What is onsite and offshore model?
Iryna Kravchenko Iryna KravchenkoChief Editor

What is onsite and offshore model? Hybrid delivery models

A project delivery model is a term that is widely used within the IT industry. It is a way of project delivery based on the location of labor resources. The choice of a delivery model can affect the success of the entire project.

Our article is all about how the software engagement models operate and how they can operate more efficiently. Let’s figure out the relationship between project success and practices and understand the pain points of project managers. We will answer the question “What is an onsite and offshore delivery model?”, and compare onsite, offshore, and hybrid cooperation with outsourcing vendors as well. Besides, you will learn what suits your needs best, onsite software development or offshore project development.

You may find it useful: How to set up a dedicated team for your project?

What is onsite model?

The onsite delivery model often called the onshore model, is defined as a way of software development and delivery when vendors send their qualified employees to the client’s site.

The vendor’s team continually interacts with the customer’s team members. Together, they collect information, develop, implement, maintain and support the project. One distinctive feature of the onsite model is that the tasks assigned by a customer are completed by the outside employees.

This type of engagement model is perfect for short-term projects. Customers choose the onsite delivery model mainly for re-engineering projects with a repetitive scope of work. The other case is when customers have unclear requirements for the project.  

The onsite model is the most effective in cases when continuous interaction between the customer’s team and outside experts is required. Outside employees are able then to approve the client’s requirements at every single step of SDLC.

More about engagement models in the IT industry.

The key benefits of onsite model

Customers use the onsite development model when they need to migrate to the new technology or modify their legacy systems. The popularity of this model is explained by a certain number of the following advantages:

onsite delivery model benefits

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onsite delivery model benefits

On-hand information. Both, a vendor and a customer, can get first-hand information from their employees to learn about the current work progress.

Face-to-face communication enables on-time detection of emerging issues and efficient problem-solving.

Effective collaboration. As there is no time and distance gap between both sites, there is almost no misunderstanding within a team.

Time effectiveness. It often happens that clients offer some changes at the latest stages of the software development lifecycle. When a team uses an onsite delivery model, there are no chances of late changes. Everything is done on time.

Enhanced time to market. The product is delivered faster due to the above-mentioned advantages.

What is offshore model?

The offshore development model is a popular delivery model that is based on the vendor’s site. The offshore delivery model is also known as outsourcing. The customers order software development from developers in different countries. The client has no face-to-face interaction with the vendor. However, a customer is able to communicate with the team members via video calls, etc. This way of software development is good for well-structured and planned projects which have clear SRS documentation. Offshore development centers are quite popular nowadays.

Are you going to outsource software development? Check out a list of the 10 best countries for IT outsourcing.

The key benefits of outsourcing

Clients choose this way of cooperation with developers when their projects are expected to last long. The major advantages of outsourcing include the following pros:

Whereas there are a lot of advantages of using an offshore delivery model, clients must be aware of the risks related to this type of partnership. Make sure you know about these risks.

Learn more about offshore dedicated teams.

What is the difference between onsite and offshore?

what is difference between onsite and onshore

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what is difference between onsite and onshore

What is onsite and offshore model? Hybrid model

What is an onsite and offshore model? A hybrid model (offshore onsite model as it is also often called) is a mixed type of onsite and offshore cooperation. This engagement model is one of the most successful models used by lots of companies. The work is distributed between onsite and offshore teams. Typically, 20-30% of tasks are completed by the onsite employees, and the rest is done by the offshore team members.

Let’s find out what assignments onsite workers do.

Below are assignments offshore employees complete usually:

The key benefits of hybrid model teams

The hybrid delivery model outsourcing is good for sophisticated product development, and complicated and long-term IT projects. While enjoying the benefits of outsourcing, the client still gets an onsite team to address any queries or issues without the burden of managing a large-scale onsite team. Here is an example of the responsibilities distribution:

hybrid delivery model

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hybrid delivery model

People often choose the hybrid delivery model because of the cost savings of utilizing offshore resources while reducing the total infrastructure cost (for the onsite team). Among the pros of an onsite-offshore model are the following benefits:

The management and administration costs involved in maintaining both the onsite and offshore employees may inhibit many service providers from going for the onsite-offshore model. Also, cultural differences between the onsite employees and offsite team members need to be managed effectively to get the best results.

