When it comes to building software, many founders struggle with the decision...
When it comes to building software, many founders struggle with the decision of hiring talent full-time to work on their project or outsourcing by the hour. A bad decision at an early stage can quickly turn into a hole in your pocket and no product.
Over the years, I’ve talked to dozens of founders regarding whether they should hire talent by the hour or full-time for a flat fee. The truth is, there is no right or wrong answer. It just depends on your specific scenario.
I’ll go in deeper to which is best for you, but first, let’s identify what each of these types of engagements is:
Hourly: Typically, an hourly engagement is where you ask a freelancer or an agency to do a specific amount of work. They estimate the hours, and once they deliver the work, they invoice you for it. The number of hours may be agreed upon in advance or not.
Flat fee: The most prominent example of a flat fee is when you have an employee. No matter their work, they always put in a pre-defined amount of hours each month, and you pay at the end of the month. This works for companies as well, like when you hire people through Ideaware.
So, which type of engagement is best for you?
In my experience building products and teams for the past 12 years, it boils down to the current stage of your product and your budget.
For products in the early stages, where you are building a prototype or an MVP either to validate or find funding, your best bet is going with an hourly engagement. You will have to work with a limited amount of hours (and budget, of course) to get the work product done as quickly as possible and within budget.
Beware, however, of scope creep. Keep your MVP to a base minimum of features.
Pros of hourly engagements:
Quick to start.
Easy to find talent.
No long-term commitment.
Cons of hourly engagements:
Lack of control over the people working on your product.
Lack of commitment since some of them may be working on multiple projects.
IP ownership might e an issue.
It can get pricey by going out of budget.
So when should you commit to a team with a flat fee?
Flat fees are usually associated with long-term commitments, such as bringing in someone as part of your team. That can be in the shape of a retainer or a longer-term SOW. Typically you pay only once a month the same fee for the talent you’ve hired.
Founders or companies with a long roadmap that includes building, launching, and growing their products should go with the flat, monthly model. This ensures you have talent that is 100% dedicated to you, which you can bring in as part of your team.
Products get built faster, and there is more commitment from the team.
Pros of flat fee:
More team commitment.
Handpicked specialized team.
100% dedicated to your product.
Culture & retention.
Cons of flat fee:
It takes a bit longer to get going.
Longer-term engagement means long-term vision.
More funding is needed.
It is a great idea to have a well-defined product idea and a roadmap off the bat in both cases. This will save you headaches along the way of rewriting entire parts of your product or diving into an endless pool of features and never launching.
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What a year it’s been for everyone. Things were going smoothly until March and then everything changed...
What a year it’s been for everyone. Things were going smoothly until March and then everything changed. Covid-19 hit us and we were forced to change absolutely everything about how we live and work. We had to learn new ways to cope, stay safe, and take care of our mental health.
And yet, as the world came to a crawl, we started adapting, and as an industry, we found a new rhythm.
Our remote work timeline went from 2 years to 2 weeks
We had a vision, and a timeline to shift Ideaware to a 100% remote company by 2022. We had just started drafting plans when, well, you know what happened.
Sending everyone home to work, making sure they had everything they need to be productive, and coming up with processes was no easy task. For the first few weeks of our lockdown in Colombia, we were hard at work adapting.
We realized that our remote Fridays were a whole different ball game than remote work lockdown.
Eventually, we figured things out. And so did our customers.
I’m happy to say things are positively moving forward for our team and our customers, we’re now making plans to never require anyone to work at our HQ for 8 hours a day again.
Remote is here to stay for us. Most of our customers are not only also working remotely but many were already distributed before the pandemic, so this has made the transition easier for everyone.
With hard work, we’ve adapted
Most of us in the industry were already seeing remote as the future of work, but now that future is here. We’ve established new processes and new perks for the team to adjust to this new world.
We also now help every single team member (new or old) set up their home office. Ideaware provides desks, equipment, and subsidized internet for everyone.
