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Allshore Developer Information Portal
This portal is designed to help all developers working with Allshore better understand our company vision, business model, processes, and policies. Below you will find explanations to policies, how to act and behave while working here. You will also find things like our very important Vision, Mission, and Cultural Statements. At the bottom of this page you will find the expectations of the Allshore President Randall Agee. This portal will give you all the tools you need to be successful at Allshore.
Allshore Vision Statement
To promote cultural understanding and build international relationships through a trusted, compassionate and profitable IT staffing experience.
Vision Statement Explained
Allshore Mission Statement
To educate, tolerate and support positive experiences to further strengthen international bonds between our clients and their developers.
Mission Statement Explained
Allshore Cultural Statement
The culture statement is a set of guidelines to live by while working in our company. It is the playbook by which our team of employees operate under. If a person is not living by these guidelines then they are out of bounds and need to take corrective action immediately.
Click here to read the Allshore / DatumSquare Culture Statement
Allshore Client Relations Managers
The Roles and Responsibilities of the Allshore Client Relations Managers
The Roles and Responsibilities of the DatumSquare and ZepCom Team Leaders
Common Policies Explained
In this section we will explain the reasoning behind every common policy of this company. Some developers find these policies strict or annoying, but after they realize the importance of these policies then they understand why we must obey them.
BRB Policy explained
In the world of offshoring, TRUST is a major factor in keeping clients and getting new clients. Most U.S. companies that have tried offshoring tell us the same things: we never had any idea of what our developer was doing, communication was terrible, and we had no way of keeping track of our projects. In order to build TRUST we have to be TRANSPARENT to our clients. We hide nothing in this company from a client. We show everything we do at anytime to them, so they get the feeling that their developers are just regular employees working inside their own building. Our main goal is to erase everything that’s negative about offshoring in this company, so clients TRUST us and stay with us for a long LONG time. Again, this goes back to the stability that everyone desires in a company. Something as simple as writing BRB is a HUGE factor in gaining TRUST with a client. Example: Let’s say you leave your seat for 5 minutes and did NOT write BRB. Your client comes and asks a question, and there is no response from you. That client is going to sit there and wonder, “How long as he been gone? Am I getting ripped off? Has he been gone for an hour?” Worse yet, a CRM or TL has to say, “Hold on client, let me try to find your developer.” This shows that our CRMs and TLs don’t know anything, and makes them look stupid. It creates unnecessary worry in our clients’ minds about where their developer is. If the developer would have written “BRB – Getting water,” then the client would come online, see that message and just wait a few minutes. No harm done.
Hourly Update Policy Explained
Why must we give our clients an update of what we are doing each hour? Again, it all goes back to TRUST. Our clients LOVE to see hourly updates since our clients are in the role of your “Project Manager.” Since our clients are your project managers, and you are working 13,000 KM away from their office, this is necessary to help the client feel at ease with the whole offshore aspect. It also allows them to make correct decisions on how you build their software projects based on what you communicate to them. Time is money, and clients can’t afford to have a developer straying away from main objectives for longer than a few hours. Hourly updates keep developers on track, keep clients at ease, empower clients to make decisions, and protect our developers and our company.
Showing Up To Work On Time Policy Explained
In the United States punctuality is HIGHLY IMPORTANT. In U.S. culture a person that does not come to work on time or does not make appointments on time is considered lazy, rude, disrespectful, and downright irresponsible. Employers in the U.S. do not tolerate employees that are late very often. It’s a part of U.S. culture that helps teach people to be responsible adults and we would consider this to be one major part of the success the U.S. has enjoyed in the business world to date. Showing up to work on time or making your appointments on time is a basic act of being a responsible adult. We at Allshore understand that in Pakistan punctuality is not as important. However, we all must remember who we are working for. We are working for U.S. clients who do have high expectations of punctuality. The trade off is we have rare late sitting requirements. U.S. business culture states that employees work hard during their eight hour shifts so they can go home immediately after eight hours. The same is true with the culture at Allshore. We rarely ask our developers to sit late. In fact, the only time it happens is when a client (project manager) asks, but it’s a rare occurrence. Come to work on time, don’t take excessive breaks, and leave on time. That’s our motto. When you are late for work it is HIGHLY EXPECTED that you call your office HR manager so he can inform your Allshore Client Relations Manager. This allows us to explain to your client that you are running late and that you will be in shortly. It all goes back to TRUST AND ACCOUNTABILITY. We want our clients to feel as if you are working in their office and we are always doing everything we can to make the “Allshore Experience” as perfect as it can be.
