Olesia Shybka

What is an onsite and offshore model?


It is quite obvious that the modern world is a constantly changing and global organism. Keeping pace with the crazy rhythm is a task that only the most motivated and intelligent people can accomplish. The streams of information generated every day, hour, minute, without any exaggeration, are capable of striking the imagination. If we try to analyze this value, the results will be even more impressive. Just imagine: over the past two years, humanity has generated more data than over the entire previous period of its existence. And this fact is quite capable of illustrating how colossal arrays of information we must process today.

As you can imagine, the IT industry is at the forefront of this activity. It is this industry that not only processes all quintillion of data. Systematization, analytics, and, of course, generation. These are the tasks that modern companies perform. The results of their activities, at the same time, make our life richer and better, opening up new, unimaginable horizons of modern technologies and the future, descended from the screens of fantastic films and the pages of novels. This work is more like art and, with its creativity, forms an absolutely new reality. And without a doubt, this is a resource-intensive and difficult job. It is vital to avoid burnout and not turn your favorite activity into an excruciating routine, where the result changes over time.

This is why thousands of programs and strategies are developed that minimize costs and optimize resources. The correct and balanced use of such tools will allow not only to diversify efforts, costs, and human potential. But it will also save time for the production of additional projects and the implementation of new ideas and dreams.

A project delivery model - is one of the cornerstones of the modern developing IT industry. It is unlikely that you have not heard about it, and if you have not, you have to get acquainted with this concept. This term is being used more and more in the industry. And its relevance is becoming more evident. Especially in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, which completely changed the rules of the game. Especially when it comes to workforce management, consolidation, and segregation of intellectual assets for optimal results in software development.

What is an onsite model?

Onsite or the so-called onshore delivery model is a prevalent concept today, a topic of discussion and controversy regarding its application. As you study this model, don't be fooled, because the onsite and onshore term is used in many areas of software development. Moreover, these concepts have their own meanings in other areas of our life: geography and economics. But, in the context in which we discuss this concept today, onsite means a method of software development and delivery in which qualified developer specialists carry out activities at the client's site.

The result of this symbiosis is the collaboration of the contractor's specialists and the customer's employees. Accumulation of information, development, project support, and implementation of best practices - all these tasks must be solved by a temporary team staffed by the customer and the contractor.

This model has obvious advantages, but at the same time, a sufficient number of negative aspects. The lack of clear management vertical because the tasks are set by the customer, implemented by the performer, and performed by joint efforts, can create chaos. Ah, chaos is not the best ally when trying to create something new and innovative.

The key benefits of the onsite model.

But, on the other hand, if you are creating a reengineering project or another project based on a repetitive cycle of tasks, this approach to development can work and be much more effective. The same statement is true if, at the initial stage, the customer does not have a clear understanding of the project and the requirements for it.

The constant interaction of the customer's specialists and the development team, with the right planning and understanding of the risks, can bring amazing results with less effort.

The onshore model is usually ideal when the end-user needs a quick and high-quality improvement to existing systems. Or when you need an organic and rapid introduction of new technologies. In such cases, the advantage of this algorithm will be your trump card.

A simple and fast exchange of information is almost the main factor that the onshore type will offer. Starting with global information clusters, which will form the basis of the product, and ending with small messages on current affairs. Information flows move faster, making it possible to operate on up-to-date data. All parties involved in the process have the opportunity to keep their finger on the pulse of the project.

In addition, face-to-face communication, which has been greatly underestimated lately, can be just that boost, which will make the difference. Indeed, sometimes a short personal conversation helps to avoid any future problems.

Last-day crunch will not be your issue either. Indeed, the very plot of this type of work leaves no chances to miss something important in the development process.

What is the offshore model?

The offshore model is a true child of our time. Our today's technologies have not only opened up new prospects for information processing and the creation of unique products. As it turned out, they became salvation in the face of the alarming threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote work managed to keep us on the edge of the abyss until scientists invented a vaccine.

The off-shore algorithm is all about it. Outsourcing has a single point of concentration. Usually, this point is the developer's site. The best part of this system is the lack of reference to the customer, executor, employees, and other persons involved in the development. Today, products are made by people who may never see each other.

Of course, permanent communication between all team members goes through instant messengers, video calls and conferences, and other communication programs. This approach will definitely work for you. Especially if the initial data for the project have clear data and structure, and you have a plan or better - clear SRS documentation.

The key benefits of outsourcing.

The benefits of outsourcing may only be unknown to you if you haven't followed the news for the past ten years. This type of work organization has erased the boundaries in the world. And, the best area of ​​application of this approach is long-term, large projects.

