Your business needs to be prepared for the fact that the decision to outsource certain processes, or jobs to external devs may not be welcomed by your in-house team, which can severely hinder your IT project’s success.
What can you do to overcome this backlash? How can you create successful software development teams that consist of both internal and external specialists?
We already mentioned the importance of knowledge transfer and clear communication to the success of IT projects. By failing to brief the external developers properly, your company may risk more than just delays or exceeded budgets. Think of the software solutions that get delivered, but never bring the expected business value.
Without the right introduction and on-boarding of external developers to your in-house team, the chances of miscommunication and related losses can only increase.
At Scalo, we once built a custom remote development team for a client who required help with adjusting its internal document management system. From day one, our devs experienced hostility from the client’s internal engineers. The company’s leaders never explained to the internal engineers the goal of the collaboration, so for fearing their jobs, they started to act in an uncooperative manner.
Instead of bringing us up to speed regarding the project challenges, they stopped responding to emails and undermined the progress in other insidious ways. Their approach stretched the project out from seven to over 13 months, incurring extra costs of several hundred thousand euro.
Scalo has provided software services to businesses around the world for over a decade now, so when it comes to working in international IT projects, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly.
These tips have helped our clients make the most out of augmenting in-house teams with external developers – and I hope you’ll find them useful, too.
Be open with your in-house team about the reasons behind enlisting an IT outsourcing company. Lay out the expectations and goals for such a collaboration, and communicate them to all internal and external team members before any work commences.
Ensure that all parties know their area of responsibilities and avoid no-man’s-land at all costs. The same applies to establishing the rules of collaboration – many of which can already be outlined in your SLA.
You’d be surprised how often clients expect immediate results from the external contractors without introducing them to the nature of their business and its challenges.
Make sure you accurately onboard your outsourced specialists – and remember that the more time and energy you give them at the beginning, the better results you’ll get at the end.
Cultural differences are one of the most important things to be conscious of when building international IT teams. Apart from language, some common concerns to be aware of include social norms and attitudes, holidays, and business ethics.
Be mindful of cross-cultural differences, and educate both your internal and external teams on them to avoid any misunderstanding.
Trust is a cornerstone of any fruitful collaboration, especially when the lion’s share is performed remotely, as it happens in IT outsourcing.
Personal communication and contact between team members usually yield good results, so consider the hybrid IT outsourcing model, in which some members of the external team are always present on your premises and work hand-in-hand with your in-house team.
Treat your external team the same way as your in-house staff. Instead of assigning them specific, detached tasks, let them see the project challenge in its entirety, and suggest solutions.
Not only will it keep your external devs more engaged – but you’ll also gain a fresh approach to issues your business may be struggling with.
Don’t expect to get a ready product without regular contact with your developers. Use all possible channels of communication and embrace opportunities for face-to-face conversations with your external team, for instance, as a part of the hybrid IT outsourcing model.