Work Eight Legitimate Hours Policy Explained
It’s very important for our company to be able to bill our clients eight solid hours each day. Everyone wants a paycheck, everyone wants more benefits, and everyone wants a better office environment. We afford all of these things by being able to bill our clients for eight hours a day. Billing for eight hours per day is GREAT, but they have to be actual worked hours and time. We can’t take advantage of our clients by logging any time that is not earned or productive. So these hours MUST be legitimate hours. So if you go over your allotted break time, we simply ask you to make up the time at the end of the shift, so this company and its clients get a full eight hours of legitimate work.
Frequently Asked Questions of New Developers
What does Allshore do?
Allshore Virtual Staffing is the client management, customer support, and sales headquarters, based in Norman, Oklahoma, U.S. All of our clients are based in the United States, and Allshore is there to monitor and oversee communication, development work, and client-to-developer relationships for quality assurance. We are here to take care of the client’s needs, as well as making sure that the developers are given a very comfortable and pleasant working environment.
Key players from Allshore, and what their roles are:
Our Director of Business Development works with the Pakistani sales team to find American clients who are interested in working with our company. We are a client-based company, and we focus on finding clients who have one long-term project, or many projects, for our development center to work on. Tara Waddle, our Chief Operations Officer, takes care of pairing the American clients with Pakistani developers. Their skills, working styles, and personalities are all matched as best as possible. From there, she establishes the first communication with the client. Additionally, she continues working on customer support issues, assists in Pakistani issues and HR management, EEA, and many other responsibilities. She may give you tips, tricks, or policy reminders, but it’s just a way to have your back. A Client Relations Manager working with Allshore is always paired with a developer. They are there to make sure that the client is properly using Basecamp, consistently assigning tasks to you, and providing all of the necessary information on their projects. They are also there to help you if you have any communication or English questions, or if you are stuck, your client is away, and you need to urgently contact them. One of an CRM’s primary jobs is to monitor missed updates and break time. Like Tara, they are there to be a helpful reminder and to have your back!
Who is my project manager? Who assigns me tasks?
Your client will act as project manager, and will directly assign you tasks. We ask them to add these tasks as To-Do items in Basecamp, our online project management system. You should get into the habit of regularly checking Basecamp for new information or new tasks. If your client does not upload tasks on Basecamp, please inform your team lead or CRM. Some of our clients use other project management software for their tasks, and your CRM or TL will be able to help you with any other system.
How do I manage tasks on Basecamp?
When you are finished with a task on the To-Do list (on Basecamp), do not mark it off as complete!! Instead, leave a comment on the task to inform the client that it is complete [Example: “This task is complete.”] and any necessary information the client should know about that particular task. This helps to ensure that the task was done according to the client’s standards, and that it works correctly both for you, and for your client.
What do I use the Skype for?
At least one Skype chat room is created for each client we work with. These chat rooms are a central location for development communication. This is the place where you will directly discuss the projects and tasks with your client.
Who will be in the client Skype chat room with me?
A CRM and team lead will be in the chat room with you, and any of the clients from their company. We also add an extra Skype account, the Allshore Monitor, to record chat history in case we ever need to reference previous text.
What sort of communication goes on in the client Skype chat room?
The client Skype chat room is established for all development communication. Your client will use this chat room to discuss tasks and the project with you. If you have any questions about your project, you can post them there. In order to protect you from any communication issues, misunderstandings, or false promises, please make sure that you are not speaking to the client privately. If a client contacts you privately, simply add your TL, CRM and the Allshore Monitor to your chat before you say anything to the client. It is always best practice to use the Skype chat room for communication (that is why it exists). Lastly, you will also post your hourly updates within this chat room.
What is an hourly update? What information do I include in an update?
