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7 Tools for Successfully Managing an Offshore Development Team in 2021

Whether you’re running a startup or an established company, working with an offshore team can help you attain your organizational goals and grow your business faster. However, it’s often easier said than done.

The major challenge for most companies is management. You can’t simply walk over to your team to see how they’re doing, as you would in an office. To keep up, you’ll need the right tools to help your team function efficiently.

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 an offshore development team throughout the DevOps lifecycle. Here is our list of top 7 tools for managing an offshore development team efficiently.

GitHub: For Software Project Collaboration

GitHub is a collaborative code hosting tool used by developers for storing, sharing, and coworking on source code files. It is quite a popular service, boasting over 56 million developers. It lets you manage repositories, track code changes, and monitor the progress of your offshore development team.

Some of its features include version control and issues tracking. This lets a remote development team 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 also review any proposed changes and merge them to the working copy, which is accessible to all users.

Other features available on GitHub include:

  • Access control
  • Continuous integration
  • Bug tracking
  • Wikis
  • Syncs effectively with automated testing tools, including Jenkins.

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

Of course, we couldn’t leave out Slack because it is still the leading way of communication among IT professionals globally. Slack lets you easily create tasks and individual chats for departments, set deadlines, distribute documents, make appointments, and update your workload status. Also, you can create general channels or subteam channels where developers can collaborate on end-to-end deliverables like code deployment, design features, and functionality.

Other Features

  • Project-friendly structure
  • It supports multiple languages and can automatically translate all your messages.
  • Audio and video call features offering basic functions
  • Integration with other apps, including Dropbox, Google Drive, GitHub, ZenDesk, MailChimp, Salesforce, Intercom, Invision, and Twitter.
  • Useful bots

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

Alternatives: Chanty, Mattermost

Microsoft Azure: For Software Development Project Management

Microsoft Azure is a suite of centralized, complete, related, and seamlessly integrated tools used by developers for tracking work, managing code, running builds, deploying applications, and managing tests. It can be used for almost any software project.

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 other features, including:

  • Application diagnostics
  • Issue tracking
  • Scheduling and monitoring
  • Cloud storage
  • Access control
  • API management

Pricing: Varies based on services

Alternatives: DigitalOcean

GitLab: For Software Project Management

GitLab is a web-based Git repository for lean and Agile project management. It’s great 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
  • Track basic issues
  • Manage projects Kanban and Scrum-style
  • Control access and manage an offshore development team.

GitLab takes it a step further and lets you 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 want to track a few issues or manage the entire DevOps lifecycle across a group of developers, then this is the perfect tool. It’ll help you manage remote development teams efficiently.

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

Alternatives: Bitbucket, GitHub

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 offshore development team. Zoom offers integration with Atlassian tools like Jira to quickly solve issues and close service tickets.

Other features:

  • Zoom scheduling
  • Calendar scheduling
  • Meeting recordings
  • Waiting rooms

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 tasks. 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 project management and software development teams. Jira is, in fact, the top and most comprehensive tool on the market. 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 offshore development team in different time zones.

What we love about it is how it gives you a complete picture of your project, including who’s handling what and how they’re collaborating to finish it. Additionally, Jira allows seamless integrations with third-party software development tools like Bitbucket Cloud, Jenkins, GitHub, Optimizely, etc. 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.

Cisco, Airbnb, eBay, and Square are examples of companies that use JIRA.

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?

Premium R&D Services For Your Company

Are you ready to hire an offshore team but have no idea where to start? At Newxel, we can help you set up dedicated teams and R&D centers in Ukraine. Get in touch with us today, and let us handle all your outstaffing needs.

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