Are you looking for developers? Check out our staff augmentation options.

How to get maximum productivity from the offshore team

Today, a lot of companies are offshoring their information technology to countries with lower wages. Usually, offshore team meaning is perceived as cost reduction, entering a large labor pool, increasing international opportunities, increasing the quality of service, and exploiting around-the-clock development. However, oftentimes almost all of these goals of offshoring are not or partly met.

Let’s analyze why certain offshore projects are unsuccessful and how they should be set up in order to meet the predetermined goals. How do coordinate an offshore software development project to increase the chance of success?

Before proceeding to the question above, we should answer one more question “What is a successful project?”

Project success

A short time ago, costs, time, and savings were the most important things determining success. A project should not cost more than it was budgeted. A project should be completed on time, and the results of the work should lead to benefits that are higher than the costs of the project. These things are the main factors ensuring success, although recently, extra elements of success were added.

So, let’s define a successful software development project as a software development project where the delivered product meets the scope, has at least the expected quality, is completed on time, and does not exceed its total budgeted costs, and communication.

In our company, we adhere to these principles. The teamwork of business analysts, tech leads, and project managers assures accurate estimations. They select the right people and bring a team together according to a customer’s project requirements.

Our senior managers and business analysts are mostly former developers with a strong background in software engineering. Thus, they follow all the steps of the software development life cycle and understand how important each of the stages is. These people select the right candidates having all the necessary skills to complete a particular project.

Before bringing a team together, every single member of the team takes a special test to define how psychologically compatible he/she is with other members of the team. Professional recruiters develop these tests, and the latter provide accurate results.

Learn more about DICEUS.

Onsite offshore engagement model: How to communicate with offshore teams

According to the technical report “Improving offshore communication by choosing the right coordination strategy” written by Matthias Fabriek, Mischa van den Brand, Sjaak Brinkkemper, Frank Harmsen, and Remko Helms, poor quality of communication leads to less knowledge exchange. Less knowledge exchange leads to lower success. Lower perceived success influences communication negatively.

Here are some onsite-offshore communication model tips:

Tip 1. Focus on communication and coordination

Communication is the key instrument to overcome distances between onsite and offshore employees and a client.

Tip 2. Coordinate and control communication

Control is adhering to goals, policies, standards, and quality levels. Coordination means all managing activities that influence the project and, thus, communication.

If coordination is not sufficient, team performance and the final result will also not be sufficient. This turns out to be one of the main sources why offshore projects fail: project management is not adapting to the new offshore situation that is different from a distributed situation in the home country.

Tip 3. Measure coordination

The following coordination areas need attention: organizational structure, risk management, infrastructure, process, conflict management, team structure, and team organization. Here are five main categories:  

The five previously mentioned categories of coordination measures meet onsite offshore support model challenges and aim at improving communication and knowledge exchange.

Who is a project coordinator? Onsite offshore coordinator responsibilities

To provide proper coordination of projects developed according to the onsite offshore delivery model, companies often hire coordinators. They may help you coordinate the work of different teams in various projects, for example, in onsite offshore testing model.

Our project managers and coordinators are professional business analysts having excellent knowledge of how to make your startup or business grow with the proper software solution. They delve deeply into your business processes and generate the best-suited ideas for your project according to your needs and requirements.


To sum it up, offshore project meaning is a wide notion, and the project success depends on a great number of factors. Whatever delivery model you choose, you should consider these factors before starting a project.

Let’s sum up the advantages of the three models under this review:

Offshore model

Onsite model

Hybrid model

Besides, a client should take into consideration the five categories of coordination measures while working with offshore employees: standards, plans, teams, and formal and informal mutual adjustment. Follow our blog to learn more about the successful cooperation with in-house, on-site, or offshore employees. We are here to help you manage your projects effectively and choose the most suitable onsite offshore model.


What is onsite and offshore model?

Onsite and offshore model is a mixed type of cooperation within software development projects. A customer collaborates both with in-house IT teams and remote teams. Developers’ work is coordinated by dedicated project coordinators or managers. This type of delivery models is often chosen by technology companies, start-ups, and SaaS companies that need to scale up their development process or find specific skills.

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