Over the years, digital transformation and globalization have generated a trend that gained momentum with the explosion of teleworking. We are talking about the phenomenon of software-implementation development projects in different countries – often in other cultures, time zones, and languages. Onsite teams –that is, teams that work physically on the same site– are no longer practicable. Additionally, they are challenging to implement, given the shortage of digitally-skilled talent and the high turnover in these setups. In turn, offshore experiences that offer development services from very remote locations –both culturally and geographically– have created a lack of understanding between the parties and working relations that are not smooth.
Somewhere in between, we find nearshoring: the team is assembled remotely but in the appropriate time zone, and with similar practices to ensure that the supplier and the client understand each other and work well together. The team will work synergistically, feedback will flow faster, and growth will be better monitored. As a consequence of all of the above, results are usually better. Additionally, transportation costs will be reasonable if a one-on-one meeting is required to strengthen a strategy or correct a deviation.
However, when choosing a nearshoring model, there are best practices to consider so that the partnership leads to success.
The difference between partner and supplier
Nearshoring is closely related to digital transformation processes: in that sense, all the related services will be strategic for the company. The first aspect to consider is not just a question of choosing a supplier. The company needs to find a true partner. One that is aligned with its purpose. One that has a proactive approach that conducts a discovery process to detect weak points and opportunities and can drive the business model toward a genuinely digital pattern. The partner will have proven experience in similar or equally large projects to the one being undertaken.
The scope and expectations for the project must be established from the start. This is another aspect that differentiates suppliers from partners. The former will do what they are told (or, at least, what they interpret that to be), and the latter will actively participate in developing the solution.
Communication is a crucial point. All the parties concerned must know the project’s objectives and impact on the organization. Meetings must be periodical with a clear agenda to make the most of them. And those in charge of the project must be available whenever needed. Transparency is fundamental. Collaboration is impossible if one of the parties doubts the honesty of the other. A nearshoring partnership is precisely that – a collaborative undertaking.
Agility as the basis
Agility is another feature required of any technology partner in the nearshoring model. That is, the capacity to adjust to the new needs of the business, manage risks and rapidly deliver high-quality and productive iterations.
Team leadership is a critical factor so that everything goes as expected. Running multidisciplinary teams that are not in the same location is a considerable challenge. The nearshoring partner needs to be experienced in handling such situations.
Additionally, an effective decision-making process –following established procedures, using tools that have been agreed on, adopting a targeted approach to solve problems, and controlling the implementation of new developments– leads to a timely, quality-oriented delivery without friction or setbacks.
In short, if the right technology partner is chosen, the nearshoring model will be cost-effective, will guarantee high-speed results, and will make it possible to assemble development teams with the best talent in the market without cultural misunderstandings and without having to work after hours due to the different time zones, as is the case with offshore projects. The paradox is a remote team that brings the expected results closer than ever.