Considering Offshore Development Teams? What you'll miss

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When you think about people simply in terms of resources or output, it’s easy to see why an organization might opt for the offshore model: a senior developer is a senior developer. So, pick the less expensive one and save on costs, right? 

Well, not exactly. It’s a little like car shopping: a BMW 3-series and a Kia are technically both cars, but the differences run far deeper.

While an offshore partner might seem like a cheaper path to the finish line, it isn’t always that simple. In a recent Deloitte article on the Future of Work in Technology, they state technology’s role is shifting to become a catalyst for business strategy and transformation. This further blurs the lines between business and technology functions.

Essentially, people aren’t just “resources,” they’re people. They work together, elevate, and challenge one another by solving more complex problems. A seasoned, strategic development team is so much more than the sum of its parts or a collection of skill sets.

Yes, an offshore team may be able to check the boxes of what your project needs, but the dynamic of a team that has worked together to provide product and business strategy can’t be replicated.

And what might look like a cost-cutting measure in the beginning might actually end up costing you more in time, frustration, or missed benchmarks along the way.

Here are three critical things you miss by outsourcing with offshore agencies:

A team that communicates well with everyone involved.

When tapping offshore resources, it’s typical for a team to form based on skillset alone. Maybe they’ve never worked together, or even interacted with one another, before. Likely, they haven’t worked as a cohesive team on numerous projects. They’re there not because they’ve proven to work well as a group, but because each individual checks off a box of skill-set requirements. This can give rise to fundamental problems: a lack of accountability, poor communication, project delays, and an inability to problem solve together. 

Conversely, at 352 we assemble teams of five who always work on projects together. This instills each team with a level of cooperation and communication you simply can’t achieve with an offshore model. Because our teams work so closely together their ability to communicate, hold each other accountable, problem solve, and achieve strength from collaboration.

A team that creates a seamless processes.

A team comprised of individuals who have a deeper understanding and appreciation for one other’s roles will undoubtedly yield a smoother process. And intentionally staffing a rockstar team, instead of individual, independent rockstar players, creates a more harmonious and smoother experience you’d miss with an offshore partner. 

A team with years of experience working together know each others’ jobs and working styles. Let’s refer back to cars as an analogy – a designer who never works directly with an engineer might try to design something crazy and unrealistic (like flying cars), because they aren’t tethered to the real-world implications for their colleague who has to eventually point out or correct all the issues. But over time, after working closely with that colleague, that designer will be far less likely to draw up an impractical design, and more likely to put themselves in their colleagues’ shoes as they’re designing. Thus: a faster, smoother process with less friction or do-overs.

A team that builds and advises based on experience.

An offshore agency will likely staff their team based one a few very specific factors: do they know this technology? Do they know how to write this code? Meanwhile, other necessary elements take a backseat, such as the types of projects they’ve worked on, or whether they have more experience building new products versus maintaining systems.

A critical value-add that our teams offer is collective experience — they’ve worked together with many product owners and can advise accordingly.

For a product owner, this may be their first product they’re ever building — whereas for the team, it’s their sixtieth.

Our teams have experience and they bring that strategy to the table versus simply doing whatever you told them to do.

As a result, the experience is less about ticking off boxes on a checklist to reach the finish line and more about advising and coaching a product owner along the way to success. It goes much, much deeper than whether or not someone knows how to code.

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Rich loves connecting business needs with the right technologies. An extrovert at heart, he enjoys collaborating with 352 clients to understand their goals to ideate, design and launch the best solutions to help them innovate, grow and expand their reach. When it comes to emerging tech, Rich works directly with clients to help them evaluate and understand how technologies like block chain and artificial intelligence can bring value to their organization.

He has more than a decade of experience leveraging technologies – existing and emerging – to help customers gain a competitive edge. He skillfully guides the development, being strategic with determining feasibility within any given constraints. Solutions under his leadership have supported start-ups to the likes of Google and Visa—and everything in between.