Clients and team members
We are saddened by the global tragedy this year, we are also very grateful that 2020 has been a year of growth for us.
Since April, we’ve signed on 9 new clients whom we are currently building their software teams here in Colombia. We’re now hiring all over the country and this has made our expansion easier.
26 team members have joined us since April, and we’re very excited to have every one of you on board, keep rockin’.
Making our clients successful is our top priority, this year we’ve helped our customers make over USD 50M in revenue. That is huge for us, and for them.
Activities and team bonding
Along with our new processes and perks, we also had to move all of our learning and team bonding activities online. We’ve come up with:
A place where anyone on the team can teach all of us anything they want (whether it’s industry-related or not).
We get the entire team on a call and share company news, policies, and exchange a laugh or two.
We’ve also got together for some fun bonding activities:
Mario Kart Tournament
Friendship Day: Homemade Bread and Coffee
Halloween Cocktail Party
Santa’s Baking Workshop
2020 – a year of learning, change, and growth
Change is inevitable and this year takes the prize. We are grateful for all the opportunities that we’ve had this year, and especially very, very grateful to our old, current, and new clients (who we really consider partners) for trusting us. We trust you too and here’s to many years of partnership.
To our team – thank you. Thank you, and thank you again. This year has not been easy on you or your families. But we’ve stayed together, we’ve learned and now we’ve grown together.
“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”
― Paulo Coelho
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One lesser discussed benefit of hiring nearshore developers and designers is that you get more bang for your buck...
One lesser discussed benefit of hiring nearshore developers and designers is that you get more bang for your buck. Hiring the right nearshore software team will help you to minimize the spend and maximize the output leaving you with more budget to allocate elsewhere.
Keep in mind cost-benefit does not mean less output or quality of work, just make sure you have the right team in place with the right culture.
Here are some of the benefits many of our customers see when working with their nearshore teams:
Nearshore teams provide up to 50% cost-benefit
Compared to salaries in major US cities, you can hire a nearshore engineer for up to 50% of the cost if you hire locally.
Minimize spend while maximizing output
Having the right partner to help you screen and recruit the right people will help you create the right team of experts to maximize output while keeping within or under budget.
Quality is not compromised
Optimizing your spending does not mean that you need to compromise on quality. A dedicated team with the right partner to help you manage will ensure you have an A+ team of experts.
Hire a small team instead of a single person
By allocating your budget towards a team instead of a single person, you can specialize your team into key areas that will help you produce the best output. For example, instead of hiring one local engineer, you can hire two plus a quality assurance expert. Specializing the team into key areas means you have the right people for the job.
Having a group also means you reduce risk by distributing knowledge. This way there is no single point of failure and your team can keep moving forward even if someone is not available.
Access to more talent, right expertise
Thinking globally and going nearshore means you widen your access to the right experts. Having the right partner to screen and bring you that talent is key.
Re-allocate budget in places where you need it
Perhaps you could use a bit more budget for marketing, sales, or another key area of your business. The cash you free up by hiring nearshore will help you re-allocate.
Find the right partner, never compromise on quality. You can build the right team exactly to your needs.
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Is your remote team happy and productive? Have you checked in with them recently? These are very ...
Is your remote team happy and productive? Have you checked in with them recently? These are very important questions to ask yourself every day.
Motivation and happiness is key for a productive day, specially in these trying times.
Our current world situation has dramatically shifted how we work, we all went abruptly from working in an office, face to face (most of the time at least) to working remotely. Even if it is the same city, we are all remote.
When working from the same office it is easier to check in, have small chat and quickly make decisions based on the ‘office vibe’, but that is no longer the case. How do we, as Founders/COOs/PMs deal with making sure our team is happy?
It goes way further than just having the right tools in place, it is about creating culture and a feeling of belonging. Here’s what we’ve learned and how, over the years we’ve managed to create a culture that extends beyond our office walls.
