This is an excerpt from an article that first appeared on Clutch.co, written by Camilo Gómez.
Camilo Gomez, Director of Business Development at PSL, shares insights gained from years of working with North American clients. These experiences have allowed him to become familiar with the many nuances in communication that come up when working with different cultures. He's gathered tips for overcoming cultural barriers and ensuring smooth communications in outsourced software development engagements, which he shares in today's article published by Clutch.
Outsourcing software development has never been easier for companies looking to build cutting-edge technologies and launch state-of-the-art applications and platforms.
In fact, among large companies, the average percentage allocated to outsourcing in IT budgets rose in 2018. While more advanced technologies, cloud capabilities, and collaboration tools continue to evolve to make transnational software development viable, human factors may still present the greatest challenge to outsourced engagements.
Understanding Cultural Differences
Though not entirely conscious, cross-cultural teams are set against sharp contrasts in fields spanning from hierarchy to individuality and long-term orientation.Depending on how similar or different they are in these respects, communication can be smooth or strained, which can directly affect trust among the team.
Fortunately, there are certain steps you can take to ensure a successful collaboration.
- Research your outsourced team's cultural nuances
Learning about and understanding the cultural aspect of your deployed team will allow you to anticipate and mitigate risks, as well as plan better to play to their strengths.
- Find a way of communicating that works for both teams
Establish a set of ground rules and dynamics will ensure every member of your team—both deployed and in-house—can participate in the decisions being made.
- Work on developing strong relationships
Create stronger bonds by encouraging teams to build rapport and learn about each other. This can also be supported by in-person visits that allow team members to meet face-to-face.
- Agree on Processes and Methodology
Sharing a way of doing things puts everyone on the same page, establishes a roadmap for goals and expectations, and lays down some ground rules.
- Align expectations on workload and team dynamics
Rather than counting on having a deployed team constantly burn the midnight oil, consider time employees will be taking for special holidays, vacations, and religious events from the beginning, and plan accordingly.
Move forward with an open mind
Overall, steps to ensure that outsourced software development teams enjoy good communication with their onshore counterpart need to be grounded on empathy and respect. Afterward, forming a high-performing software development team is a matter of both sides making their policies, expectations, and values clear, as well as agreeing on procedures that will enable smooth development practices.
Getting to a point of seamless collaboration between onshore and outsourced teams may take some time, but the payoff in terms of productivity, creativity, and momentum will be worth the wait.