Choosing the Optimal Outsourcing Approach
Customizing the geographic allocation of a contracted solution is achievable to meet your precise needs. Choosing an appropriate strategic collaborator, delivering a solution quicker and cheaper than available through local market or in-house hiring, presents a crucial obstacle of outsourcing.
With an abundance of text, audio and video communication tools, team members and decision-makers are no longer required to know the physical location of teams. While various daily tasks can now be done remotely, face-to-face interaction is ideal for some software development activities, such as whiteboard sessions. This promotes efficient communication, motivates healthy team dynamics and develops trust among team members.
In his article “Remote vs Co-Located Work,” Martin Fowler extols the benefits of distributed teams, without explicitly advocating for virtual or remote teams. Given the technology advancements not available in his parents’ generation and the dearth of statistical evidence supporting his argument, Mr. Fowler is upfront about his personal perspective. The extensive integration of remote work makes it challenging to precisely assess the impact of location. Nevertheless, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) facilitates secure access to network resources with a modified IP address that hides our true location.
Having experienced the advantages of remote work for over a decade, I strongly endorse this practice. As your own boss, you have the flexibility to organize your schedule and workspace in a manner that enhances efficiency and productivity, which can generate tangible benefits for both you and your employer by conserving time and resources.
While a physical office may not always be essential, particularly if you are not in the real estate industry, you can still locate customized software development services that match your specific requirements.
According to critics, remote work presents an added risk: how can you assess your employees’ performance and ensure that they meet expected standards when you cannot supervise them in person? Is it feasible to assess their effectiveness and workload management? In which responsibilities are they underperforming in relation to your expectations?
My answer to these concerns is simple: Top performers will mitigate your risk exposure.
Drawing on my personal experience of working remotely, I can attest that giving accomplished individuals the freedom to establish their own priorities and schedule can optimize their productivity. Striking a balance between work and personal life is a key aspiration for such professionals, and it is crucial to address any security or performance-related concerns expeditiously.
Although an office environment may facilitate monitoring of staff who are underperforming, I do not believe that this is an effective solution on its own in terms of enhancing their output. While an office atmosphere may help to monitor aspects such as coffee breaks, it prompts the question of whether these personnel should be considered as part of the team in the initial place.
Remote professionals may tend to over-communicate their thoughts and ideas. As a team, we are aware of the importance of addressing this challenge and endeavor to improve our communication methodologies to overcome the obstacle of distance. While many individuals have emphasized the value of face-to-face interactions among team members, it is important to recognize that different communication styles may suit different people, and specific tasks may require distinct modes of communication to achieve successful outcomes.
During the outset of any new project, it is imperative for the team to physically convene and collaborate in person, to strategize and design the project, exchange information, and establish core principles. In my own experience, this stage should last between one to two weeks as online arrangements are unable to offer the same level of effectiveness.
Compared to other methodologies, we do not regularly initiate new projects or conduct whiteboard meetings. After the team develops the epics and stories and assigns them to the related sprints, their main focus is on implementation. For most of these responsibilities, it is crucial to concentrate without any interruptions.
To optimize our current situation, we could consider adopting a hybrid approach that combines physical and virtual collaboration, where remote team members come together in person for certain tasks while performing others remotely. The savings attained from not having to frequently enhance and expand large office spaces could offset intermittent business travel expenditures. The current availability of affordable airfares and the option to access shared workspaces make it simpler to showcase the advantages of team work.
As creatures of habit, it is natural for us to require time to adjust mentally to a new mode of working. To maximize the benefits of the available resources, it is recommended to create a diverse team located in varied regions. Such considerations may include:
With the plethora of tools available for evaluating productivity, it is crucial to ensure that procedures are transparent and expectations are delineated through measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), particularly when collaborating remotely. It is not uncommon for team members to surpass expectations rapidly and request additional responsibilities, which I have observed on numerous occasions. This can serve as a great motivator for all participants, especially when aiming to keep the team’s task backlog up to date.
To augment data security, it is crucial to establish and enforce rules and regulations for remote access. Prior to launching a virtual workforce, it is imperative to ensure that all essential components, such as computers, software, and Internet connectivity, are supplied. It is equally vital to implement rigorous measures to safeguard confidential information from being copied or downloaded. In my experience, obscuring and producing dummy data sets can frequently suffice for most software development and testing assignments, removing the need for accessing classified data.
Despite the existence of regulations and protocols in physical workplaces, I have observed that they are frequently ignored. When working remotely, I personally treat my workspace as an extension of my home and take responsibility for it. Proficient remote workers are mindful of their organization’s policies and procedures, which increases their awareness of security concerns.
Before any work commences, it is crucial to establish, agree upon, and document clear communication channels. Despite the convenience of having team members near each other physically, it can result in communication breakdowns and misalignment of objectives. As we prioritize the protection of our project, we must also ensure the same level of discipline is applied when working with remote teams. Although it may be easy to rely on Slack for communication, it should not compromise adherence to standard procedures and protocols. For instance, teams should agree on response timelines for communication in the appropriate channels or email threads, considering both urgency and significance.
It is crucial to bear in mind that the extent of interaction necessary for different tasks can differ. It is worthwhile to weigh the costs of organizing physical meetings, such as recognizing significant achievements or ceremonies, for geographically dispersed teams, against the potential advantages of creating virtual teams.