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I have recently been set a target to achieve readiness to successfully manage and deliver results through the usage of offshore teams on our mainline development project within 12 months.

Our mainline is a multi-thousand user highly available web application, and various related SAAS components delivered through the above mentioned web application.

We work agile on the mainline with a rapid 1 week sprint using continuous integration. Our delivery platform is a bespoke php framework, although we have some .net services and components in the mix.

My view is: an offshore team could work if we either ship out an entire isolated project for offshore development, or we specify a component for our system in huge detail up front. But we don't currently work like that, and it will conflict with the in-house method, and unless the off-shore is working within our team, with our development/deployment chain it could be an integration nightmare.

So my question is, given we have a closed source bespoke framework (Private IP) which we train our developers to use, and we work agile minimising documentation, maximising communication and responding to rapidly changing requirements, and much of the quality control is via team skills building and peer review, how can I make off-shoring work on our main line development?

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    Personally, having worked with off-shore teams, I believe you can't make it work this way.
    – Oded
    Oct 18, 2012 at 17:52
  • @oded That is my fear, so it then raises a huge question, should I change the way our team works to reach off-shore readiness? I doubt the off-shore benefits are worth it. Oct 18, 2012 at 18:01
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    Given your constraints, it does not look likely that you would be able to pull it off without changing your constraints, your process, or your expectations. Oct 18, 2012 at 18:15
  • its possible to be an agile team within a larger framework that is a more traditional waterfall process, this is especially common in government.
    – Ryathal
    Oct 18, 2012 at 20:29

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It really depends on off-shore team leadership and efficient management of the team.

In our company we have two off-shore (China) offices and we also have Chinese speaking team-lead in our company as well as one in offshore team, located in China. There clear communication plays vital role in our delivery and success.

Thus, although working together on the same project with offshore team has number of challenges (timing, language, communication, etc.), however once managed properly, with key people on both sides - it may turn into a success and competitive edge of your company in the western markets (in our company case it is the U.S.).

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  • Are the remote team invited into your process (planning, backlog, quality control, deployment etc), perhaps represented by the local lead, or do you allow them to work their own process? Oct 19, 2012 at 6:49
  • They are part of our process, and local lead coordinates with their lead.
    – Yusubov
    Oct 19, 2012 at 15:04
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    I can see a solution in here, interestingly, it may make off-shoring less of a cost incentive. Thanks for your input. Appreciated. Oct 20, 2012 at 15:18

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