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Onshore, Offshore, No Shore


I have thought of writing this blog after listening to many people who have started making their mind set that offshore development doesn’t work. This really hurts after working in this industry for almost 2 decades and delivering many programmes successfully.

So what is it? Why people say it doesn’t work? Is it their own capability? Or its just their clear ignorance that they don’t want to work in that model?

Let me try to answer in a shortest possible way.

With the latest technologies of video conferencing, other much improved communication channels, cloud environments, smart tool sets, I believe the word ‘Offshore’ should be removed completely. We are in the world where people can work from any location, any time zone, any shore, which gives a new word called ‘No shore’.

Lets pick up an example of working in UK. More and more companies are pushing to work from home, teams are distributed in various locations as skill sets are not easy to find at one location. Then how does it matter, if your extended team is sitting in North America, South America, Africa or Asia Pacific? Doesn’t it give more opportunity or capability while following the sun model? Yes, it does. Will it have challenges, yes. Every delivery has challenges, but if you assemble your teams in the right order, based on capability rather than just people count, use the right tools of communication, will you believe that it will give you top notch capability of 24X7 delivery model.

Here below are some fundamental issues, people think in this model, but we should use them for our advantage rather than disadvantage;

  1. Culture can create communication issues, but think in a way that it will become strength if we respect every one equal, give every location to decide how they want to work rather than pushing. We should only believe in outcomes

  2. Increase the value of informal communication within teams, get to know each other well (I liked the model of having a screen setup and connected on skype all the time, so all teams are connected always)

  3. Things can be lost in translation, but not when you do daily stand ups, define communication channel and stick to that

  4. Define clear role and responsibilities in every location and emphasis on team work

  5. Keep the teams nimble and don’t let them become too big in one location else you have unnecessary overhead cost

  6. Final point, which is the most important, its all about relationships and people. If you have right capable people and you can develop the strong relationships with them, they will make the technology work

I hope this small blog has given you some food for thought and help you change your mindset. It’s a new world of no shore and let’s make it work. It’s the true globalisation, everyone has to get the benefit out of it.

- UDcian