If you follow this path, you will receive an unlimited choice of specialists. You will be able to hire people based on your priorities. Either hire the best and most expensive specialists from all over the world or hire literate people from countries with low costs for the sake of the economy. The pandemic has shown that the result does not depend on where the specialist works, and he does it in the office or at home.

Predictable and understandable prices and guarantees of partner companies and exchanges make this model efficient, financially secure, and controllable. The offshore model requires specific skills in control and organization of the workflow, but it can bring excellent results.

What is the difference between onsite and offshore?

The difference between onsite and offshore is obvious if you carefully read the previous sections of our article. You have two equivalent tools for building a productive and high-quality vertical of the work process in your hands.

Relatively speaking, the difference lies in the density of the working atmosphere and the length of communication steps. By scaling the step plan and algorithms and taking into account the final task, you can choose the type of model optimal for your project.

In a simplified version, everything can be explained. With an onshore model, you have a simple view of yourself and the client. There is a mixed team of employees from both sides between you. This creates a very dense and cozy atmosphere that has a high response rate.

The offshore model consists of two managers - your project manager and the client`s manager. These employees provide interaction between your disparate remote team and the customer's team, which implements your best practices.

What is the onsite and offshore model? Hybrid model.

As you can imagine, no one has the right to limit your choice. Moreover, the cornerstone of the IT industry is wide diversity and unknown paths. Having new ideas - do not hesitate to implement them because they can lead to unexpected success and amazing results. This is how the hybrid model appeared.

Already from the name, it becomes clear that its essence lies in crossing all the best aspects from both models. The mixing of working algorithms makes it possible to pose the most complex problems with variable variants of achievement. A localized team and outsourced specialists combined in the right proportion are the ultimate solutions for your project.

This model often employs 30 percent of the local staff and 70 percent of the hired people in the remote mode of operation. People in a stationary team are often engaged in the accumulation of primary information and requests, planning, and building communication with the client. At the same time, the offshore team is engaged in monitoring and step-by-step analysis of the product, its support, and solving local problems according to requirements.

But, do not forget that the given structure is just an example. And, if you wish, you can calculate your own version for successful work or use one of the many patterns.

The key benefits of hybrid model teams.

It is quite logical that the benefits of the hybrid model combine all the benefits of the two primary models. What does it mean? Even more possibilities of soft regulation and mechanisms of control and management of processes. And, of course, opportunities to diversify cash costs and quickly regulate cash flows, quickly and painlessly redirecting funding in the right directions. You can reduce the cost of infrastructure and local team maintenance costs by hiring telecommuters. Or, if necessary, it will be quickly rebuilt for the development of infrastructure. Variety and flexibility will be your main weapons when using hybrid model teams.

How to communicate with offshore teams.

Communication is your key to being productive. Therefore, it will be useful to develop a strategy or entrust this step to specialists. From how the project coordinator will hear and how correctly the priorities and motion vectors will be determined. Moreover, according to the opinions of researchers, the lack of communication leads to a decrease in the exchange of information. And, reduced communication leads to a lower likelihood of success. And, at the same time, a reduced sense of success negatively affects the atmosphere in the team.

Therefore, remember that thoughtful communication will help reduce the distance between employees in different parts of the world and between management and the client.

The key to this is coordination, without which project management cannot adapt to such a work model. To do this, management must control everything: structure, infrastructure, risk management, conflict management, the team, and its organization.

How to get maximum productivity from the offshore team.

Today's reality is that sooner or later, you will have to turn to an offshore team model. How deeply this model is integrated into the structure of your company is an open question and depends only on you and your needs. This is the objective reality of the modern world. Moreover, the pandemic has shown that to achieve good results and create truly innovative projects. It is unnecessary to follow the classic paradigms and create a huge office with a schedule and many administrators.

The offshore team and its implementation will definitely become a new horizon for your aspirations. But, let's be honest, the threshold for entering the integration of new solutions is very high. And, you will probably need specialists who can ensure a quick restructuring of the business and introduce a different approach to work.

In this article, we have touched on only the most obvious offshore team model functioning issues. But, there are a great many vital little things that can ruin your life. Differences in time zones, cultural differences, even different understandings of terms - all this must be taken into account when starting a new project. And for these purposes, at least at the initial stage, it is better to attract professionals. This way, you can get the most out of your offshore team.

Modern market and information technology opportunities provide us with incredible opportunities. Our goal is simple - to be flexible and open to new ideas. Indeed, the absence of limits in our management toolkit levels out all the limits in achieving success.