How to Best Work With a Nearshore Software Outsourcing Team

The Role of Nearshore Development Outsourcing

When organizations need to create, customize, and manage software solutions for either their own company or their clients, it isn’t uncommon for them to lack the manpower, time, and/or necessary skills to get the job done. For these reasons, many organizations choose to work with a third-party nearshore software outsourcing company for all of their software development needs.

Nearshore development outsourcing is a very beneficial tool for companies – when it’s done correctly. Every hiring company should follow the best practices listed above to work as effectively and positively with their nearshore partners since they will help build long-lasting partnerships and high-quality products for mutual success.

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What is Nearshore Software Outsourcing?

Working with an outsourced software development team has become a common, if not go-to practice for companies of all sizes and industries for a variety of additional reasons as well. 

Nearshore software development or outsourcing is the practice of delegating software development or certain tasks pertaining to it to companies located in a nearby country or geographical proximity to the hiring company. 

When hiring a nearshore company, it’s normal for the time difference to be between 1 and 3 hours from the hiring company’s time zone. This minimal time zone helps remove communication barriers with the outsourced team.

This is a similar practice to offshore outsourcing (or the hiring of a third-party company in a country in another part of the world) but offers benefits such as cultural proximity, convenient time zones and locations, and (normally) a similar language. Many companies choose this option when outsourcing to allow for better collaboration between their in-house employees and the nearshore team while still saving money.

Tips for Working with a Nearshore Development Outsourcing Team

Hiring a third-party nearshore company to take care of software development goals isn’t as simple as merely handing over a project outline and checking in every once in a while. For it to be a fruitful and successful partnership, the in-house employees of hiring companies must work closely with the outsourced team to accomplish goals and complete projects successfully.

Nearshore development teams hire experts and experienced professionals that have the necessary infrastructure to deliver high-quality products. However, that doesn’t mean they are mind readers – they need the client to play their role so they can better understand the project’s goals and ensure better outcomes. 

Below are a few tips and guidelines for establishing a relationship and coordinating with a nearshoring provider:

  • Fully Discuss Project Goals

    Simply assigning a project to a nearshore team without explaining the goals behind it lands companies in quite a bit of hot water. If the in-house team doesn’t communicate the full-product vision, target users, and ideal goals, the nearshore team won’t have a clear picture of what they are building. While the development team will have the skills to get the software developed in a technical sense, it may not satisfy all of the project goals set out by the hiring company.

    Nearshore developers need a full project vision before ever getting started on any work. Hiring companies should explain why they want the product, which functions they want to include, the general and unique specifications, and when they want it fully developed and ready to deploy. This allows the nearshore team to think of the best approaches for the development in the most innovative and efficient way.

  • Communicate Frequently Through Easily Understandable Language

    It’s easy to communicate within an in-house team as team members are normally only a few steps away. With nearshore teams, companies should strive to communicate even more frequently than they would with their in-house employees. This helps to ensure that everything is clear and there is no confusion despite the distance between the in-house and outsourced employees.

    This communication and collaboration rely on the power of technology. There are many different tools and mediums available to facilitate these needs as well. Instant messaging-type tools, such as Slack and Skype, are great ways to get questions answered fast. They also offer video and audio calls within their platforms. Zoom meetings and “traditional” conference calls also help connect teams. Project management software is a major help in keeping teams organized and on-track, especially when working with international teams. Popular project management tools include Jira, Asana, Trello, and Basecamp.

    While more common with offshore providers, nearshore team members may not be native speakers in the same language as the hiring company. To avoid any confusion, language and communication should be as clear and simple as possible for both parties.

  • Avoid Micromanagement

    It’s understandably difficult to hand off a project to another team and hope that it gets completed. However, if the hiring company attempts to micromanage the work of the nearshoring team to compensate for this, it will only lead to frustration and annoyance among the outside team. Micromanagement is a negative practice that breaks down the trust between employees and the employer. This cost translates to lost time and lower productivity.

    While communication is incredibly important in the nearshoring process, it’s also essential for hiring companies to trust in the fact that they have hired the best team of professionals possible to accomplish their goals. One way to avoid micromanagement is to appoint designated points of contact and project managers responsible for communication with these teams. These professionals know how to handle teams and management practices to achieve company goals.

  • Treat the Nearshore Team as a Partner

    Every hiring organization should treat the hired nearshore outsourcing company as their business partner. Treating these team members as trusted equals and true partners in the process will not only make them feel like a part of the team but also boost morale and make them want to work harder.

    Before any projects begin, hiring organizations need to take some time to get to know the members of their nearshore team. This helps build a relationship and rapport with them while creating a happy, positive work environment. Their accomplishments shouldn’t go without notice or acknowledgment either. By cultivating an atmosphere of support and happy employees, companies see better results and higher quality products as well.

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