality.
None of this information is meant to disparage the hard working developers across the globe. We strongly believe in what we call the “hybrid” development model. This is where offshore development is used when and where it is appropriate. It is not used when it seems risky or dangerous. We believe this is the most efficient development approach, but it requires the right checks and balances in place to make it work. Our specialty is helping companies here in the US achieve that efficiency while keeping their risk low.