Ensuring flexibility and continuity of service delivery – how we handle it
Flexibility and continuity in service delivery is crucial for clients – especially when they operate in the extremely dynamic IT industry, where disruptions occur regularly and the only constant is change.
They expect their IT partner to be dependable and unfailing, especially when adjustments need to be made, and they have at least three valid reasons for that:
- Firstly, the clients themselves also need to show their customers and stakeholders that they are reliable.
- Secondly, it’s important for them to be able to start working and move forward as quickly and flawlessly as possible.
- And last but not least, any unplanned downtime costs money and may block other projects and activities.
We are more than aware of all of this, and that’s why the procedures we have in place serve to enable large-scale flexibility and uninterrupted continuity – so we can smoothly adapt to any changes while providing our clients with personalised solutions. We focus on predictable delivery and operational agility, and yes – we know what you’re thinking – a lot of companies use these trending buzzwords without any reference to reality, but at Future Processing, these are more than just empty phrases.
The Future Processing Way: 4 main pillars of our flexibility and continuity
1. Diverse sources of specialists
- Internal resources
- The “People-Buffer”
In a nutshell, the people-buffer is a group of different specialists who act as our “back-up” reserve, and they are able to quickly and easily form a new team or join an existing one. They can also replace a team member, either temporarily or permanently. When they are not involved in any projects for our clients, they are busy developing our internal solutions.
- Current projects
We are also prepared to reassign team members to different projects, should the need arise. Our flexible approach allows us to do this as seamlessly as possible.
- Completed projects
Of course, we can also draw from a pool of experts who have just finished working on completed projects, sometimes assigning them to teams that are currently in need of particular specialists.
- Ukrainian branch
Another significant source of specialists can be found in our Ukrainian subsidiary, which gives us access to an even greater number of developers than we can find on our domestic market. This is a common practice among the biggest players in the industry since the supply of highly-skilled IT experts is insufficient all around the world, so having a backup source abroad is often a necessity.
- The “People-Buffer”
- External resources
- Recruitment processes
Proven recruitment processes are carried out by our HR team. They start by identifying the needs of each team and particular requirements for specific IT roles, and then they conduct early-stage interviews, managing the entire process.
For more complex cases, the HR team relies on the services of renowned recruitment agencies. They may lend us a specialist who is able to become one of our team members immediately – under the same conditions as a regular employee.
- IT partners
Our network of IT partners is our newest source of experts – consisting of companies that are pretty similar to us, operating as outsourcing companies. At first, they merely supplemented our other sources of specialists, but now they are absolutely fundamental in terms of our flexibility. They can provide us with individual specialists to form a new team or fully-formed pre-existing teams. Usually, they work remotely (yet exactly in the same manner as our in-house teams), under the watchful eye of an assigned team leader.
- Recruitment processes
2. Listening to people
The key to success in terms of ensuring continuity in service delivery is constantly being on “standby mode” and… listening. We talk to people, and we talk to them often, in order to identify the need for any particular experts as early as possible. Sometimes people will report the need for a given specialist proactively, on their own. Other times, we need to ask the right questions. The need for a particular specialist can arise from:
- existing clients (through customer engagement managers) who, e.g., discuss changes in a team or consider scaling up options
- potential clients, for whom we have to form a new team,
- team leaders, who know first-hand where they need someone to bridge the gap,
- account managers, who make sales pitches and have to know exactly what they can offer.
3. Procedures + best practices
Ensuring flexibility and continuity in service delivery requires us to have certain procedures in place. On the other hand, we must also be agile and adaptive.
- Recruitment processes
In short, we begin by checking within our systems to see if there’s someone available among our own engineers. If not, then we initiate a new recruitment process or start looking through agencies and IT partners. We check to see if an applicant (or team) matches our requirements in terms of experience, skills, rates and the technologies that they utilise.
- Real-time reactions to different situations and changes
For example, whenever we pitch clients, we need to be prepared for them to say “yes” at any time, which means that we have to be able to form new teams, both quickly and efficiently. Similarly, with any changes made by our existing clients – we have to expect the unexpected and predict the unpredictable. This is why our large network of partners is so significant: it allows us to rest easy, confident in the fact that we have many different sources of specialists to fall back on in case of an emergency.
- Re-organising teams with flexibility while maintaining top-performing ones
When the project is over, we assign our engineers to different teams and tasks. However, whenever we observe excellent performance from a particular team, made up of specialists who enjoy working with each other – we do everything we can to assign them as a whole to a different project, which is both good for them and to the benefit of the client.
4. Leveraging different tools
In order to maintain smooth operations, we leverage a number of supporting tools. This not only allows us to have a detailed view into our current situation but also helps us form our plans for the next few months ahead. These tools include:
- sheets for writing down the information that pours in from engagement managers and team leaders,
- documents with information from our recruitment team,
- a system that provides us with an overview of the current and anticipated state of our people-buffers,
- advanced recruitment software (like Lever) to support the recruitment processes,
- a candidate tracker that helps us manage all the applicants.
Wrap-up: flexibility and continuity = win-win approach
It’s important to realise that our approach is not only beneficial to our clients but also for us, as a company. And having diversified sources of specialists with a network of 50+ verified partners at the helm gives us a lot of leeways and allows us to seize many more opportunities. The benefits cannot be overestimated:
- The fact that two teams of developers are available to start working on any project within two weeks of closing a deal gives us a major competitive edge.
- Quick reactions and access to even niche technologies put us ahead of our competition.
- Availability of highly-skilled human resources allows us to develop our internal projects in the interim.
Plus, the more flexible and reliable we are, the more clients we acquire and the more positive feedback we get, so it’s a classic snowball effect.