Cooperating with external and remote IT suppliers can sometimes be both tricky and risky. If not set-up, executed and controlled properly, the outcome of the outsourced project can be quite different from what you initially expected. How can you find a nearshoring partner that you can trust? What are the things to beware of and simply to avoid when agreeing such an arrangement?
1. Poor communication
It is not a surprise that, in any cooperation with an external company, properly defined and regular communication is the key. If you work in the agile way (which we highly recommend) make sure that there are regular communication sessions at all levels and agree on other scrum ceremonies. Do not forget about status meetings at the managerial level to ensure project stability and mutual satisfaction. And remember, if you do not hear from each other for a long time, it is most probably a bad sign.
2. Project scope too wide and unclear
Having a clear project and product vision on the customer side is one of the prerequisites of the successful nearshoring project. Sometimes it is hard for a customer to split the required system into several milestones or handle changing business requirements caused by either market conditions or the company itself. We have seen a lot of frustration when the resulting system or product did not meet the customer’s business needs. These days it is very common to have a vision rather than a completed specification. It is precisely for this reason that we prefer to work in iterations using the best agile practices for managed but flexible delivery capable of adopting various changes in specifications as time passes. We are also guiding our customers on how to correctly specify their needs, mainly at the start of the project, while making sure there is clarity in expectations on both sides. A very useful approach is to start with a so-called “Minimal Viable Product” as a definition of the core functionality delivering the desired key business values. To prevent project failure, we encourage customers to go live with their products and services as soon as possible so that they can review their expectations before we get too far with the custom development.
3. Missing Product Owner
The Product Owner is the main representative of the customer in the project. Such a person makes the key decisions regarding the business requirements and optimising the value of the work the development team does. As a company ordering software development, you should make sure that there is a person in charge on your side who has the capacity to reply to and clarify any questions or doubts coming from the company supplying the development side. An engaged product owner not only ensures the successful market adoption of the product but also improves the speed of the development team because they always know what is needed. In case you don’t have such a person, CN Group can support your Product Owner with a Product Owner Proxy as part of the development team. Too little engagement from the Product Owner can delay the delivery process because of misunderstandings or the lack of information about the requirements and can also cause frustration in the development team.