Business, Outsourcing, Project Management, Scrum Wednesday January 27, 2021

How To Communicate Asynchronously With Your Offshore Development Team? – A Communication Guide for App owners

The offshore outsourcing of application development is trending worldwide. The demand for hiring offshore developers is rising for the various advantages it brings, such as more affordable prices, a wider pool of talent, experienced professional, and quick delivery of the project.

According to the AT Kearney’s Global Services Location Index (GSLI) 2019, India is the top offshoring destination for organizations worldwide, especially for web development services. This index ranked 50 countries based on their potential to deliver quality business services to global companies, where India continued to hold it’s place.

But if you are genuinely considering outsourcing your app development project, you must be wondering how to communicate with your development team in a more effective way? Hiring a remote development team can be a new experience for you because of the remote work and different time zones. Still, you can always make it smooth with efficient communication.

In this article, we’ve explained what is asynchronous communication, what advantages it brings, and how to achieve efficient asynchronous communication with your offshore development team in the most efficient way.

What is Asynchronous communication?

To understand what is Asynchronous communication, let’s first understand what Synchronous communication is?

Synchronous communication can be defined as real-time communication between two people or a group of people. It’s a type of communication that simultaneously takes place for both people at the same time, but not compulsorily at the same place.

You can picture this communication as an office-like interaction, online conference meetings, or chat rooms. It is marked by face-to-face or phone communication like telephone calls, computer-facilitated discussion using cameras, microphones, speakers, etc.

Now coming back to the main question, what is Asynchronous communication?

In contrast to synchronous communication, asynchronous communication is the relay of information with a time lag where you don’t require a person to send and receive the information at any particular time.

Two simple examples are the discussion forums and email, where asynchronous communication is employed in online mediums. In this type of communication, you can write an email instead of telling your opinion at a meeting. Hence, writing instead of telling is an essential aspect of asynchronised communication.

Advantages of Asynchronous communication

There are various benefits of cultivating Asynchronous communication with your development team for achieving the projects you desired for. Let’s explore a few such advantages:

  • More convenient for the professionals to utilize the information as per their timings.
  • A longer life span through easy forwards, copy, and searchable filters, unlike a face-to-face conversation that can hardly be forwarded with the exact same message.
  • The communication can be reviewed, analyzed, and forwarded to relevant people to make the most out of the information by reading multiple times.
  • It’s an easier way to communicate detailed feedback with all minute details rather than speaking directly for people who might miss out on details
  • It resolves the major time zone problems by connecting two people with a common timeslot for a meeting.

When To Use Asynchronous Communication?

For most small-scale communication with a maximum of 2-3 people, synchronous communication can be a more efficient option. However, when the number of people involved in the communication increases, it is advisable to go with asynchronous communication to help the developers get a better understanding from you to build a good product.

When hiring an offshore developer, you can expect a minimum of 4-8 people team. On that number scale, synchronous communication starts to be not only confusing and problematic but also time- consuming and difficult to convey the message. That’s where asynchronous communication comes to the rescue!

Asynchronous communication favors the geographical differences or remote work culture that enables you to work smoothly with a higher chance of successfully completing the project.

Now, let’s read through a few efficient tips and do’s & don’ts for practicing asynchronous communication with your development team.

Tips On How To Communicate Asynchronously In An Effective Way:

1.  Adapt to the new change

You may be used to working in the office environment, but it’s high time you adapt your work culture with the asynchronous techniques. The chances of success in offshore project development increase when you are fully equipped and molded to use communication tools.

For example, suppose you have an important announcement to make in a conventional office set up. In that case, it’s pretty easy and convenient to have a face-to-face meeting by inviting everybody and making a formal speech. However, in asynchronous communication, a simple email or newsletter would be enough.

If you have worked with a conventional approach for most of your business duration, you might come across a few struggles with reorganizing your work culture in the digital approach. Remember, you always need to keep a fine balance in your approach towards specific projects, make sure you use the right communication that makes your project implementation more efficient.

2.   Patience is the key

The asynchronous communication methods are usually non-trackable, so don’t expect immediate answers to your emails, messages, or Slack. You might be used to receiving instant replies and answers in the physical infra office or announce urgent meetings. But, in asynchronous communication, don’t expect that to happen.

In this approach, you give other people enough time to acknowledge your messages and respond according to their time convenience. App owners expecting prompt immediate replies from remote teams to their queries or questions is one of the major mistakes owners make, leading to misunderstandings and pressure on the developers.

Do’s:

  • Plan ahead of time and leave enough space for communication in the entire project duration.
  • Try to convey all of your project requirements and expectations at the beginning of the project to avoid any long communication series.
  • Convey the project timeline in advance to the developer team for them to stick to the plan
  • Keep your end of the communication fast enough for them to take the grip and follow your standards.

3.  Avoid unnecessary meetings

This might sound very unorthodox, but it’s true – avoid any meeting that is not significant enough for your project. According to most developers and project owner’s experience, nothing kills precious time than long meetings. Working in the office, it’s very normal for you to communicate and take quick daily updates by meetings, but to complete projects in time, it’s advised to keep it less and brief.

This does not mean you shouldn’t conduct meetings at all. There will be several occasions when a quick meeting is the best option to convey the message and offer feedback. However, make sure you don’t abuse the method and stick to asynchronous communication, which is very often more than enough.

Don’ts:

  • Conduct a meeting without having a clear goal for the session.
  • Plan meetings even if you can achieve the same goal without a meeting
  • Schedule meeting every day just for the sake of taking updates
  • Invite non-relevant team members to the meeting

4. Avoid Overcommunication

Asynchronous communication can get very annoying if you are waiting for an important mail or response. But make sure to convey your urgency in one message instead of shooting a series of messages. If you continue to send the same message twice, chances are they won’t receive it like the first one or receive both the messages at once. A simple solution, sends a clear message in the first go and avoids sharing the same messages repeatedly.

Overcommunication can be disturbing, taking a lot of time and energy, and is often completely unnecessary.

Don’t:

  • Send multiple messages with the same point
  • Share excess information in a single message
  • Add to many receivers
  • Go for hasty follow-ups

Maintain clear communication guidelines with your team and the developer’s team to avoid exploiting your tools. Select better channels of communication that are more professional and efficient for your project.

5.   Share links open for all

The development industry is complex and works with cross-functional teams to achieve the best solutions for the client. The development team might need to share the information with its members for specific work completion. If the information is inaccessible, it can result in the halt of the entire project.

Also, opening certain files for certain people can be a time-consuming and annoying job in itself. It’s very unpredictable which team members might require which information they don’t have access to. So, it’s more convenient to share open links with your development team to avoid unnecessary hassle.

Unless your project is in an extremely confidential domain, such as government partnerships, you can comfortably give your team all the information they need to understand your product and services. You can also sign an NDA with the development team to fully control your data’s safety.

Summing up:

The success of your mobile application development project depends on a lot of things. Communication is one of those most critical and crucial aspects, where special efforts will be needed not only from your developer’s team but also from your end.

Communication misunderstandings can shape your project into something completely different. Hence, improve the asynchronous communication with your offshore development team to convey your needs, requirement, features, and expectations from them.

If you’ve read through this complete article, in that case, you already have the essential mindset and understanding of what is asynchronous communication and how important it is to practice it in your project development.

To learn more about mobile app development, stay tuned! This was a short guide on how to use effective communication asynchronously with your offshore development team. I hope you will benefit from this thorough read and implement it for better results.

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