We use hourly status updates as a way to keep our clients updated at all times. As you are working remotely from where your client is based, it’s very important to keep them informed. Our hourly updates are one of the major reasons that clients choose to work with us. The proper format for posting an update is, “(o): Working on this task, completed this task earlier.” (o) is the text format of the clock emoticon on Skype, and is a symbol for clients and CRMs to easily recognize your hourly updates. Include as many details as possible on what you are currently working on, where you are at in a task, what you have completed, what you are about to work on, what tasks are still left, etc. You are free to include this information at any time throughout the day, but it is important to make sure you have some of it included in your hourly updates.
When do I post my status updates?
Your updates will need to be posted in the client Skype chat room hourly. You will need to post your update between 10 minutes before the hour, and 10 minutes after the hour. Example: you would post your 7 p.m. update between 6:50-7:10 p.m. If you are planning to leave your seat for a long period of time, such as for break time or a long office meeting, then you will need to post an update before that. The best example is before dinner break, at 9:30 p.m. If you post an update before you leave, then you will not need to post an update when you return.
What happens if I forget to update?
If you forget to update by ten minutes after the hour [Example: 7:10 p.m. or after for a 7 p.m. update], then your CRM will remind you to update. This will count as a missed update. Although you will not be punished for missing an update, it may affect your status in EEA. It is your responsibility to remember to update hourly, and the CRM is only there to help you out, as a reminder.
What do I do if I need to leave my seat?
If you need to leave your seat for any reason, including restroom breaks, dinner breaks, or office meetings, please post “brb” or “be right back” in your client Skype chat room. If you plan to be away from your seat for a long period of time, please post the reason you are leaving [Example: “brb – dinner break” or “brb – office meeting”]. This is so your CRM and client know when you are at your seat and when you are not. If they are looking for you and are away without posting brb, it can cause anger and frustration. When you return, also be sure to post that you have returned [Example: “Back”].
How much break time do I have throughout the day?
You are allowed to have a 30-minute break period in each workday. Most team members use this break time to have dinner, but you may also take a short dinner break and a prayer break. We allow ten extra minutes for prayer, drink, or restroom breaks, taken throughout the day. If you exceed 30 minutes, your CRM will request that you make up the time so that you work a full eight hours. We will only ever ask you to work up to eight hours for each workday, except within special circumstances, which will be explained at that time.
Why are our shifts eight hours?
Standard American businesses work in eight-hour shifts. In order to limit your shift times, so they do not drag on into late night hours, we only request team members to work within eight-hour shifts each day, unless there is a special circumstance preventing this. Most shifts should never exceed eight hours of working time.
What do I do with my time? How do I manage or log my hours worked?
Basecamp, our online project management system, is also used to keep track of the working time you work with your clients. The hours you work must be logged within the correct project, under your client’s account each day. You will need to match the date with the date your shift started on, list the correct amount of hours you actually worked on the client’s tasks, and include a description of what you worked on. To log your hours in minutes on basecamphq, you will enter it in the format 00:40, and it will automatically calculate the decimal amount for you.
What are Basecamp projects?
Client accounts are added to Basecamp like Skype chat rooms are added. Each client’s company has an account. Within their account, we add projects titled by what the project actually is. Within these projects, you will find To-Do lists, message forums for extra discussion if needed, necessary files and information, and an area to log your time. You will log your time under the specific project you worked with that day.
How can I share my screen with my client?
We use an online screen sharing system called GoToMeeting. It allows you to share your screen with a group of people, or you to see someone else’s screen. You can also remote control from either end. It works best using Firefox or Chrome browsers, and can be set up at any time by asking a CRM to start a GoToMeeting.
How to I give my client a demo?
We will use GoToMeeting to give clients any demos, as they can see your screen and anything else you might need to show them.
How can I talk to my client if they are not online?
The CRM team or your team lead can call your client to ask them any questions you might have, or request that they come online to speak with you. If you need to talk directly to a client who is out of the office, please ask a CRM to set up a conference call with that client.
What do I do if I run out of tasks?
If you are out of tasks and the client is not on Skype, you should double check Basecamp or any other task management tool your client may use. Post in your client room “I am out of tasks,” then contact your CRM or team lead. They will be able to contact your client outside of Skype and request more work. If the client has no more tasks for you, then you should inform your CRM and your team lead. They will add you to the R&D room to work on other tasks in the meantime. Your team lead can assign you these tasks.
