Best Tools for Communicating with your Outsourced Software Development Team

Communication is Key

When you outsource your software development, you can rest assured the job will get done—no matter the size of the project. And although that third party might be handling the bulk (or all) of the development, you’re not off the hook completely. There’s one area that you should consider a priority: communication.

If you’re not able to effectively communicate with your outsourced development company, you run the risk of seeing your project languish or fail to deploy. Such a failure would not only be a waste of time but of money. All because you didn’t communicate with your South American software development company (or onshore development company). 

Luckily, there are plenty of effective communication tools out there to facilitate communication with your outsourced dev team.

Transparency and Communication

Email

Although many might scoff at the idea of returning to the tried and true email communication method, there’s a good reason why you might want to make this your first choice. When you communicate via email, you retain a record of every exchange (so long as you don’t delete said email). This electronic paper trail can come in very handy, should a project go off the rails. Should that happen, you can always return to the email threads to find out exactly what happened.

Email is also a very critical communication tool for when you’re dealing with offshore outsourced software development. With offshore outsourcing, you’re working in a completely different timezone, so phone calls, SMS, and other real-time chat solutions aren’t going to be the best options. With email, you can send a communication out any time, knowing the other party can respond during their office hours. 

The one drawback to email is that it isn’t nearly as immediate as real-time communication tools.

Skype

Skype is a great tool for communicating with your outsourced software development team because it offers both VOIP and chat options. If you attempt to place a Skype call with your outsourced development team, and they don’t answer, you can drop them a text message within the same app. It’s a simple solution.

The one caveat to Skype is that, when dealing with near or offshore solutions, there will most likely be an associated cost with those calls. 

Slack

Where Skype is a good solution for one-on-one communication or VoIP calls, Slack is the de facto standard for team communication. Slack’s effectiveness doesn’t end with team messaging, as it also adds powerful collaboration tools into the mix. Share files, images, and links with your outsourced developers. Slack also allows you to make VoIP calls, send direct messages, work within multiple workspaces, follow threads, and pin items. 

Slack also includes a plugin system where you can integrate a number of third-party services and features, so you can take your collaboration efforts to an unheard-of level.  

Nextcloud

Nextcloud is an on-premise cloud solution. You might not think such a tool would be an effective means of communication with your outsourced development team. However, you would be wrong. Nextcloud includes means for communicating via text, audio, and video. And because this is a full-blown cloud solution, you can also share files, folders, and links. 

Nextcloud includes an extensive array of installable apps, so you can extend the feature set to include just about any type of collaboration tool you might need. And because Nextcloud is open source, you (or your outsourced development team) could build apps and features into the tool, specific for your communication needs.

Riot

Riot is a free, open source communication solution that uses the federated Matrix Protocol, so you can select the server to connect to. Being able to select a server might be an important option for your company, as it’ll allow you to select a server you can trust. 

Riot supports end-to-end encryption, groups, channels, and file sharing between users, so it’s not just a communication tool, but a collaboration solution. Because Riot is open source, you can even install a Riot server in your data center and only allow your dev teams access. So if you’re looking for a secure communication solution, Riot might be what you want.

Chanty

Chanty is an AI-powered team chat tool that offers similar features to most of the team chat tools. However, there’s one feature that might have you considering this option for your outsourced software development collaboration. The said option is the ability to turn any message into a task and assign that task to a team member.

And when you add public, private, and one-on-one conversations into the mix (with text, voice, and video), Chanty starts to look like a winner. Chanty also allows you to share files, links, and even screens with your collaborators. This option also includes a unique feature called “Teambooks” that allows you to organize everything into teams, for even more powerful and effective collaboration.

Proofhub

Proofhub is an all-in-one solution where your team can enjoy all of the tools necessary for effective collaboration and communication. With Proofhub, you’ll have all of the features you need for planning, collaboration, organizing, and delivery. You’ll find project management tools, discussion topics, task assignment, kanban boards, Gantt charts, calendars, custom roles, time tracking, multiple language support, and discussion tools. 

In other words, if you want a single tool to meet all of your communication needs for software development outsourcing, Proofhub might well be exactly what you’re looking for.

Zoom

And, of course, there’s always Zoom. Zoom is the go-to tool for video chats around the globe. Don’t be fooled, though, as Zoom isn’t just about basic video calls. You can share screens, create meeting rooms and workspaces, schedule chats, work with a powerful search feature, direct messaging, and video/audio recording. 

If your teams prefer to go the video route for communication, you can’t go wrong with Zoom.

The Software Outsourcing Journey

And here you probably thought communication was limited to chat, phone, and video. There’s a whole world of communication tools available, to help empower your onshore, nearshore, or offshore software development team collaboration. Give one (or more) of these options a try and see if it doesn’t make your outsourced development efforts considerably easier.

Of course, if you’ve yet to outsource your project, you might want to read up on how to outsource your project to South America, or best locations for offshore web development outsourcing. Maybe you’re interested in nearshore outsourcing? If so, here’s what you need to know.

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