If you’re a tech-enabled business, then you know the importance of having a well-rounded development team to build innovative, state-of-the-art products and services for your business. With companies, especially in the West, facing an acute shortage of talent, more and more businesses are attracted to the concept of building an extended development team elsewhere.
Given the sky-high prices that businesses have to pay to hire the best local talent in places like Western Europe and the US, building an extended development team in another country means getting the best value for your money, and not having to compromise on the quality of the engineers that you hire. You’ll not only be able to fill in the crucial missing pieces in your core development team, but also crank up their productivity and get projects off the ground.
However, staff augmentation, especially in another country, if approached with misaligned expectations and insufficient planning, can derail your entire offshoring process. And that’s why, in today’s blog post, we bring to you some common development team extension mistakes that companies make, as well as actionable solutions to avoid them. Steering clear of these mistakes will ensure that you have the best partnership with your offshore provider and your extended development team!
#1: Outsourcing your development processes
If you want to augment your existing development team, it’s crucial to look beyond a temporary arrangement that can work for a one-off project. Building an extended team is a permanent solution, and the engineers that you hire become permanent employees of your business that are in it for the long haul — and that’s the biggest difference between outsourcing and building a dedicated team.
How is building an extended development team different?
When working with an outsourcing vendor, typically, you get access to a team of engineers who are hired by the outsourcing company. They are NOT your employees, which means that they aren’t invested in your business. Often, they’re working on multiple projects for multiple clients at the same time. With little to no focus on your business, more often than not, at the end of the day, you’re left with substandard software and no team.
Your extended development team, on the other hand, is yours, in every sense of the word. They work for you, they believe in the vision of your business, and their goal is simple — to help you grow your business by building software.
We, At The Scalers, believe that if your core business is software development, then it should stay within your organisation and not in the hands of an outsourcing vendor that you don’t have control over. And sure, outsourcing might seem like a simpler and cheaper option, but it won’t give you the long-term collaboration that is crucial in building great software.
#2: Evaluating the cost, rather than the value
Indeed, irrespective of the kind of business, the bottom line that acts as a deciding factor for any business proposition is: How much will this cost? While cost is a glass ceiling that somehow can never be breached, fixating too much on the price can mean that you’re not looking at the value proposition of the deal.
Many businesses, when given a choice, will choose the less expensive result. Not surprisingly, this is usually the wrong choice because lower rates doesn’t always mean getting the better end of the bargain. Even outsourcing, for instance, offers services at very low prices, but we just saw how that could spell disaster for your business.
Keep the price aside for a moment, and focus on asking them the bigger question — what value can they bring to the table? Assess their portfolios, their expertise, and how the higher costs can translate to higher productivity and success rate. If the facts and figures laid out don’t speak for themselves, then you’re better off not making that deal.
#3: Not involving your extended Development team enough
When you have an extended development team, it’s important to remember that they’re as much a part of your organisation as your local team is. The only real difference here is that they sit elsewhere, in a different office space.
Depriving your remote team of importance business knowledge, keeping them away from team calls, or not letting them voice their opinion or feedback can lead to them feeling isolated, unappreciated, and unrecognized. Apart from that, your extended team will no longer have a 360-degree comprehensive view of the business, the project at hand, and the larger goals of your business, which will result in unoptimised software solutions. This, in turn, can affect their morale and motivation and hinder productivity.
So what can you do?
A study conducted by Harvard Business School showed that 37% of the respondents said that their superior recognising and appreciating their work positively affected their productivity. It’s that simple, really. Make sure to include your extended team in any important discussions, ask them for ideas, brainstorm together, appreciate their efforts, and collaborate on day-to-day tasks. Treat your extended team no differently than your remote team, and see the magic happen.
#4: Not establishing a clear roadmap
Imagine building a stellar extended development team, all ready to work on building software, but you’re not able to assign the right tasks to them because you didn’t plan well in advance. Sounds like trouble, right?
An integral part of collaborating with an offshore provider and building a remote team is planning. Before you even partner with an offshore development company, it’s essential to put together a clear roadmap — a set of actionable steps for the near future. Rushing into a collaboration headlong and building requirements on the fly will lead to chaos and confusion, rather than increased productivity.
While it can be appealing to build requirements on the fly, you still need to make sure that you have enough work for your remote team for the next one to two development cycles, at the very least.