What is the R&D chat room?
The R&D chat room is somewhat of a training, practice, or study room. We add new developers to this room to practice posting hourly updates and notifications, and to keep track of working hours. Also, if your client runs out of tasks and you have no client work to do, we will add you to the R&D chat room to update there while you wait.
How does the R&D chat room differ from a client Skype chat room?
The main difference is that there are no formal clients within the R&D room. Instead, the CRM team and Pakistani management uses this chat room to make sure new developers are properly learning our processes, and free developers have tasks to work on. You will still post hourly updates and “brb” notifications like you would in a client Skype chat room.
How long will I be in the R&D chat room?
If you are new to our company, you will stay in the R&D chat room until the time you have a client assigning you tasks. We use this time to make sure you are able to learn our processes at a relaxed pace and to practice. If you are currently working with a client, you will only stay in the R&D chat room until the client has assigned you more tasks.
What if I need a day off or short leave?
If you know that you will need a day off, or you would like to request a day off, there is a process you must follow. Please send an email to both your team leader/manager, and the HR manager. You will need to include what dates you would like to request off, and a reason for your request.
How do my requests get approved or denied? How will I be notified whether it was approved or denied?
HR will discuss your request with management and Tara. Your CRM will then discuss this request with your client, to make sure that they do not have any important plans or arrangements already made for the date you are requesting off. They will then inform your HR Manager of what the client says, and he will inform you directly whether or not your request has been denied or approved. It is very important to us that you are able to have all personal matters taken care of, and we only deny requests in very urgent situations.
What happens if I have an emergency on the day of work?
If you are sick, have an urgent emergency to attend to, or are not able to come into work for any reason, we ask that you notify us immediately. The sooner the better, and please try to call at least two hours before your shift begins. This gives us plenty of time to inform your client about your absence.
What time should I plan to arrive to work?
Our shifts actually begins at 5:30 p.m. however, please plan to arrive at least ten minutes before (at 5:20 p.m.). This will give you time to boot up your PC and begin your shift relaxed. The shift start time is the time that you will actually begin work, not the time that you should arrive! It is very important to be prepared and ready to begin work right at 5:30 p.m.
What happens if I am running late?
If you are late for any reason, the same situation applies, please call to notify us as soon as possible, so we may inform your client immediately. We ask that you do everything possible to arrive on time, as Americans are very punctual and prefer that you be on time.
What if I don't understand what my client is saying? What if I have questions about communication, English, or American culture?
The CRM team is here to answer any communication and English questions you may have. They are all native English speakers, born and raised in the USA, and able to answer any pronunciation questions, questions about what a phrase, word, or slang means, or any other issues you may face. We have encountered it all, and we love to help!
Who do I ask if I have questions about Skype, Basecamp, or other tools we use?
The CRM team works with these tools also, and will be able to answer any questions you have or guide you in the right direction. Additionally, your team leads or other team members may be able to answer your questions.
Frequestly Asked Questions from Existing Developers
Is our client based business model safe and secure?
Here at Allshore Virtual Staffing and our partner companies, we operate under a client-based business model meaning that we directly hire our developers out to clients based in the United States who act as project managers working directly with our developers each day. We only look for long-term clients who want to hire developers for six months or longer, enabling us to keep our developers consistently working for years. Once we establish a successful developer / client relationship, we move right on to the next one. Strong client / developer relationships and our drive forward are two of the reasons we have grown so quickly over the last five years. Much of the security and success driving our model forward where other client-based companies have failed in the past, comes from the partnership with a strong U.S.-based company, Allshore Virtual Staffing. Allshore provides leadership for navigating an American market as well as excellent U.S. based customer service. Allshore is responsible for finding new clients, maintaining existing client relationships, handling any customer service related issues with clients, and leading our partner companies. Allshore is able to handle much of what goes into making a business successful while allowing our developers to focus solely on development. The reasons we are very successful at what we do are listed below:
- We only hire experienced developers that can communicate well in English
- We’re a U.S. company leading and educating our Pakistani brothers and sisters on the right ways to interact with international clients.
