Nearshore outsourcing: 5 reasons why partnerships can fail

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Partnering with a nearshore software development company offers many benefits; however, these joint initiatives may not work well. If you feel your current partnership is taking the wrong path, take a look at these five possible reasons why.

Nearshore outsourcing 5 reasons why a partnership can fail Over the last several months, COVID-19 has sparked a lot of thought and discussion about the nature of work. Digital transformation has largely been given a turbo charge, as companies everywhere quickly deployed new remote working situations. This pandemic-inspired “digital disruption” is bringing warp-speed changes to the workplace, many of which will remain in place after the crisis. As of March 27, 16 million people started working remotely for the first time — we can only imagine how much higher that figure has become in the two months since then.

There is another version of digital disruption that might be getting a boost from the pandemic-inspired new outlook on how work gets done: nearshoring. Perhaps you are nearshoring a software development product right now. If it is not all that you expected, take a deep breath. Try and discover what might be happening. The first step toward a good partnership is knowing why some fail. Here are five possible reasons that can happen.

1. Implicit communication

When project briefs are created, there is typically some implicit communication involved — that is, certain information is left out because it seems obvious to the person who created the brief. This is implicit communication, the idea that some things do not have to be spelled out in detail. For example, someone who has worked in the field of higher education for twenty years might write a project brief for a student app, assuming that the development team knows a lot about the needs of college students.

Every business has its own unique aspects — work processes, the business structure, the users, the customers, etc, that will have an effect on how the product gets built. Somebody has to ensure that is explained and made clear to the nearshore team. Implicit communication can be a big problem if the development team has not done its job of thoroughly getting to know their new client/partner before starting the work. This is critical to the project, yet many partnerships are formed without taking this essential step. Frequent, clear communication, good reporting, and lots of opportunities for cross-checking everything are good ways to avoid the problem of implicit communication.

2. No integration

Nearshore outsourcing 5 reasons why a partnership can fail A product that is created with a nearshore company will eventually become part of the customer’s set of digital assets. It will not be deployed in isolation but rather as part of a system where other tools and products exist on the company network. It will impact those tools and products and the people who use them and manage them. Therefore, team leaders should be planning ahead, investigating ways the product they are building will interact with existing systems and tools. Will the product need to be integrated with legacy apps? What kinds of business processes will the product touch?

Building something in isolation is not a good strategy and it speaks to a team’s lack of planning during the initial phases of the project. Once again, it is vital to the success of a product that the team gets to know the company they are working with, the users, and even the software products they are already using.

Related content: Why outsourcing fails: mistakes to avoid in business partnerships

3. Cultural differences

There may be somewhat of an international business culture but it does not run very deep. Beyond the handshake and other politeness gestures that cross-cultural boundaries, societies vary widely from hemisphere to hemisphere. Cultural differences are responsible for a wide range of problems in business, from confusion about expectations to questions about how to handle disagreements to how deadlines are regarded. Nearshoring dramatically reduces the friction caused by cultural differences because there is a unified cultural mindset and both partners can work from a shared set of principles.

4. Insufficient planning

Teams need to work closely with their customers to be sure the needs and priorities are being met. A development project must be front-loaded with lots of planning before a line of code ever gets written. Milestones should be created, with a set of tasks for each milestone clearly laid out to ensure the project stays true to the stated objectives.

Best practices include lots of documentation, well-defined functional and non-functional requirements, a predefined architecture for the product, and a discussion of how everyone will communicate and stay in touch, among many others.

5. Lack of trust

Having a nearshoring company that you trust is the best foundation for a successful product. When there is a relationship built on trust, you can focus on what matters — the product — rather than wasting time questioning motives, workmanship, or capabilities. When you have a partner that you trust, you can include them early on in the planning phase, when all you have is a small seedling of an idea for your product.

They can help you define the outcomes you need and help mold the scope of the project, too, when you trust them and their instincts about your company and the products you want to build.

Take a look at this: 4 things that get you hooked on a nearshore company

The Wrap-Up

As employers and their employees grow accustomed to and come to realize the benefits of remote work in the wake of COVID-19, they may also become more open to the idea of working remotely with a nearshore software development company. With the global pandemic putting the spotlight on remote work and outsourcing as workable options for keeping their companies going, more leaders are considering the benefits of hiring a nearshore outsourcing company to help them with their next software project.

We like to look at it this way: the coronavirus has caused enormous, terrible disruption in a lot of lives. Now, coming through the crisis, we can look for a silver lining — a positive disruption, one that changes how we think about work, opening the doors to innovation. Partnerships between companies and their nearshore software development partners have been around for a long time now but this might just be the beginning of something new, something bigger.

If your nearshore outsourcing company is not working out for you, perhaps it is one of the reasons we have outlined above. Knowing these reasons is the first step toward creating a better partnership in all your future nearshoring experiences.

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