5 tips for nearshoring of your development team

February 6, 2018 | Bas van der Meer |

More and more companies are choosing to nearshore their development teams. Nearshoring is not popular without any reason: there is no lack of highly skilled, professional developers in Eastern Europe. Ukraine, for example, is known for its local development talent. This makes it cheaper to hire an IT team. Because of the limited travel time of three hours, you can visit often enough to check the progress and you can quickly put together a quality team. What should you look out for when you near a development team? Below there are five tips to help you get started.

1: Organize a good onboarding process

A collaboration with a nearshoring team starts with a session in which the business plan and the IT-challenge are central. This lays the foundation for the first sprints (mini-projects in which products or features are delivered) and the planning for these sprints. This is the first specification level of the project.

It is also important that deliverables are agreed upon in this session, so that it is clear what can be settled on. In addition, it must be possible to be physically present so that these deliverables can actually be presented. The travel time should therefore be reasonable. After all, an appointment on location will prevent misunderstandings.

2: Strive for flexibility

In a collaboration with an IT partner, you want to be flexible in two ways. First of all, if that proves necessary, you want to be able to suspend, reduce or increase cooperation. If a nearshoring party has no faith in his or her service, they often make it impossible (or only possible after a long time) to end a collaboration.

You also want to be flexible within the IT project. If you want to do a pivot or just want to change some features or functionalities, then that must be possible. This may mean that the team must be organized or assembled differently. Discover in advance whether these options are actually available. In fact, it should be possible not to outsource the projects, but to “rent” an IT team. This team will then develop something that is relevant to your market.

3: Retain the rights over intellectual property

Always check in advance whether a development agency requires ownership of the code, rights or intellectual property. If that is the case, then it is difficult – if not impossible – to transfer a project if the cooperation is disappointing.

As a development agency, we at least transfer the full code and intellectual property right if a that is what a client wishes. Doing so is more important than you can possibly imagine. After all, you want your intellectual property to be safe and not suddenly falls into the hands of the party where you happen to outsource your IT solution. A collaboration should add value, but not cost you the ownership of your idea.

4: Consider a managed project manager for a larger project

There are two ways to organize a nearshoring team: managed and non-managed. Non-managed nearshoring is characterized by the hiring of a team of programmers who work remotely. Contrarily, if a team is managed, it means that there is a project manager on site who monitors the progress of the process. He or she facilitates the team during the Agile process. Parties who opt for a traditional scrum method more often opt for a managed project.

If a project is not that big, then the project manager also takes on the tasks of the product owner. This means that he or she is also involved in the content of the product and is considering the technical description and functional requirements.

5: Outsourcing pays off

If it seems worth to consider putting together a team in (for example) Ukraine, you can do this through (e.g.) freelancer websites where talents offer their services. However, you probably underestimate the time and money involved in such a recruitment procedure. If you do not have a good supervisor, you must remain at the relevant nearshore location to check the progress.

We see (and hear, through disappointed companies) that organizing nearshoring more often goes wrong than well. This is because certain skills and expertise are involved. If you don’t have that, you are often more expensive, you have no guarantees that the work will actually be done and you cannot manage the team remotely. In short: cheap turns out to be expensive in that case.

Conclusion

Above you can read how you can optimize a collaboration with a nearshore development team. One of the parties that takes care of this is Moqod. Moqod puts together a development team that can be managed on location (if desired). This means you do not have to invest in recruitment or organize accommodation for the team. Because they are experienced developers, they can get started right away – at least, within the usual lead time (about two to four weeks). Teams can always be expanded, reduced or modified. Moqod coordinates the work via from headquarters in the Netherlands, so that coordination takes place locally. Quality is guaranteed through an independent Quality Assurance.