In the second phase of our “Rightsourcing” approach we focus on the importance of finding internal support and aligning requirements after you have decided to find an external partner for your software development.
GET MANAGEMENT’S BUY-IN AND IDENTIFY CHAMPIONS
Don’t take management support for granted; It’s not enough to simply notify management of your outsourcing plans. You need to secure your executive team’s strategic and funding commitment. You should describe why you’ve decided to take this approach (see Step One), the financial ramifications, the project’s contribution to corporate objectives, and your due-diligence plan to select the right partner (see Step Three). Once you have secured the management team, you will also need to let your in-house teams of your plans an identify champions that will help you drive the engagement successfully.
Although your project may go off without a hitch, it’s more than likely to encounter a few organizational challenges and changes along the way. Build a solid foundation for successful software development internally before soliciting vendor proposals to ensure support of your plan. Nothing will sink a project faster than vague lines of authority and half-hearted backup from the top or more importantly, your internal technology team.
Ideally, you want to identify a specific project champion whom you’ll keep well-informed once the project is underway—and who can intervene on your behalf if and when company politics jeopardize the project. A committed product or project owner, who may be in Engineering, Marketing, or another department, is another critical success factor. He or she should clearly understand what degree of guidance and “hand-holding” will be required, depending on the type of outsourcing partner you select.
SIZE THE PROJECT’S TALENT REQUIREMENTS
Your project’s scale directly affects the outsourcing choice. For example, if you plan to deploy anything from a small team of engineers to anywhere around the 100 mark as quickly as possible for a new project, you should look to Latin American providers with more often than not, overlapping time-zones; for 300 people, look to the large Asian outsourcers, who are set up to marshal that level of resources on demand. On the other hand, a smaller project seeking several developers to augment an existing team or to address specific pain points is usually better served by a smaller-scale, local or nearshore consultative provider in geographies with overlapping time-zones.
MAKING THE OFFSHORE OR NEARSHORE DECISION
If you go fully offshore, i.e., with Asian or Eastern European outsourcers, be sure to make accommodations for the time zone and cultural differential, which will reduce or eliminate any overlap in remote and home team work schedules. This is manageable, but some of your team members will likely have to shift their hours to minimize communication delays. Management needs to understand and support these schedule modifications.
Nearshore remote teams in the Americas and Europe, on the other hand, can generally offer a nearly complete workday overlap, which simplifies real-time synchronization and collaborative problem-solving.