Which Resources Should be Onsite and Which Should be Offsite

Regardless of whether you have outsourced your software project domestically or offshore, having a project manager onsite with your company is an essential element to a successful project.

Depending on the project, it may also be beneficial to have other onsite resources like a business analyst. In addition to this, your vendor should provide a separate project manager and business analyst who will manage your project at their development site.

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The Sequence of Communication

The sequence of communication should look something like this. Your exclusive point of contact as a client will be the onsite project manager. The onsite PM is accountable for the entire project, from beginning to end.

Specifically, the onsite PM is there with you to understand your needs and the goals/methods of your business. In turn, this PM will manage and collaborate with the offsite PM and BA. The offsite team is responsible for translating your needs into a design. Their job is to develop the functional requirements of the software system. They take the onsite PM’s directives and create the actual solution.

Naturally, the communication link between the onsite project manager and the offsite team is very critical. So you will want a team that has worked together before. Everyone must be on the same page in terms of methodology.

Furthermore, the project managers and business analysts on both sides should work very closely throughout the project. Meaning, they should have constant contact to ensure that all questions are answered quickly, and any issues are resolved immediately.

Depending on the complexity and size of the project, there will be some variation to this process. Generally speaking though, the model outlined here should be the guideline foundation for any project.

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Larger Projects

With larger projects it may be beneficial to bring the offsite managers onsite at some point. This could happen at the beginning of a project, or even during the middle. It just depends on the individual case. But the ultimate goal is to achieve accurate and effective communication between the client, the lead project manager, and the rest of the offsite managers/team. Sometimes, face-to-face time is the best way to accomplish this. Otherwise, for projects that aren’t overly complex, having a good project manager onsite who can effectively communicate with the offsite team should be adequate.

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