- We have strong time tested policies in place (BRB, Hourly Updates, Punctual Start-times) to exhibit to American clients that people in Pakistan are dependable, highly skilled, and dedicated workers.
- We have a U.S. based customer support team that is responsible for getting to know each client, their likes and dislikes and helping diffuse angry clients.
- We have a strong bond between those in senior leadership roles and Allshore, to ensure our companies do what is necessary to accomplish our goals and missions.
As you can see, we have so many more positive qualities and assets going for us than most client based businesses in our market do. We strive to diversify our portfolio of clientele so that if any one client leaves us, it doesn’t cause us to suffer too badly. However, all clients are to be treated as precious commodities that we absolutely never want to lose or damage our relationships with.
What does it mean to work in a client based business model?
It means that we put our developers in direct communication each and everyday with a U.S. based client. Our clients are your project managers. Our clients guide and direct your daily tasks. We do not hide anything from our client, so when a developer makes any mistakes we tell the client immediately upon knowing of the mistake. We are not hiding our developers behind project managers like most offshore firms. This means we have to hire the best software developers that Pakistan can offer us. We have to have our software developers continually improving their communication skills and technical skills. Our clients are top-level U.S. companies that have high expectations. We promise them that Pakistani people are just as educated and skilled as American software engineers and we rely on our developers to back us up and prove this. We have client relation managers and team leaders that help guide our developers and help them do the right things. Always follow their guidance and lead, as they are experts in succeeding in our business model.
The number one way a developer gets into trouble in our company is failure to improve on glaring weaknesses that have cost them two clients. Example:
We give Developer A to Client Z. Dev A and Client Z start off their relationship strongly, but after a few weeks Client Z tells their Allshore CRM that Dev A is not checking his work thoroughly and is calling tasks completed when they obviously are not. The Allshore CRM informs Dev A’s team leader of the complaint and we log it into the system. Then Dev A’s team leader speaks to Dev A about this problem and coaches him on how to fix it. IF:
Dev A resolves the issue and the client never complains again, problem solved! IF:
Dev A doesn’t resolve this issue and it becomes such a huge problem over time that makes the client request a new developer, then Dev A has lost ONE client due to a recurring issues that the developer failed to improve upon. Now Dev A is back on the bench, and we will take this opportunity to provide further coaching and guidance on how to better adapt to our business model. After sometime, we will again put the developer with a new client, Client Y. IF:
Dev A and Client Y work together with no issues, then problem solved and the developer’s past mistakes are forgiven. IF:
Client Y brings up the same exact issues as Client Z did, then we know we have a developer that is really struggling to adapt. We will again provide coaching and counseling and work to improve the developer as much as we can, but at some point the developer has to pull his end of the rope and adjust better. If after several attempts to correct the issue the developer fails and the client leaves or requests another developer, then Dev A will have lost two clients to the same issues. If a developer loses two clients to the same issues or related issues, then we simply cannot trust to give him a third client. We cannot risk all the hard work our sales staff does everyday in finding clients to a person that either doesn’t care or is incapable of working in a client based business model. Dev A in this instance would be better suited in a project based business where he has a local project manager guiding him each day. A few other ways that a developer might be terminated would be…
- Developers that refuse to acknowledge they have problems or refuse to take ownership of their actions, will not last long in our company.
- Developers that cheat our clients and company out of time by taking excessive or secretive breaks.
- Developers that have bad attitudes or spread false rumors also need to be aware that their time may be short.
- Developers that repeatedly break policies and fail to improve themselves to better fit in, these developers will be given SEVERAL opportunities to improve.
- Insensitive remarks made to clients or people of other cultures, genders, religions or societies.
These are the ways in which a developer gets in trouble here.
I missed a few hourly updates, will I be fired?
NO! This is a common misconception. If you miss a few updates here and there, then your CRM will simply remind you to give your update. If you are talking to a client when it is update time, you need to simply write, “Status: Discussing tasks with my client.” Try not to ever miss an update, but if you do, just try harder next time. Again, part of the CRM’s job is to remind you if you forget, but this is NOT a fireable offense by any means. NO! You are not in trouble. The EEA system is to reward excellence in a non-biased way. By having a set of very tough standards in place we can reward those that achieve near perfection. If you do not win EEA, then try harder next time. You are certainly not in trouble if you are disqualified from EEA.
