You might have heard stories about the challenges of working with offshore partners or you would’ve experienced them yourself. But the truth is by partnering with a nearshore vendor, you can get better software results at lower costs. They can take care of your software needs while you can concentrate on your business. Whenever there is a need for outsourcing and you are trying to get ahead of your competitors, nearshoring is your best option. But nearshoring is not without its own challenges. From our experience, we would like to share a few of them and show you that things can go well if you can find the right partner.
Verifying skills and competences
Poland has been a global hub for IT engineers with highly developed graduate programs and a mature outsourcing market for a long time now. Claiming the 3rd place in the “Countries with the Best developers” list compiled by HackerRank, Poland is one of the few places in the world where you will find some of the highly successful software vendors.
When choosing a nearshoring partner, you don’t have to rely on statistics alone. The best way to test potential vendors is by inviting them for a workshop to demonstrate what they are capable of. They can share their experience in your focus area and conduct consulting workshops to come up with architecture solutions and development plans.
Choosing right technologies
Nearshoring companies work with a wide range of technologies and test them in their R&D departments. If you are not sure which technological stack you should use in your upcoming project, their expert team can help you. It takes a lot of expertise and experience in multiple projects to distinguish between technological stacks and find out the most reliable one for a given goal.
A responsible vendor will adapt and suggest technologies that are time tested and commercially successful with a large community supporting them. To choose the right technology is to make sure your project doesn’t fail.
Preventing the in-house team from leaving
Developers often leave their jobs because of outdated technologies and repetitive tasks. It is counterproductive to burden them with the task of supporting old solutions. An external vendor can aid you with your older projects and let you move your most valuable employees to more important tasks while keeping them accessible. It is important to not lose the knowledge they have acquired over the years.
Flexible vendors will act as an extension of your current teams rather than a replacement. The in-house staff engaged in the new project can pick up the ideas and insights often brought by the vendors and pass them along internally to other projects. This might be the boost of fresh air your developers are looking for.
Time to market
The time of delivery largely depends on the ability to dynamically react to project needs as new circumstances unfold. Engagement with a nearshore vendor can help you deliver your product faster simply because of the manpower and the skill set of their teams.
This abundance of resources will come in handy when additional workload is added. It is possible to support current solutions and build and scale new ones simultaneously with ease.
Bigger vendors usually have divisions well versed in all major technologies. This allows them to start the project straight away even if it requires on-demand recruitment. A vendor with a stable position in the market can hire new employees quicker than a product company. After all, vendors have an HR department specializing in IT engineers.
There is a major misconception that an IT company must have an extensive knowledge of applications in a market to do well in a related project. The truth is an IT company need not be an expert in a particular market sector to deliver quality software. For example, a booking system for flights will face the same technical challenges as a booking system for trains. Good vendors can easily switch between the business domains and will be able to take insights from others and use them to their advantage elsewhere.
Having that in mind, it is vital for the development team to understand the business and empathize with its users so that the end product can truly reflect their needs. Unlike the offshoring model where communication is limited to online meetings, a dedicated business analyst can conduct a series of onsite activities making the process much more thorough. Stakeholder interviews, use case decomposition, user story mapping and other exercises are much more effective when done face to face. Not to mention, a consultant coming from a similar geopolitical background to the business side is more likely to have a better base understanding of the business situation and will absorb the knowledge quicker. He will ask the right questions and gather the right requirements.
As a part of the same European market, nearshoring vendors tend to have a similar mindset to their business partners which means better understanding and less communication issues. Having that in mind, there are always traits that stand out in people from different countries. Understanding them is the key to foster successful relationships. This works for both businesses and vendors. You can find their capabilities and know what to expect from them easily if you learn these cultural nuances.
Lack of engagement is one of the most common reasons for projects failures. This is true to both sides of the partnership – development team and your stakeholders. People from other companies, countries and even business industries are involved. But, how can you truly engage in business goals and achieve them?
Poles always look for meaning in what they do. They will always ask for the reason behind a certain feature or a task. They will challenge the status quo and propose alternative solutions rather than simply follow the specifications. You can even expect a formulated risk log as a part of a project routine from them.
When they know the “why” behind, they are driven by the goals and commit willingly. They are highly focused on their goals and approach them from a team perspective. So, every team member acts proactively to help others to meet their objectives as a team.
Product quality expectations convergence
Defining quality expectations for software products is not an easy task. The quality factors are complex and require constant tracking. Examples include technology trends, user experience, benchmarking of competitors, and many more.
Tracking the expectations is a much more difficult task. You need to pay attention to quality and trust on top of that. While some vendors do that, others don’t.
Individuals in the Polish teams usually are more likely to express their desire to improve the outcome of their work rather than a need for self-recognition.
Their self-critical nature and a need for perfection often lead them to thoroughly review all the features/deliverables before even showing them to the client representatives. You can also expect them to stay updated with the current trends so they can check themselves against leaders.
Communication quality approach
The right communication attitude is a must-have for understanding what needs to be delivered and the expectations of the quality factors like look and feel, performance, usability, reliability, and maintainability. While insufficient engagement of project contributors raises a high risk of project failure, shortages in communication between you and the development team can even kill the project.
Giving and receiving feedback helps to set expectations and resolve issues before they escalate to a higher rank. That is why transparency is a pillar of Asipre’s culture and is expected from all its employees. We constantly give our employees feedback on their work and encourage them to give theirs too.
To choose a nearshore vendor who will be the right match for your business requires hard skills and competency.
Engagement and communication aspects between you and the team play a key role in the nearshoring model. You don’t want to pay for missed solutions. Thus, relationship requires shared understanding of your business and your clients.
So, only with a combination of hard competencies, close partnership and mutual quality approach can you achieve the synergy effect that will boost your business.
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