Define expectations and ground rules/sops
Get started by defining the expectations of working remotely. Define hours where availability is expected, proper communication channels (both internal and client facing) and make available all processes and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the entire team. Take the guesswork out of how things work in your company and document everything, make it easily available. (Check out http://wikit.io, a tool we built exactly for this purpose).
Onboarding is key
Make sure you onboard your new team members correctly. Explain how things work, who is who, where to find your SOPs and set expectations from day 1.
Foster community via a platform
Communication platforms such as Slack not only provide a place to discuss work but also to engage with your team members. Your casual hallway and kitchen conversations are now channels on slack. Actively encourage conversation and different channels where not only work is discussed but also interests, news and even a bit of fun.
Establish weekly fun activities
One of the drawbacks of going fully remote and digital is that we loose the human connection. Bridge that gap by creating weekly fun activities that your entire team can participate in. At Ideaware we do: weekly town halls (news, chat, bring your favorite drink), a weekly challenge/contest where you win a prize and an event called Homespace, where any team member can talk & teach about any subject they want. Conversations are great and team building is fostered.
Share every single win
Publicly share every single win. From company news to a small win someone had. Share it, encourage your team to share good news and recognize achievement.
Keep your team in the loop every single week
Being remote often feels like being out of touch with your team, specially leadership. Uncertain times also bring work related anxiety. Keep your team in the loop every week. Have a 30 minute call (we call them Town Halls at Ideaware, we get together every Friday at 5pm) and share what’s going on at the company. Good news, bad news, updates. Your team will appreciate staying in the loop and the transparency.
Keep offering professional development opportunities
If possible, keep offering growth opportunities for your team. Your team works very hard for you and everyone wants to be rewarded for their effort with growth opportunities. Don’t take them off the table by being remote, in fact encourage it.
Perks must go beyond the physical office space
Think about the perks you offer/offered while everyone was at the office. Some or most of them are related to the physical space. Think about ways you can bring new perks to your team that are more in line with our current reality. For example: did you offer food and snacks at the office kitchen? Get creative and send everyone their favorite snack on Fridays.
Results matter, working hours do not
This is a tough one, because it is a huge mindset shift. When remote (honestly even at an office setting), sitting in a chair for 8 hours does not equal productivity. Hours don’t matter, results do. Expect your team to juggle home responsibilities while they work. Encourage results, let everyone figure out the best way they are most productive.
Have less meetings
The first impulse as you go remote is to establish many meetings a day to “keep tabs on things”, I find meetings counter-productive. They break up your flow, you have to prepare for them, sit in them, then recover from them. Hours lost. Send a screencast instead, a slack message, a short email, most meetings can be avoided with a short, well written message. If you need them, there are also plenty of tools to get daily status updates on your team members.
Help with home office spaces
If you are reducing your office space, no longer have an office or don’t plan to in the near future, divert your office budget to helping your team at home. At Ideaware we make sure everyone can request a desk, chair, new laptop, upgraded internet and anything they might need to get their best work done. Equipment and a comfortable ergonomic work station should not be taken for granted. Stay on top of it!
Ask for feedback
The most important bit about having a successful remote team is asking for feedback. What can the company do better? How can you help? What struggles are you having? Learn, solve and adapt. This sends the right message and culture to your team. You will learn a lot and help your team be happy and focused.
A happy team is a focused team and a happy company
An essential component to a remote team is keeping everyone happy, connected and thus focused on the company & project goals.
Always keep in mind you should:
Trust your team to do their best work
Autonomy to decide how/when to get their best work done
Outcomes over time tracking
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Communicating with your distributed / nearshore team should not be a hassle. By setting up the right...
Communicating with your distributed / nearshore team should not be a hassle. By setting up the right tools and culture you can make collaboration a breeze.
In fact, collaboration can be much easier even than walking down the hall to interrupt Bob and ask him if he is going to meet a deadline. Poor Bob, he’s been interrupted and now out of his zone. Once Bob returns to his original work, it will take him approximately 25 minutes to return to that task, according to research by the University of California, Irvine.
