10 Best Tools for Managing an Offshore Development Team Successfully

Working with an offshore development team can be the best decision your company ever made. But it’s essential to not skip a major task — communication and process tracking. Otherwise, you can go astray.

Using proper tools, it’s possible to enhance the working processes of your offshore development team, thus producing an excellent product in a short time.

Dedicated Development Team Management

We’ll break down how to manage a remote development team with the proper collaboration and project management software. But first, let’s take a detour to what are agile project management tools?

Project management tools help teams to organize and track projects from the planning to the execution stage. It could range from simple task management tools to software for complex functions that make up a project. Some tools enable you to collaborate, plan, and manage a development team throughout the DevOps lifecycle. Let’s dive into some of those tools.

Table of content:

  1. GitHub
  2. Slack
  3. Microsoft Azure
  4. Google Workspace
  5. GitLab
  6. Confluence
  7. Trello
  8. Jira
  9. Microsoft Teams
  10.  Zoom

10 Best Tools for Managing an Offshore Development Team Successfully

  • GitHub

For software project collaboration

GitHub is a collaborative code hosting tool. According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2020, it is the most popular collaboration tool for developers and organizations. With GitHub, you can manage repositories, track code changes, and monitor the progress of your offshore development team.

It offers version control and issues tracking features that enable a remote development team to simultaneously work on the same project, make changes, backtrack, or even fix bugs without disrupting each other’s work or the original code. You can review any proposed changes and merge them to the working copy, which all users can access. This reduces the possibility of code conflicts or related issues that may impact your workflow.

Other features available on GitHub include access control, continuous integration, bug tracking, and wikis.

Pricing: $4-$21 per user/month with a Free limited plan.

Alternatives: GitLab, Bitbucket

Find out How to Secure Data When Hiring an Offshore Development Team.

  • Slack

For communication and file sharing

Clear, consistent communication is a key to successful collaboration, and Slack simplifies this process. Slack centralizes your team’s conversations, files, and third-party tools. You can upload files and create general channels or subteam channels where developers can collaborate on end-to-end deliverables like code deployment, design features, and functionality.

Slack supports multiple languages and can automatically translate all your messages, making it a great fit for managing remote development teams. While Slack has an excellent text messaging interface, the audio and video call features offer only basic functions. Luckily, you can improve the video call functionality or other features you need by integrating third-party apps.

Pricing: $6.67-$12.50/monthly with a free limited option.

Alternatives: Chanty, Mattermost

  • Microsoft Azure

For software development project management

Microsoft Azure gives developers access to a comprehensive set of cloud-based services that helps them build, test, and deploy apps. Due to the wide range of services on Azure, you may need extensive platform expertise or a specialist to help your team efficiently identify and use all tools.

Also, user reviews cite regular crashes and incomplete documentation as a consistent downside to using Azure. Aside from that, you have access to tons of features for application diagnostics, issue tracking, scheduling and monitoring, cloud storage, access control, API management, and much more.

Pricing: Varies based on services.

Alternatives: DigitalOcean

Additional information: All you need to know about Lean Software Development Methodology 

  • Google Workspace

For project collaboration

Formerly known as G Suite, Google Workspace is a set of productivity and collaboration tools for businesses of all sizes. Some Google Workspace tools you can use to manage dedicated teams include:

  • Gmail, Google Chat, and Google Meet: For email, chat, and video conferencing, respectively
  • Google Drive: For cloud storage and file sharing
  • Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides: For creating & sharing project proposals, plans, deliverables, and reports with your offshore development team
  • Google Forms: For collecting team information
  • Google Sites: For building a project hub for documents, key details, and schedules
  • Google Calendar: For tracking project milestones, deadlines, and scheduling meetings

These are easy-to-use tools with suitable plans for small teams and businesses. This explains why it’s the fourth most preferred software collaboration tool, according to Stack Overflow.

Pricing: $6-$18 per user/month.

