(this is an article previously published at LinkedIn by CCO Eelke Broersma)
When I talk with a client about outstaffing I often hear about the risks rather than a realistic solution for the acute shortage of good and experienced developers.
The top 5 risks that I have heard in recent years
– When it is far away, I have no idea what happens. Who guarantees me that everything is done according to agreement and that everything is ready on time?
– When I outsource my development, I lose all knowledge and the (added) value of my company goes down.
– We have bad experiences from the past, so it does not work anyway.
– I do not know what the proximity of IT development has as effect on my organization. How much time does it cost, what does it mean for my people and the organization?
– It is a huge risk, but I do not know very well (from my own experience) what that risk is.
The above-mentioned risks are real and will certainly become problems if there’s no proper anticipation. But don’t they look very much like the risks that you might get within your company if you outsource work within your own region, work with freelancers or hire a new employee who leaves within a year? The problem is not so much about nearshoring / offshoring but about handing over part of your business (and not about the control on this). A good control of the risks is therefore recommended in all cases.
Think of the risks before you start
Nearshoring / offshoring of your IT development is not something that is without risks, just like other forms of outsourcing (or delegating) work. However, it is often the case that it stops signaling these risks, without actually investigating them further. Properly mapping the risks can give you a good idea of how to deal with these risks. And this will pave the way to new solutions for your shortage of developers.
You can also approach the earlier mentioned risks in a different way:
– When you are afraid of losing sight, you can make (prior) agreements about transparency and reporting.
– Make sure that the basic knowledge is also guaranteed within your organization and make (contractual) agreements about it.
– Find out what the bad experiences were and explain them to the new cooperation partner. Make it negotiable and transparent.
– An experienced nearshoring / offshoring partner can give you many examples of comparable situations at other companies. Ask for it.
A good investigation of what can go wrong can save a lot of misery and provide insight into how best to deal with these risks. Learn from the (bad and good) experiences of customers and suppliers.
When is outstaffing a realistic option?
By identifying the risks, drawing up a plan to manage them and contrasting them with the solutions that this way of working can offer, you provide yourself an answer. You may not have found this answer in a few hours, but an experienced partner like SHORE teams, who is prepared to make a fair analysis of the situation can help you on your way.
How to limit the risks?
You can think of:
– Better quality assurance in your process, through a structured approach with an external partner. Here, adding Quality Assurance (QA) can be an important step towards measurable and predictable quality of your development.
– Use specialists in your specific technology stack. Not everyone is good at everything. For an excellent delivery there must be optimal cooperation between the product owner (client), design (UI / UX) and developers. The (partial) outsourcing of development to specialists in this area could improve your development.
– A better preliminary analysis (which is often necessary for outsourcing).
– By contractually covering the supplier of risks (in terms of time and money for example).
Would you like to know more about how nearshoring / offshoring can work for
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