If you haven’t worked with a distributed or nearshore team before, expect it to be a completely different dynamic than having an in-house only team. What should you expect?
Less distractions: Remote teams are prone to less office distractions and constant interruptions
Online only: The majority of communication happens online via tools, email or video conferences
More visibility: Remote teams are compelled to constantly communicate and share progress with tools like Jira and Trello
Less meetings: Less impromptu meetings and more efficiency to get the job done
Different locations: you and your team have to overcome the fact that no face to face conversations or small talk happen.
Bonding: expect to actively have to make the time for 1:1’s, casual talk, etc. to engage with your team.
It is important that you create the right culture and set appropriate team expectations to reap the benefits and maximize the potential of your distributed team. To help guide you with engaging a distributed / remote team, here are some recommendations we provide our partners to support them through a successful transition:
First, create the right culture
Setting up the right culture is often overlooked. Don’t expect the right flow of information, collaboration and deliverables if your team doesn’t know how to interact with each other. This is why setting up the right culture is a crucial step that makes the difference between a successful and a struggling remote team.
These are our seven culture recommendations that should be both communicated and documented for your team to always have access to:
Share your org structure: identify who is who and who reports to who.
Communication channels: define what tools you are going to use and how to properly use them. When to send an email, when to use real time chat and when to set up a video call.
Encourage over-communication: by the nature of being remote you don’t have instant access to your team or a casual face to face down the hall. You and your team need a culture of over-communication. A few examples: acknowledge ALL received messages, set ETAs, participate in both work and “watercooler” chats/channels, give status updates, say Hi as your work day starts, ask for help, the list goes on.
Accountability & Visibility: hold your team accountable by expecting them not only to stick to plans/roadmap but also by using the right tools, everyday. Visibility is key for the success of a remote team.
Connect: We are all human, and as such, need to feel connected and involved. Inspire a culture of getting to know each other, create “random” or “watercooler” chat channels, hold at least 1 yearly get together (2 is best). In general, learn about your team, ask them to do the same. Connect & offer help when needed.
Share decisions: Key decisions should not be kept between two team members. Adopt a culture of making decisions in either group chats and/or widely sharing via email or a team knowledge base.
Respect boundaries: Remote teams also have working hours, we are still people with families and a life outside of work. Create a culture of respect, well planned and calm work.
Second, set up the right tools
There are 4 key groups of tools/software that you need to successfully engage with your remote team. These are:
Asynchronous communication: tools such as email, knowledge bases, online documents, etc.
Synchronous communication: live chat, video conference, etc
Project management tools: these help you manage tasks, timelines, deliverables and documentation.
Specialized tools: those specialized tools used by different (departments, specializations) within your team: repositories, hosting, design tools, etc.
For all of the categories above, there are literally hundreds of tools available online that you can set up very quickly. But how do you choose? Which are the best ones? It can be a daunting task.
Our recommendation is always simple: use widely adopted tools that are geared towards remote collaboration. For guidance, these are the tools that have become our standard set:
Synchronous communication: Slack for real time chat and Zoom for video calls
Project management: Notion, Jira or Basecamp
Development: let the team pick their stack or use your current one
Third, set the standard
By creating the right culture and providing your team with the right tools you are setting up your remote team towards the path of success. But that is not enough, now it needs to become part of your daily routine.
Set the standard by establishing the bar, and executing by example. This is the most important part of a successful remote endeavor. Set expectations and support your team in making it part of your culture.
Here are a few key items that you and your team should keep in mind everyday:
Use the appropriate communication channels
Widely share decisions
Acknowledge ALL received messages
Share (and meet) deadlines and ETAs
Respect boundaries and working hours
Keep a team knowledge base/wiki for important decisions, processes and documentation
Provide thorough and thoughtful responses when responding
I’ve been working with and setting up remote teams for over 10 years, I’ve seen what makes them tick and what causes them to fail. These points have become our standard at Ideaware because we experience, on a daily basis, how they work.
