Some clients hesitate to work with outsourced software development companies due to the time zone shift which can be up to 12+ hours.
However, this shift can actually bring benefit to the project and even be more preferable than simultaneous work. Let’s see why.
A brief overview of the software development process
First, we need to see the average process of working on a software development project. As an example, we will take a US client and a Belorussian development company.
Let’s say that the client is choosing a company that he’d like to work with. The client either leaves an email or calls to get in touch with the company’s representatives.
At this stage, the company would normally adjust to the client’s time zone. And even after drafting the project vision and requirements, both the client and the company would negotiate on the best time to hold meetings to discuss the project.
During the stage of project discussion, there is one very important thing to do – negotiate on communication, including its type, frequency, responsible people, etc.
Communication is vital for an efficient software development project since the clarity of requirements and the quality of results depend on it. So before getting down to work, the client and the company should do the following:
- decide how often the meetings will be held;
- decide who will be holding the meetings;
- decide what kind of updates the client will receive;
- decide on means of communication for different occasions (Trello, Skype, Slack);
- decide how to communicate in case of urgencies.
Once everything is discussed, the team will start working on the project. And this is where the time zone shift will play to the project advantage.
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The benefits of the time zone shift
The regularly scheduled meetings with the client will most probably happen during the time zone overlap in order to check the status, discuss, ask questions, and clarify project requirements. But what if there are questions that cannot be answered immediately?
Here are the advantages of working with an outsourced company in different time zones.
24/7 work process
Here we are sharing a bit of our own experience.
We’ve noticed that if we tune the communication process, work on the project will be going in 24/7 mode. By that we mean, the developers write code when the client is sleeping. The client, in turn, writes feedback and reviews results when the developers rest. As a result, there’s no ‘sitting and waiting’ both sides are happy and satisfied and this brings benefit to the project.
So one can say that outsourced development implies 24/7 work on the project because as soon as the client ends his working day, the team is ready to work on his reviews – and the actions repeat until the project is ready.
Surprising, but true: work within a time zone shift can result in a better quality of communication (on condition that you’ve set up all the processes).
Just think about that. If you know you cannot just call your client or meet him and you will have limited time to discuss the project, you will do an excellent preparation for the upcoming meeting. Your documentation will be written in detail and you will think about the meeting plan in advance.
And if the client and the project are in the same city or country, communication may not be that organized. Because both sides know that they can contact each other at any time, they may not pay so much attention to preparing reports and getting ready for the meetings.
Stress-free work process
The actual development process will most probably happen when the client is fast asleep and this ensures a stress-free working environment for the developers. Instead of getting distracted by the comments, the developers will 100% focus on the task and its completion.
So what benefits does it bring for a client? We’ll answer - a lot!
- More focus on work from the developers’ side.
- Better quality of work because the developers will aim for the result.
- More creative approach due to the lack of stress.
A few tips on establishing stellar communication
Here is what the client and the company can do in order to improve their communication process and ensure the development project goes smoothly:
- determine the time zone overlap hours to see when is the best time for the meetings;
- assign a responsible person on the role of Project Manager;
- negotiate on the project monitoring process;
- discuss the format of the reports in advance.
Work with an outsourced development company has numerous benefits, from flexible development to a wide talent pool. And considering the fact that outsourced development is often less expensive than the in-house one, a time zone shift is definitely something one does not just adapt to, but actually, benefit from.