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So, you've taken the first step towards entering into a nearshoring partnership engagement. Congrats! The decision to outsource is probably not one you took lightly, but you can rest easy knowing that you'll soon reap benefits such as added flexibility to scale your team up or down, access to expert resources from around the globe, and lowered costs across the board. But, like with any endeavor, the onset of a nearshore outsourcing model can bring with it a few minor bumps as you adjust to your new delivery model.
Since we have a lot of experience working with companies that are just starting to outsource or just starting to do it from a nearshore model, we've compiled a number of items to help set you up for successful, long-term engagement.Find yourself a trusted nearshore partner
It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the literal thousands of software outsourcing service firms in the US and abroad, but basing a decision on just price can lead to undesirable consequences down the road. It's best to consider all the variables, especially those related to quality. A truly valuable partner will treat your business as their own, find ways and opportunities to propose improvements and add value, not just follow instructions mindlessly. In fact, Gartner found that "buyers reported that they receive most value from external service providers that can help them change culture and shift to a more agile mindset" in 2017, indicating that a beneficial partnership doesn't just help you complete tasks on time, but gradually get better at doing so.Develop a comprehensive scope for the project
It's incredibly important to understand the short- and long-term goals and objectives of the project. Without a clear idea of how to scale, when and why, you might be unable to take advantage of different opportunities that come up for new projects, innovative ideas or other features, among other things. Your scope can, and should, change as you iterate with your team and incorporate feedback.Use the methodology that makes the most sense for your organization.
You may follow agile principles or adhere more closely to scrum; either way, it's important to be very clear and transparent about this with your new outsourcing partner. Whichever methodology works for your organization, make sure you and your outsourcing partner are on the same page. Many times, teams can easily become confused when they are used to working one way and now they are expected to complete daily stand-ups or sprints. Keep in mind, that you or your partner can make slight adjustments and find a middle ground that stays true to workable principles but shifts activities.
[LEARN MORE: Download our Outsource vs. Offshore eBook]Communicate often and transparently.
It's not enough to expect that communication will be good between teams. Ensure that communication is strong by choosing the right communication tools and setting standards for frequent communication between the relevant parties. It won't always make sense to have outsourcing team members connecting with the client. We do our best to make sure that the person that has the most insight or knowledge about a particular topic is included when that topic or item is being discussed. Additionally, create a contingency plan for failures in communication or miscommunications.Keep an open mind
While we talked about defining the scope of the project, it is also important to keep an open mind. It can take awhile to get comfortable with a new partner, and it's important not to make assumptions during that introductory time. Keeping an open mind to proposed ideas and new ways of working or solving problems is critical to advancing and growing as an organization. We firmly believe that great ideas can come from anyone, so don't be afraid to listen to suggestions — you may stumble on a game-changing innovation or concept.
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Getting the most out of your nearshore outsourcing engagement ultimately depends on having a good understanding with your partner, based on trust and efficient communication. Going forward in your endeavor with these tools in your toolkit will ensure your project has the best probabilities for success, and you can get the most out of your nearshore team in terms of quality and the opportunity for innovation and valuable collaboration.
Still need to find a nearshore outsourcing partner that's a perfect fit? Let's have a chat! PSL is ready help you face your most complex software engineering challenges.