If you have any questions or need any help with your remote team, feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
How many times have you worked with development teams where you had sleepless nights since they...
How many times have you worked with development teams where you had sleepless nights since they were half way around the world? Or, wondered if they were working or not since you should be sleeping? Are they working with multiple clients or dedicated to me? This is more than you need to worry about when working on a mission critical product or trying to change the world.
There are many opportunities for software teams near and far with different levels of skill, cost, language, etc. Working with an offshore team (India, Eastern Europe, Asia) you are definitely going to be plagued with time zone challenges. You’ll be up at various hours of the night, and likely find pricing all over the board. They will tell you everything they can to win the business and make you feel comfortable. I am sure there are some good ones out there, but chances are once you start working with the offshore team, you will wish that you went elsewhere.
So, what do you do? Focus on working with a nearshore team. What is nearshore? It is defined as “relating to the transfer of a business operation to a nearby country.” Typically, in the case of the United States, this will refer to the transfer of a business operation to Canada, Central American and South American companies. Once you cross over the left and right oceans, it moves into offshore territory regardless of how it is spun.
The value in having a dedicated nearshore team
With a nearshore team, there are at least SEVEN VALUE POINTS.
As an executive leading teams at a corporate, or a startup founder, I would imagine that these seven value points are extremely important for you. As part of your development strategy, these are the keys to your success with the right nearshore partner. You should not only expect but demand these things from the partner.
In the business landscape, competition is coming and biting at your heels so you only have the time and bandwidth to get this done right the first time. I’ve heard time and time again, “well, they cost less than a US team so if there are problems and we need to redo it, it will still cost less than a US-based team.” I cringe when I hear this as it is really an unacceptable approach, especially if you select the right partner the first time around. What they did not calculate in this approach is the cost of “time” in addition to the budget burn. So, in the end it really cost 2X the time and budget in addition to the opportunity cost of other things that could not have been done in parallel.
In a recent CNBC article, “Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s comments about San Francisco are a warning sign for the city’s tech scene,” Jack was quoted as saying “I do think that we need to figure out how to build a company that is distributed, that is not burdened by time zones, but is advantaged by them.” Based on his company’s needs, nearshoring is an opportunity that will bring them advantages. This is a huge statement.
Internal, external or mixed teams?
Do you need a traditional in-house team? A 100% remote team? Or mixed? These are important questions to help ensure that you are setup for success, today and tomorrow.
There is no one answer here, but rather depends on your specific needs and requirements. Here are a range of questions to ask which should help you arrive at an answer that works for your situation.
How can I maximize the output by extending the budget as far as possible?
Do I have business critical dates/milestones that I am trying to meet?
Do I need access to specific skills that I can’t find locally?
Am I not finding talent fast enough?
Do I have enough office space based on the budget allocated? Or, can I transfer some of that office budget to expanding my team?
In the world of working remote, and all the available tools, is there a business benefit to having the team in-house at the same time?
Do I value a good night’s sleep so that I can focus on my mission?
Is extending company culture across teams important to the success of the business?
Do I want the team productive or moving in and out of meetings which could reduce velocity?
Would your business benefit from long-term retention?
And the list of questions can keep going and going. I think you get the idea and hopefully the examples here help you to formulate those questions that are important for you.
Keep in mind that the intended end result is an “empowered team that can tackle challenges and provide results” that help you to move things forward. So, either a combination of in-house and nearshore, or fully nearshore, could likely be the best arrangement as a result of the answers above.
Hiring fully in-house, you expect many meetings, a lot of management, budget burn, and one on one time to align with product or company objectives. Balancing that with a nearshore team, the rules of the typical office space don’t apply and the budget is extended. Typically you communicate more and intrinsically give your team more freedom to make decisions while providing overall product direction. This really helps to drive velocity which is hugely important in the competitive landscape.
