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4 Tips On Managing Offshore PHP Developers

By admin July 1, 2015
Blog, Web Development 0

With the world being more interconnected than ever before and distance no longer being a determining factor, it has become much easier to work with an offshore web development company compared to 10 years ago. Before, only multi-national companies as well as large organizations were reaping the benefits that offshore software development provides but that has now completely changed. Earlier these organizations were setting up local offices in countries such as India and the Philippines to tap into the hugely cost-effective and talented workforce. Today, with the advent of technology and communication mediums such as Skype, Gtalk, WhatsApp and many more, communication is not only easy but free to use. The benefits of offshore web development are many from the cost savings to the time that is saved to the hiring headaches that are avoided which make it clear that it makes sense to hire dedicated PHP developers. Working with an offshore team is very beneficial from a financial standpoint but can also be tricky if you have never done it before and you don’t know what you are doing. If you take the necessary precautions, are diligent with who you choose and follow some simple advice, it can be much easier than you ever imagined. Below, we will discuss 4 tips when managing your offshore PHP developers whether it be on a project basis, full-time basis or even a part-time basis:

Communication, Communication & Communication – Like any relationship, business or even personal, communication is the glue that holds it all together. If you are working with an offshore PHP team, then this is very much critical to ensure the success of your project. First, before you begin your project, you need to ensure that you have a medium of communication that the offshore PHP development team is comfortable with whatever that communication medium may be. For example, if they are happy to use Skype then have a recurring meeting set in Skype with the account management/development team that is working on your project on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, depending on what you feel comfortable with. Ensure that you have clearly laid out points that you will discuss such as an agenda before you start your meeting as well as an MOM (Minutes of the Meeting) so everyone knows the outcome of your weekly meeting along with action points. You can also use multiple screen sharing software’s that are widely available such as join.me or GoToMeeting if need be as well. Again, the most important thing is that you are clear with the amount of communication as well as the type of communication that will take place when your hire dedicated PHP developers to work with. If you have this clearly laid out for all parties, it will avoid many of the most common headaches or problems that occur since your communication will be consistent/clear.

Clearly Laid Out Objectives – One of the biggest mistakes when it comes to running a project is unclear objectives and deliverables. You need to ensure that you are laying out clear objectives and a gameplan of what needs to be delivered on what specific date. Ideally, the offshore web development company in India you are working with or any other country for that matter should have a clear gameplan in place before they begin the project which they should share with you. This should also be signed off by both parties so that everyone is held accountable for their ends of the deal. The more clear your objectives and goals are, the better it is as you will be able to hold them accountable and vice versa. Lastly, if something is delayed, then you should have a risk-assessment plan in place so that they are no problems in your project. The more clear your objectives and the more things you have in place to mitigate the risk, the better off you will be.

Timelines & Deliverables – As earlier mentioned, clear objectives need to be in place to achieve the desired timelines and deliverables for your project. For example, you should have a contingency plan in place if something goes wrong and if you are looking for a project to be completed within 120 days, you should tell them that you need it in 90 days so that you have a buffer in place for any unexpected surprises, delays or changes which happen in many projects. Expect the unexpected and be prepared for them in advance so that your business does not suffer. The key is to always keep at least a 20% to 30% buffer in place for any variance so that in case there is a delay or a project scope change, your project is still delivered within your desired timeframe as well as it doesn’t cause you major headaches. In addition, you need to have clearly laid out deliverables of what you expect and on which specific date and a backup plan in place should something go wrong. Working with an offshore PHP development company can be a very lucrative opportunity but due to the distance, it needs to be carefully managed from day one rather than chasing things later on due to procrastination from either parties. The more clear your deliverables and timelines, the better it is for yourself and the dedicated offshore PHP development team you work with. Ideally, this should all be clearly laid out in writing for all parties so everyone knows what they need to deliver, when they need to deliver it, what quality is expected and most importantly the parameters at which the project will be gauged on.

Incentives & Transparency – Another thing that has worked in the past with offshore development projects is to incentivize the team that you are working with. For example, if you have a deadline of 90 days and the team meets this specific deadline, tie a bonus into the project that the offshore web development company will get if they hit this deadline. On the other hand, tie a penalty into the project if something is not delivered correctly or to the level that has been mutually agreed on. Obviously, ensure that this bonus is tied into the performance/complete testing of your project so that they deliver you high quality work versus a faulty project just to get a bonus. You would be surprised how much better your project will run in some cases if you incentivize and come up with smart or unique ideas when it comes to working with the dedicated PHP developers you are engaging with. In addition, when working with an offshore PHP development company, transparency is absolutely essential. You need to be fully sure and clear of what you are looking to get so that they are no confusions from both a companies perspective that is getting the work done as well as the offshore development company you are working with. Ideally, everything should be clearly laid out in writing before you begin your project so that managing the offshore PHP development team is easier. If you have clearly laid out expectations, are transparent with what you need and are clear with the deliverables/timelines you expect, this will minimize majority of the problems that occur when working with an offshore partner.

Summary
Working with an offshore PHP development company that allows you to hire a dedicated PHP developer or multiple PHP developers or even on a project basis can be a very lucrative business proposition if executed correctly. It is absolutely essential that you are interviewing and speaking to the multiple stakeholders that will be handling your project so everything is clear from day one. This allows you as a business owner or an organization to avoid any surprises or confusions which most commonly occur. It’s no surprise why so many Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and multi-national organizations rely on the offshore web development business model to help them reach their business goals. Granted, they are stories that everyone has heard when it comes to offshore development centers but clearly the offshore business model is still being used by companies of all sizes. The key is to find an experienced, trusted and reliable offshore company that knows what they are doing as this can truly be the difference between success and failure. If you undertake the necessary due diligence and are clear/careful when managing the offshore team that you choose to work with, it can truly be a match made in heaven. All you need to do is have careful planning in place and tick all the boxes from a diligence/management perspective to avoid many of the most common mishaps or mistakes that take place. If you are looking for a reliable, trusted and experienced offshore PHP development company that you can work with, please feel free to reach out to the team at Mind Digital for any of your development or digital marketing needs you have.

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