How do you find a developer that works with a sense of urgency?  Don’t we all want everything faster, better and cheaper?  Working with developers in offshore timezones can be frustrating and creates serious lag time in getting your web site fixed up the way you need it.  There are many factors in making sure your developer stays on track. Many times, deadlines and money or potential payments dictate how urgently they will respond to your tasks.

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Here are some general guidelines to ensure your developer stays on task.

Trial by Fire

Never assume a new developer will meet your timelines.  I probation period or dummy project to test the new contractor is essential.  By offering the developer a paid opportunity to showcase his skills and you an opportunity to test out their understanding of your requirements is a huge factor. You will further understand how they deal with deadlines, how they problem solve and how quickly they respond with a minimal investment.

Opportunity to Fail

Give the developer an opportunity to prove their worth by testing them with a strict and very tight deadline.  If at all possible, you should give the developer a chance to fail as soon as possible so that you understand where their weakness lies.  Many people (developers or not) fail to understand the importance of setting realistic expectations. If your developer is in the habit of saying it will be done by tomorrow and then delivering two days later, you’ll recognize this pattern and be better prepared to work with that expectation.

Offer Bonuses by Milestones

Provision a part of the payment to act as a bonus only if the milestone is met by deadline. You can break down payments into “on time”, “early” or even “late” payments and specify different amounts depending on delivery time.

Set Exact Terminology

Be very careful to determine what exactly “delivery time” means. Does it mean you’ll have all source code in your hands, fully tested and user ready? Or does it simply mean the first round of code is ready for testing and feedback? If you are promising specific payments based on specific delivery dates, make sure that you both agree and understand what that deliverable will look like.

With these guidelines, you could create winning websites using offshore developers and understand a bit more what really goes into managing any developer from beginning to end.