Jan 13, 2015

Going steady with your long-distance IT relationship – the Dedicated Team approach (part II)

Author: Alexandra Stanculescu

As promised in last week’s issue, we’re not about to let this argument get one-sided. When it comes to long-term projects, the Dedicated Team approach has undeniable benefits in contrast to other outsourcing models – at first glance, one could even say it abates all offshoring-related concerns. The exclusive involvement, expertise and flexibility the model brings into the outsourcing picture can help compellingly reduce time-to-market and provide increased client satisfaction – and that’s just to name a few of the most inviting advantages. If you look at things from this angle, why would anyone choose to be professionally single?

Is it all just easy street?

As with every long-term and long-distance relationship, there are risks to this business model as well. This doesn’t mean the partnership can’t succeed. It just means you need to answer yourself a few questions before engaging a potential vendor.

First thing to be aware of is that miscommunication can cause delays. Paid delays. So, when considering a partner, make sure they’re English-proficient (or versed in a language that suits your needs). Lower fees can amount to no wins if vocabulary barriers are constantly causing problems. Same goes for cultural barriers, so be sure to pick a country with a reputation for open-mindedness and curiosity, if you are to be certain they’ll understand and adapt to your business conditions with ease.

Another potential problem, especially if you’re planning to hire the team as an addition to your own in-house party, is hardware/software incompatibility. Your preferred partner can likely help resolve any tech-related difficulties, but it must certainly be a point on your kick-off meeting agenda. It’s better to have the matter covered, than to discover compatibility issues after plans have been made and work is already underway.

And last, but not least heard of, especially when clients choose to manage the developers themselves, is the question of keeping your team motivated and interested in their work. Because they’re just like your team in all aspects that count, only they’re not per say your team, one might tend to overlook this point. But they are your developers, and it’s good to have them greet every workday with enthusiasm. As we all know, passionate people do a significantly better job than their more distressed counterparts. So keep an eye out for this when managing them, and make sure you don’t assign beginner’s tasks to experienced people (they will of course become bored with what they do) and try not to overbear a single individual with all the monotonous maintenance assignments.

Of course, you could just leave all of these management-related procedures up to your service provider, while you control the outcome via constant project updates. Whether it’s better to opt for in-house management of the dedicated team, or leave it all down to your partner to take care of, is a debate for another day. So subscribe to our feed and stay in touch – there’s more information on the subject coming soon.

Until our next issue, we’d enjoy some of your thoughts – have you encountered any drawbacks that we’ve neglected to go over in this article, or have you heard any related horror stories? Do you believe in handing it all down to the IT expert, or would you feel safer if you had full control of a dedicated team? We welcome any information exchange, so share your experiences and business legends in the comment section, or join us for a more private e-chat.

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