IT Journeys: Why We Send Employees for 2-3 Week Planning Sessions Abroad

We believe that communication is the number one question in IT projects. There are many ways to organize work remotely. For example, daily communication and calls in Skype help to be on the same page, but can not help to understand the software you’re working at.

Interaction with the client at a distance became common, and we already began to consider that it is not necessary to see or hear each other, it is important only to know what should be a result. However, this approach can not be reasonably called effective.

We went even further: we send our developers to the customer’s office on meetings and planning sessions. Perhaps, it will seem a waste of time and resources to some of the readers, but for us, this is part of a successful team building and the keystone to the success of the future project.

  • team members start to feel more confident about each other
  • the estimation accuracy increases greatly during such events
  • each participant feels the Spirit of the team
  • informal communication in the evening helps to increase mutual understanding
  • such events allow showing the team to the client
  • it is an exciting experience for developers, like a professional journey or some kind of professional tourism, let us say so

Our IT Tourism Experience


The purpose. Two long months of hard work resulted in the very first successful MVP demo of the product when our customer came to the conclusion that it’s time to get to know the team more closely before coming on the long path of offshore web development. Without losing a minute, we put things together, bought tickets, and caught a plane to Oslo.

What we’ve got. StartupLab is a remarkable place where hundred of ideas grow into market leaders, and also a locality where our clients have their office. There was lots of work such as planning and estimating while getting immediate feedback, discussing the importance of each piece of functionality, and how to make features handier for the users. Normally, such meetings online last just 1 or 2 hours and teams there discuss only the most important features,  which prevent the project from moving on. But, as you know, the strength of the product is in the details. During the trip, we spent almost all the time at discussions all day long. We could ask all questions and discuss all ideas, uncovering the details about some limitations and requirements, understanding some stakeholders which were not mentioned before, and partnerships that could be used.

Working remotely you are aware the founder cares about the project, spends tons of time on the new strategy, design, killer-features, etc. Seeing him in reality you get infected with all his passion and want to go further, reach perfection in whatever you do.

The result. At that moment, our offline acquaintance caused trust and connection we hadn’t before. Our customer knows, that we care too, and now we understand each other. We saw people who work on the other side, and now clearly see our own duties and goals, as if we are one team. And yet, we realized that the main thing is to have reliable people to work with, know they are ready to help at a difficult time and realize our duty to do the same in similar situations.

How Organize the IT Trips

To answer quickly we would say: “It’s easy!” All you need is plane tickets and a room for overnight stay. And now, when Ukraine has a visa waiver, it’s even easier for startups to fly to an acquaintance with the client. Everyone knows how difficult it is for developers to relax, take their mind off the painstaking work, take away from it all. And here it is, the solution.

Usually, developers are happy to go abroad. And it’s quite reasonable: you can draw flowcharts or eat pizza, but you see one another and make sure that you have the right reliable people in your team. All that contributes to the overall team productivity, cohesion, and solidarity, which are universally recognized to be the main features of a professional web development team.

We will slightly open the veil saying that our next trip is going to be in London. This time we plan to combine planning sessions and meetings with the new people from a startup world.  Join us, and you’ll see this approach really works!


The strength lies in the details, so even such a detail as a personal acquaintance of the team and the client, as well as attending international development offices have a significant impact on the success of the project. We believe that such IT tourism is useful for both parties, and we will try to maintain this good tradition.

Posted by Contributor