Alternatives: Zoho Workplace, Microsoft 365

  • GitLab

For software project management

GitLab is a web-based Git repository for managing remote development teams and their entire work process — building, testing, and deployment. Just like on GitHub, you can also track code changes across versions, review pull requests, control access, and manage an offshore development team.

But GitLab takes it steps further by allowing you to test the performance of proposed changes and deploy projects without additional integration tools. Having these functionalities in just one software can significantly improve your workflow while saving more resources. If you need comprehensive software for managing remote development teams, GitLab might just be what you need.

Pricing: $13-$99/per user/month.

Alternatives: Bitbucket, GitHub

  • Confluence

For communication and collaboration

Confluence allows you to create, share, find, and organize a repository of project requirements for your team. If your offshore development team struggle with maintaining quality standards, you can easily create project details, onboarding documents, or turn conversations into wikis which can serve as an internal knowledge base for current and future teams.

The version history and retrospective blueprint features allow you to track edits to any document or conduct performance audits after projects or sprints. Integrating Confluence with other Atlassian tools gives you a more robust functionality. For example, you can integrate Jira to incorporate project issues or progress into Confluence documents for easy access.

Pricing: $5-$10 per user/month.

Alternatives: Slack, Basecamp

Read: Best Retention Practices For Dedicated Teams.

  • Zoom

For communication and collaboration

Zoom is the most popular collaboration tool for small to large remote teams. It allows you to connect up to 1000 participants in video conferencing, simultaneously share screens, co-annotate, and record or create transcripts of meetings.

You can also share files, send messages, and set up audio calls with your dedicated team. Zoom offers integration with Atlassian tools like Jira to quickly solve issues and close service tickets.

Pricing: Starting from $149.90 for 100 participants, with a Free limited plan

Alternatives: Skype, Google Teams

  • Trello

For basic project management

If you’re looking for a low-cost, basic tool for managing remote development teams, you just found one. Trello allows you to organize projects into Kanban boards. You can easily track task progress, assignees, and unassigned tasks.

Trello is best suited for an offshore development team working on simple tasks rather than complex ones. The paid plan allows for integration with over 200 apps like Slack, Google Drive, and Dropbox. According to Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2020, Trello is the seventh most commonly used project management tool for developers.

Pricing: starting from $12.50 per user/month, with a Free limited plan

Alternatives: Asana, ClickUp

  • Jira

For software project management

Jira is a project management tool best suited for Agile software development teams. It allows managers to track work progress and software issues that arise in real-time.

You can map out tasks on customizable or ready-made workflows and create Scrum or Kanban boards to manage iterative projects. Other functionalities like progress tracking, work logging, project backlogs, and roadmaps can help you monitor large, complex projects of your development team in different time zones.

Additionally, Jira allows seamless integrations with third-party software development tools like Bitbucket Cloud, Jenkins, GitHub, Optimizely. The downside to Jira is that the interface can be a bit complex for new users. Also, it’s pricey and may not be ideal for small businesses.

Pricing: $7-$14 per user/month for smaller teams, $122,250/yearly for 801 — 1000 users, and a free limited plan.

Alternatives: ClickUp, Planbox

Read on: What is Agile Software Development?.

  • Microsoft Teams

For chat and video conferencing

Microsoft Teams is a collaboration software that facilitates seamless communication among teams. The chat feature allows you to send instant direct or group messages, share files, or review chat history. You can also move from group chats to send voicemails or virtually meet with your offshore software development team through video conferencing for a more engaging experience.

Just like Slack, the inline translation option for chats removes any communication barriers within multilingual teams. Microsoft Teams allows integrations with apps and workflows.

Recently, Microsoft Teams announced new features designed specifically for managing remote development teams. This includes shared stage integration, new meeting event APIs, media APIs, and real-time access to audio and video streams for transcription and more.

Pricing: starting from $5 per user/month with a free limited plan.

Alternatives: Zoom, Google Meet

The bottom line

These tools will help you in managing remote development teams to improve productivity. Newxel can help you set up dedicated teams and R&D centers in Ukraine. If you need an offshore development team for your business, get in touch with us today, and we’ll handle all your outstaffing needs.

Table of contents

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