What is my yearly increment based on?
Our number one goal at Allshore is client satisfaction. Keeping our clients happy keeps us stable and keeps us with long term clientele. Your salary increment is primarly based on your client’s satisfaction with your work productivity, your work ethics, and your ability to maintain a healthy client relationship. The following break down on how a salary increment is deteremined is as follows: 80% Client Satisfaction. (Measured by client complaints, client appreciations, client surveys) 10% EEA 10% Management Decision (based on attitude, performance, helpfulness, professional growth)
What does it mean when a Client Relations Manager speaks to me, am I in trouble?
No. A Client Relations Manager has been assigned the responsibility of not only taking care of clients and customer support issues, but to also look out for our development team. They may send you helpful reminders, tips to improve your communication or English-speaking skills, and any other information that may be necessary to help you perform your shift. Additionally, they host English sessions, and will meet with you to schedule a time of day and date that will work best for you.
Developers On The Bench Common Questions
Is my job safe if I have no client and I am on the bench?
YES! It is very important for our company to have a healthy bench of available developers to jump into a new or existing client relationship at any time. We have to have good solid developers ready to go at a moment’s notice in order to keep our clients satisfied when their existing developer leaves our company, or needs to be replaced for one reason or another. We also need developers on our bench and ready to go to new clients that our sales team brings into our company.
What is expected of me while I am on the bench?
You are expected to continue learning new technologies that will further benefit your ability to satisfy your future client. You are expected to learn all the best practices of communication with clients and you are expected to begin adapting to our company needs and company culture. Education is the KEY when a developer is on the bench. Learn as much as you can about technology and what will make you a successful client based developer. You are also expected to give hourly updates in the R&D Room on Skype, not exceed break times if possible and slowly adapt to working our 5:30 PM – 2:00 AM shift. We are lenient with all new developers as we understand it takes time to adjust into a new and completely different business model than most people are accustomed to. So relax, learn and adapt.
What is the Khurram Policy and how does it effect me?
The Khurram policy was an idea a developer had to put all bench developers inside active client chat rooms with other more senior developers. They are to be a silent observers and are to continue studying and working on other projects in the meantime. The purpose is to get all new developers comfortable with client communications by watching some of the more senior developers communicate with their clients. This idea was made into a policy two days after Khurram’s suggestion.
Allshore President, Randall Agee’s, expectations of ALL EMPLOYEES
Hello I am Randall Agee and I would like to outline all of my expectations for each and every employee in this company to live by. This company is only as good as the people in it. We all must work hard and produce results for each other as we all depend on one another. Developers depend on the sales staff to find them clients; the sales staff depends on developers to fulfill the promises made to prospective clients. Client Relations Managers depend on Team Leaders to help developers technically and to motivate developers each day so the Client Relations Managers are not being yelled at by angry clients. Team Leaders depend on Client Relations Managers to keep clients happy as much as possible when things to do wrong. Our clients depend on our system to deliver results, the system being the entire “Allshore Experience” and people in it. We all depend on our clients giving work, managing the work and paying their invoices on time. Managers depend on employees to be productive and work hard; employees depend on managers to guide, educate, and lead this company. It’s a global team effort with each role playing an important part of the overall success of our firm. Always remember to police each other, and hold each other accountable. If you see someone breaking the rules, cheating the company, or having a bad attitude, talk to them and get them on the right path. These bad actions could lead to losing a client and that is always counterproductive to reaching our goals. The number one concern of most Pakistani people is job security. How secure is my job? Well, my simple answer is, your job is only as secure as the people in the company. Are the people in the company acting with integrity and honesty? If so they this company is VERY stable and your job is stable, but the minute people start finding little ways to cheat the client’s time, not following the rules and policies made, then we become unstable. So if you want job security, then you need to hold your fellow peers accountable for bad actions. Tell them, “I love my job and you are jeopardizing it with your laziness or bad habits. Please change your ways immediately.”
- Communicate anything and everything.
- Be honest, have integrity, and never cheat this company.
- During work hours, work and be highly productive.
- Have pride in your country of Pakistan, know that your actions are representing all of Pakistan.
- Show the world how hard working and talented the great Pakistani people are.