By Xaviero Cervera, Sales & Marketing Manager, CancunIT
Identifying the right blend of character and personalities within a group is always a complex alchemy. In assembling and directing a nearshore team, you must invest time considering your needs and communicating them strategically to the team. This article provides some tips that can help you ensure successful outcomes from your nearshore team.
First, importantly, you must strive for the right balance between excessively detailed and unhelpfully vague requirements, so that the ideal amount of time is invested by both organizations.
On the one hand, if you deliver to your development team a “High Def” requirement where every "i" is dotted and every "t" is crossed, where all the corners are perfectly squared and no decisions need to be made, you risk creating a team of soldiers that only charge. A team that never has to make any decisions may become less agile and adaptable over time. You want to develop talent that will remain vigilant and look out for your organization.
On the other hand, delivering too little information about your needs will leave your team out in the cold. I have seen many instances where the initial requirement was too vague and development started on an incomplete idea, resulting in a process stretching three times longer than necessary.. While some people might call this “pivoting an idea,” when you aren’t sure what you are looking to achieve, it becomes much harder to “complete” a goal.
The important thing is to know—and articulate--what you want, or even what you don’t want. Even if your requirements are still evolving, provide at least enough information to set the standards of what can be marked completed or what is acceptable. Teams are always looking to complete cycles and make progress towards accomplishing a larger goal.
Communication is important to any relationship and a nearshore engagement is no exception. Spend time clarifying expectations to ensure that they are understood—and satisfied. Clear communication will help to ensure consistency in your outcomes.
It is commonly said that there is always more than one solution to a problem. While working on implementing one solution, you should be aware of the alternatives that you are not implementing. Even the great magician David Copperfield always had at least three different ways of doing every magic trick; in each show, he would choose one way of doing the trick, depending what was best for the occasion, but he always knows his options.
Have your nearshore team complement your chosen solution by providing an alternative approach, or have the team propose more than one option. Challenge your team to find new opportunities to improve on the common solutions. The process will keep the team nimble, creative, and focused on raising the bar a notch on every new cycle.
Innovation is always a big buzzword in the sourcing industry. Everyone wants innovation within an engagement, but what does this mean for your engagement? There are always different needs at different levels of maturity within a group. Sometimes it can be as simple as a new tools or a new methodology, but the important thing is to determine what is right for your organization and have you nearshore team work to develop new breakthroughs for your group.
Finally, one of the most important aspects of having a winning team in making sure that your nearshore team is multidisciplinary. In addition to a technical team, you will need a financial hawk, an operational bolt, a business liaison, and of course a “fixer”: someone you can count on to tear down those obstacles. These personalities are essential elements to complement a technical team. While sometimes you can identify these traits in existing members of your technical group or the management team, make the effort to assemble a competent and complete team to ensure success. Venture capital investors always bet on the team first and the idea second. If your team is well-rounded and inspires confidence, your success path will be much smoother.