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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Its 1 am. Do you know what your offshore team is doing?

Samir Shah
Friday, July 1, 2011
Samir Shah
You probably do because you are on the phone with them! For all of you working in some technical management capacity here in Silicon Valley, allow me to describe your day. Wake up and get to the office by 9. Put in a whole day’s worth of work attending meetings, planning, designing and developing cool stuff etc. and head home around 7. Get dinner, play with the kids, put them to bed and settle down comfortably with your laptop and Skype/Go-To Meeting /WebEx/ Live Meeting for the next 4-5 hours. Get to bed after 1. Repeat. Sounds familiar?

Effectively managing globally distributed technology teams is challenging and even though the world might be flat, it still has different time zones and you are expected to be awake in most of them! You didn’t really sign up for this, did you? This whole globally distributed team concept just crept up on you and suddenly, you find yourself in this mode to make concepts like “24x7”, “follow-the-sun” and “distributed agile” a reality. Seriously, when was the last time you got to watch Jon Stewart or David Lettermen?

I personally know many such managers who do this on a daily basis, working diligently with their remote teams in India, China, Ukraine, Romania, Philippines etc. When it gets too much, they pack their bags and take a cramped 30-hour journey to be there with them; and they do this multiple times a year!

What is going on?

We at Zephyr decided to analyze this problem by first looking at actual activities that take place between team members that are globally distributed. We monitored meetings, looked at the back-n-forth communication, and analyzed data that was being sent around. We found some very interesting things:

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