Smith Optimal Solutions LLC

Offshore Management

Managing a team that is a half a world away is challenging.

Here are some management techniques we use to make it easier for everybody involved.

Early to bed, early to rise

There has to be an overlap with the onshore and offshore teams. India companies typically have later work hours, like 10am to 7pm. There could be some overlap with these hours. But much more is usually needed. So our approach has been to start the onshore work day earlier to get a few hours of overlap.

Daily standup meetings

A big part of the Agile/Scrum methodology is to have short, daily "standup" meetings to get a status from each developer on the team.

Technical discussion meetings

The standup meeting provides the status for the day. After the standup meeting, time is allocated for any technical discussions that are needed to clarify requirements and provide more technical guidance.

Phone and IM availability

The main reason for the additional overlap of hours is to provide availability to the offshore team for communication with onshore. Being available a few extra hours a day will help communication between the teams.

Detailed Jira stories

This is very important. The Jira stories must be written with the most detail possible in the Description and the Acceptance Criteria. The architecture and design documentation should be attached or referenced to the Jira story for easy access.

Architecture and Design documentation

A picture is worth a thousand words. Detailed architecture and design diagrams and documents are created (if needed) by the onshore architect and tech lead, and discussed in detail at the technical discussion meetings. And the documents are always available for reference.


SAFe principles state that development teams should be co-located. With an Offshore staffing model this does not work with having separate Onshore and Offshore teams. So occasional travel to the offshore team is crucial to get face-to-face with the team members and management. Direct communication is much better than communicating over a conference call because half of human communication is body language and facial expressions. Plus having social activities with the team is huge for building team respect and rapport.