How to Build a Nearshore Software Development Team
I can enumerate dozens of criteria for success for when you need to extend, build from scratch, or outsource your software development team.
There are many questions to answer while you are still deciding whether or not you go through with it or not. First, you need to decide who the people or team are that will develop the next version of your product, be the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for your next big idea, or maintain your software as a service.
Growin can help you tackle this challenge by providing the talented and technical teams necessary to meet its requirements.
#1 Team Management
Scope and Requirements
According to experts from the Technical Council of Forbes, two of the main reasons that software development projects fail is a “lack of clarity” of the project’s goals and “unclear requirements.”
Another common mistake is thinking that the scope and project requirements can be defined upfront when the team is established. Avoid this at all costs!
Be transparent and leave no room for doubts. Establish the goals and requirements early on to set the common ground for everyone: you, your in-house team, and your extended software development team.
Having the requirements defined is a big step towards answering these initial questions:
- “How long will my project take? Is it long-term or a mission that will last 6 to 9 months?”
- “Does my team’s roadmap allow us to achieve these goals within the next semester or year?”
- “I don’t have the necessary technical skills in my team. Which skills are required and how many people will be needed?”
“What kind of responsibilities do I want to share with my provider?” is one of the big questions you need to ask yourself.
With the requirements outlined, it is essential to define the roles and responsibilities needed for the team. A reliable decision-making process is also essential to remove daily obstacles and simplify the interactions between different teams.
The history of communication tells us that it should be simple, transparent, and understandable for everyone.
In IT services, verbal and written communication processes are crucial to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication. You can choose from a variety of methodologies that will help you implement those processes:
- Do you prefer to implement a daily Scrum meeting?
- Or, do you want to centralize the communication process in a single point of contact from your IT services partner, such as a technical manager?
#2 Technical Expertise
Technical and functional expertise is required to deliver a task from a requirement of your project successfully.
In theory, a dedicated software development team should have people with different technical and functional expertise: software developers, quality assurance analysts or engineers, UX/UI designers, and functional analysts. It is also essential to clarify the depth of knowledge required of your business to choose the right people that will dictate the quality and success of your team.
The Technical Manager
Defining roles and responsibilities will tell you if you need a technical manager.
A technical manager is an expert that can provide support or advice to the team and understands the business and technical requirements. They are someone who will ensure that the best practices are followed by the extended team.
The icing on the cake is a person who has excellent soft skills, a responsible attitude toward the team, and can lead and motivate the team.
Depending on the structure and project requirements, you may need one who can be a:
- Product Owner or a Product Manager
- Scrum Master
- Project Manager
- Lead Developer
#3 Cultural Adaptability
“Adaptability is being able to adjust to any situation at any given time.” – John Wooden.
Building a nearshore software development team is more than gathering a group of available technical professionals. It also requires that the team adapt to your culture and internal processes.
In a nearshore or offshore environment, language is the factor that influences the most cultural adaptability. According to the English Proficiency Index, Portugal is one of the top 10 European countries that speaks the English language at a high proficiency.
As mentioned previously, verbal and written communication is crucial, and having your team ready to speak English fluently will allow for better understanding and easier collaboration.
The location of your nearshore IT services partner will influence the availability of your extended team. A difference in time zones between 1 and 3 hours is perfectly acceptable and allows teams in different countries to be in constant communication. Portugal’s time zone is GMT/WEST and has a 1-hour difference from most European countries (CEST) and between 4 and 5-hour difference across the Atlantic Ocean (EST).
Supporting the Team
People need guidance and a safety net along with their careers.
Having specialized teams providing support will guarantee motivation and stability for the people on your extended team. Talent Acquisition teams make sure that recruitment and succession plans are aligned with the technical team’s. Talent and People Management teams should focus on implementing the best HR practices and keeping every one highly engaged. Account Management teams will reinforce trust and make sure that your ongoing needs are met.
Sharing values between your team and your nearshore IT services provider is the best way to set and develop a sustainable basis of trust.
At Growin, we believe in four core values: transparency, cooperation, resilience, and dedication. These values are central to the team that will work with you daily and the support team.
#4 Skillset Availability
The IT sector is one of the industries that have a problem with talent shortages. With the global pandemic ongoing, digital transformation has become even more critical to many businesses and organizations.
Skillset availability might be a challenge when you are assessing a nearshore IT services partner to build your extended team. The technical expertise needed to develop your projects may change over time. Make sure that your IT services partner has the flexibility and scalability to adapt to those changes.
The recruitment market in Portugal is vast, dynamic, and rich with high-quality talent.
We have top-notch universities that are renowned in Europe and around the world.
Portuguese legislation is flexible and straightforward when it comes to foreigners that want to move and work in Portugal. A great example is the Tech Visa program.
The social context where your nearshore IT services partner is located also provides an understanding of peoples’ needs and expectations. There are many factors that professionals value, such as job security, a pleasant work environment, and work-life balance.
#5 Cost-Benefit Analysis
An analysis of costs and benefits is the best approach to make the most rational decision when choosing to trust a nearshoring model.
A thorough assessment of what you want to outsource is essential to itemize all costs that you will have. This will help you decide whether or not to have a nearshore software development team.
Some costs if you build a team internally include:
- Fixed costs: salaries, perks, and other benefits, such as training and technical certifications. Unexpected absences of employees, such as sick leave and paternity/maternity leave
- Payroll management
- Facilities and security protocols
Some benefits of relying on a nearshore IT Services partner include:
- Time-saving: decreasing your cost of delay
- Zero bureaucracy on labor law management
- High-quality technical talent with lower investment
Remember, price isn’t everything. A stable and long-term relationship is far better than a lower price, especially when you need technical expertise and the flexibility and adaptability that nearshore IT services provide.
Are you ready and eager to build a dedicated software development team with Growin?
About the Author
Daniel Quaresma Costa, Partner & Executive Director
With over 10 years of experience in IT consultancy, Daniel Quaresma Costa oversees International Business and helps build reliable, dedicated technical teams at Growin.
Daniel’s mission is to create value for his clients, work colleagues, and people who rely on him to achieve their goals.