7 tips for creating a successful nearshoring strategy
Before we cut to the chase…
Let’s ask ourselves: what is nearshoring? A simple definition of nearshoring would be the act of outsourcing business processes (especially related to software development) to a company located in a country near yours. The close geographical proximity between two cooperating companies brings many added benefits, which shouldn’t be overlooked when you’re selecting an IT partner.
How can nearshoring become a competitive advantage for you?
- Faster time-to-market
How? Because little to no cultural differences between your company and one that you’re working with results in a better mutual understanding of the business, people and project itself. This, in turn, makes bespoke software development more efficient.
- Increased chances of you getting what you really need
How? Because when you operate within the same time zone, there are obviously more opportunities to sit and chat, schedule a video conference or even organise a face-to-face meeting. This increases responsiveness, helps feedback flow faster, and allows you to maintain greater control over development.
But, of course, like every other type of outsourcing, nearshoring requires a great strategy in order to work – because even the best ideas are only as good as their implementation. There are a lot of details to consider while you’re working with a business partner, but preparing an effective strategy actually comes down to 7 main pillars of cooperation that should always be respected, no matter what.
7 tips for creating a successful nearshoring strategy
1. Search for a trusted IT partner, and not just a service provider
First and foremost, before beginning any cooperation, you need to run a thorough research to find a company that you can fully trust to guide you through the process of software development in digital transformation. It’s not as easy as it sounds, and a regular service provider wouldn’t be able to give you that guidance. But how can you tell one from the other? Pay attention to the details like e.g.:
- see if they ask challenging questions,
- check on their ability and confidence to say no to your ideas (in a constructive way, of course!),
- make sure that they have a proactive approach.
And don’t forget to check out our tool for comparing and selecting IT outsourcing partners.
2. Be present, communicative and easy to reach
Remember to take advantage of not having to deal with significantly different time zones and big cultural differences. Good communication is the key to success and to maintaining a good atmosphere throughout the cooperation. So, always try to be accessible. How can you do that? Here are some best practices that can help you:
- assign a specialist who will be responsible for communication and coordinating work,
- use video conferences rather than voice calls,
- have regular meetings with a clear agenda,
- chat regularly with your remote software development team, even off-topic – this creates bonds,
- be responsive: answer questions, emails and phone calls, and always provide timely feedback.
3. Set clear needs and expectations
Defining a clear scope along with your project requirements is absolutely essential, and it should be done at the very beginning, at the time when you present the official project deadlines. Take your time to explain exactly what the desired outcome is and double-check with your partner to make sure that you are on the same page. This may sound obvious, but you would be surprised by how differently people may see things.
4. Always be transparent
This is important not only in terms of the previous point, but in every other aspect of the project as well. So, be transparent because nothing valuable ever comes from hiding problems, especially when it comes to modifications in strategy or changing business needs. Every cooperation, and software development outsourcing in particular, requires transparency, openness and honesty, since almost all the processes are being run remotely. Such an approach fosters better understanding between teams and helps you avoid any potential conflicts.
5. Be agile and accept that changes may occur
Your IT partner should be able to maintain organisational agility to master change, tackle problems and manage risks. This allows you to benefit from their swift software iterations and from their high levels of productivity, making human resources available when and where you need them. But remember that this applies to both sides of the cooperation, and you should take an agile approach as well. Saving space for unexpected events and situations should be a vital part of your plan. It’s like predicting the unpredictable. Changes in the external environment are beyond your control, but you should be aware that they may occur, and be flexible enough to embrace them and adapt flawlessly.
6. Create a winning attitude within your team
Your nearshoring partner will provide you with a dedicated team of professionals, and they will do everything they can to create a winning attitude and maintain motivation on the highest possible level, but… your role here is equally important. Don’t forget to prioritise people over processes and technology. At the end of the day, it all comes down to human-to-human communication. Building an engaging environment is an important success factor. It will help you coordinate efforts towards a shared goal and arouse the feeling of being in this together, making your team want to do well and be the best.
7. Focus on excellent leadership
The management and leadership factor is certainly not something that you can afford to overlook. Effective decision making, following certain procedures, taking a problem-solving and solution-oriented approach, and controlling the execution of development – all result in timely and quality-oriented delivery. This leads to savings in time and cost and significantly lowers the risk of any mishaps.
BONUS TIPS: especially relevant these days…
We live in a slightly different world than it was only a few months ago. A lot of things have changed, and we have been forced to adapt to this new reality pretty fast. Remote collaboration has become a necessity for many companies, so a lot of them have opted for nearshoring. However, there are more restrictions now, just like for everything else, which results in less or even no face-to-face meetings and having to cooperate with a team that is spread across different locations (some of them may work from the office, some from their homes). That’s why we’ve prepared two bonus tips for you.
BONUS #1: Use tools for efficient remote collaboration
There are plenty of tools that you can use nowadays to improve remote collaboration and communication, such as those for: video conferencing, task and time management, and document sharing, etc. When your IT partner provides you with a suggested list of these tools, make use of them – keep everything in the cloud, and don’t sabotage the process by stubbornly using legacy solutions that are not on the list.
BONUS #2: Follow the agreed-upon procedures
Since people are scattered across various locations, it’s now more important than ever to strictly follow the procedures that everyone has agreed upon. This way, actions will be better organised, and team members will know exactly what to do and how to react in different scenarios. This just makes the entire development process much easier to control and manage.
We hope you’ve found a lot of useful tips and tricks in this article, and that they will help you run your first (or next!) nearshoring project. Remember to always update your knowledge, for example, by reading the best IT CIO blogs and podcasts, which are invaluable sources of information when it comes to any project and learning how to manage your outsourcing assets. Stay tuned and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions!