Hundreds of companies these days hire .Net developers offshore. Rates that are often twice lower and a sufficient level of expertise - a remote .Net developer sounds like the optimal solution. The problem with offshore .Net development though is that it’s even more difficult to manage a project than when you work with in-house .Net coders. Communication difficulties, differences in mentality - these can be real challenges for a project supervisor. But, as you probably know, a successful project is a well-managed project, so let’s figure out how to manage your remote .Net coders team to get the most of them.
Mentality and culture influence the work process more than you think. As a manager, you should understand how your .Net coders are different from you and people in your country. Is your tone considered acceptable in their community? Are you sure your humor does not sound offensive to them? Are they motivated and inspired by the same things that motivate you? When you understand these peculiarities, communication and cooperation will become smoother.
When you’re away from the team you are managing, it’s difficult to be an actual leader of it. Plus, trying to receive updates from every team member will only cause miscommunication and confusion. That’s why the offshore team needs a co-located leader, who will be your primary point of contact. Normally you identify the strongest and most experienced developer as the team leader, so this person will direct the development process as well as handle organizational issues. Also, make sure the leader you assign has sufficient English skills, especially if the rest of the team are not fluent English speakers.
There are dozens of channels to communicate with your remote Net coders, and it’s important to find the right combination of written and verbal communication. Chats and emails can be misinterpreted, since you don’t see the face expression or hear the tone of voice. On the other hand, a phone conversation or a video conference can also be tricky. You may have a problem with the accents or the quality of connection, plus it is difficult to memorize everything that was said during a two hours-long conference call. So try to combine writing and speaking to deliver your message clearly: for example, send out a follow-up email with the key points of the video conference you just had.
A lot of things are lost in emails, instant messages, and even phone conversations. Face-to-face communication helps to discuss the problems more effectively, and a personal acquaintance lets you create a better connection. So make an effort to visit your team from time to time and try to build a friendly relationship with them.
You may hire .Net developers who are the best experts in the field, but if the management is poor, they won’t show the results they are capable of. With offshore .Net development, you as a manager play an even bigger part in the ultimate success of your project!
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