10 Best Practices for Setting Up Offshore Development Ceneter (ODC)

by prostir
25 December 2017
10 Best Practices for Setting Up Offshore Development Ceneter (ODC)

Lots of companies now transfer their projects to the ODC model to either save funds or shorten the development time by letting a few offices work on a project around the clock. While, technically, getting a team to work in a remote location is not a hard task for a qualified manager, there are some organizational caveats one should know to avoid problems in the future. All these issues should be covered beforehand to ensure flawless operation of an offshore development center.

Define Your Remote Team’s Philosophy

You should decide for yourself and your new team, whether a new ODC will work on a project alone for sake of lowering development costs or it will augment your on-site team to strengthen it and provide the additional workforce to speed up the project.

Find a Great Vendor for Your New ODC

Vendors provide office space and management, tax and legal issues coverage, and, sometimes, additional project management and HR capabilities. To work with such 3rd parties, you definitely want to watch through their references, ask some questions and read their clients’ reviews and case studies.

Outline Your Organizational Structure

Outline your organizational structure and get the team to know it. As you want to distribute the tasks properly and accordingly to the skills and experience of each team member, so you need to know these people first. Everyone should be aware how and to whom they report and escalate any issues, what are the objectives of the team, etc.

Choose an Engagement Model

Choose an engagement model for your offshore development center. With an Extended Team model, you will treat the ODC as your colleagues, pay them wages monthly and partially manage their issues. With a Fixed Cost model, you will transfer the project totally to your vendor, for them to manage and operate your ODC on their own and manage the delivery to you. With BOT or BOOT models, they will treat your project as theirs and do everything on their own, but after some time of its operation, once the KPIs are good and concession ends, it will be transferred back to you.

Get Your Development Process Sorted Out

What development methodology your team will work with? How long are the sprints? What and how often should they deliver, is it monthly or nightly builds, or a continuous build server? Set the milestones for your product as well.

Choose a Right Project Management Platform

Choose and set up a right project management platform. Set up and integrate your task manager and a tracker, a code repository, an internal knowledge base and other utilities needed for a project. Atlassian products are the industry standard for this, but there are a lot of other great options, like Asana, out there.

Set up Your Infrastructure

Get a direct VPN channel if needed, get your team all required hardware and software, set up servers an so on. After your ODC starts, it should be able to start the actual work right from the beginning.

Communication Channels

Set up your communication channels with the team. It can be Slack, Telegram, or Skype for all the purposes, or different ways of communication for project-related things, issue escalations and internal team communications separately.

Transfer the Development Process

Finally, transfer the development process to your new ODC model. It is better to gradually roll over the responsibilities if it will augment your in-house team or step up in the process for it, but if they will start from scratch, they’re all good to go at once.

Manage Your Team as Usual

Once operational, manage your team as usual. Manage attrition together with the vendor, visit the ODC location, invite the local PM to your own office to keep up them with your project and make sure that they bring your ideology to life correctly.

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