Python, PHP
September 2019 - ongoing

The Client

A Scandinavian company offering a SaaS solutions automating accounting for SMEs.

The Challenge

The product of our client started gaining traction. Written in Python and PHP and fully available in the browser, the tool was attracting user attention, yet its performance wasn’t up to par with the growing interest. Software inefficiencies quickly became the main blocker to the success of our client’s application. Slow and unsatisfactory user experience started to take a toll on their prospect and client base, as retention metrics started to plunge.

There was no time to waste. Our client’s competitors began to copy and build upon their solutions, which added to the increased churn rate. Of course, the company mapped features with the potential to prevent customers from leaving but lacked internal resources to develop and implement them in time.

The Solution

When we received an inquiry, our client seemed to be pretty certain about the assignment scope. They asked us to create two remote Scrum teams. The teams would support in implementing new features and preparing the system to accommodate the growing pool of users. With more than 400 specialists on board, Delivery Managers at Scalo could quickly recruit and assemble custom development teams. Our primary goal is to support the business growth of our clients. We don’t shove random services down their throats expecting that things will somehow work out. Before signing a statement of work, we thoroughly assess our prospect’s situation and use these insights to select the right model and scale of software outsourcing.

That’s why we organize free initial assessment workshops – and that’s what we did here. During the session, we provided our client with the tools to better assess their existing needs, strengths, opportunities, and threats. One of the most important takeaways, despite their initial assumptions, was that they weren’t ready to onboard two dev teams at once. They had never worked with the external developers. Instead of a successful productivity leap, they would have experienced a common problem – not being able to manage and benefit from the newly acquired resources.

Our client needed more time to prepare and fully accommodate the new remote teams. One of the core issues was to streamline clients’ onboarding process. The second issue related to the process of merging client internal developers with our newly created team and building trust between them. Following the workshop findings, we recommended our client to start small. Although delivering a dozen developers was feasible, it would’ve been counterproductive at that particular time.

Instead, we suggested beginning with a team of three developers. This gave our client a chance to experience working with an external software outsourcing partner. It also gave them time to adjust their internal processes to allow for optimal cooperation. Other issues that needed to be addressed included, among others, task workflows, reporting, and running productive remote meetings. We advised and supported our client on all these matters.

The Effect

We created a small team that joined two separate departments. Our specialists were introduced to the client’s organisational culture, modus operandi, business model and, above all, the product. They collected insights needed to activate an efficient knowledge transfer for future members of the external development team.

At the same time, our client began to understand how to cooperate with an external technology partner – i.e. how to plan and carry out assignments, then how to monitor its progress. Client took advantage of our delivery services, using the delivery manager as a proxy to assign tasks within the project to the nearshore team.

Client also used the time to transparently communicate to his internal team the reasons why they sought support. They needed the internal team to cooperate with the external developers for the partnership to be successful. There had to be trust among all members.

Thanks to a kick-off meeting at our client’s premises, all the developers got to meet each other and integrate in-person. Soon they were working together as one.

The partnership is running smoothly. The client entered a model of work they haven’t used before (nearshoring), and enabled efficient cooperation between internal and external developers. The laid groundwork allowed for gradual growth, mutual learning, and a structured process of taking on new responsibilities by the outsourced team.

Thanks to the workshop, our client made decisions that helped them achieve their business goals without unnecessary spending and waste.

Although our client approached us with a clear set of requirements, the initial workshop helped them to re-assess their needs and save big by starting small and gradually growing the team to achieve optimal software development efficiency.

Gradually increasing the capacity of the team, they managed to improve the application performance significantly and implement new features. We are happy to continue supporting their product development efforts.

See also

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