Just like an in-house team, a nearshore team is dedicated 100% to you, and if setup the right way can absorb your company’s culture and goals. On the other hand, offshore teams will take more of your precious time and effort to bring them into alignment.
If you find the right nearshore partner, that will take inventory of your needs and help you to scale swiftly with the right skill and talent. To help ensure this, transparently, you should be invited into the candidate selection process since this person will be a fully dedicated member of your team. The last thing you want is just to have butts thrown into seats to see if they fit or not. Not a good situation, and believe me, if this is offered to you…..run the other way. On the same token, if a vendor says “trust me,” well don’t unless they are providing some sort of (put your money where your mouth is) guarantee.
Nearshore teams could provide the best all worlds, but again really depends on your business goals, needs and requirements.
Lastly, here is a list of potential benefits working with a nearshore team should you find the right partner.
Benefits you get with a nearshore team
Collaboration: You have full visibility throughout the candidate selection process and collaborate with our recruitment team to interview and secure the best talent and skill.
Allocation: Your hand selected team is 100% fully dedicated to you.
Managed operation: Operational support and facilities for your team to do their best work.
Working Hours: Your nearshore team should work within your timezone. For example, for all of our US based customers, teams work within the EST (GMT-5) to PST (GMT-8) time zones to ensure overlap with their work day.
Proximity: Location is important. Your team should be easy to get to in a few hours. For example, the Ideaware office is only a 2 hour flight from Miami, or 5 from Dallas.
Transparent costs: Flat monthly rates and no hourly or hidden fees.
Cost savings: Potential savings of up to 60% of the costs from hiring a US-based team.
Culture: We encourage our partners to embrace the software design and engineering teams as their own. These teams will feel like a seamless extension of your company.
The right partner will help you understand the benefits and challenges of working with a nearshore team and advise what’s best depending on your specific situation. The team at Ideaware is always available to help you succeed by supporting you with best in class team augmentation services for software design and developers.
I've worked with dozens of technical and non-technical founders over the last few years. Technical founders...
I’ve worked with dozens of technical and non-technical founders over the last few years. Technical founders typically handle the software side of the business well (team, tech stack, etc) while non-technical founders struggle to materialize their vision.
Business experience and vision are important, but also making sure you have the right stack, the right people for the job and a solid execution plan.
It all boils down to filling in the technical gap. By doing so, non-technical founders maximize their chances of releasing good software that sells.
Here’s the top advice I give to non-technical founders that will help set them up for success:
You need someone technical on your side
A business needs to run, software needs to be sold, a vision needs to be executed. This is where non-technical founders should spend their time. Not learning to code.
Find someone to fill the gap, in any of these forms:
Bring on board a technical co-founder
Hire a Lead/CTO role right off the bat
Partnering with a firm who provides the talent, including lead technical roles
Having a technical parter frees up your time so you can focus on the business, while at the same time you have someone you can trust taking care of the technicalities.
Share your company vision
Sharing your product & company vision both empowers and motivates your team. We like to feel part of something bigger, specially when working towards a common goal.
Sharing your vision also helps your team make better, decentralized decisions that align with the company objectives. Teams working on random small tasks in a black box are typically not motivated. This is why sharing your vision is important.
Sharing your vision leads to a motivated team which leads to a great product.
Be there for your team, lead
Teams are not for “setting and forgetting”. Your team can’t work in a black box and produce your expected results.
Remember you are working with human beings that need to be listened and taken care of. Lead your team by setting an example of work ethic, leadership and most important of all, stand by them.
Whenever someone needs help, help. Whenever you need help, ask for it. People like to feel helpful.
Don’t compromise, expect results & quality all the time
Quality, deliverables & results are expected and non-negotiable. Period.
Expect the highest standards from your team and hold everyone accountable. Create a culture where your own team sets the bar that everyone meets everyday.
If someone is underperforming, offer help. If it’s a mayor or recurring issue, consider finding someone who is a better fit for your team.
Mistakes happen, but they should not be the norm.
Hope you enjoyed and got something useful out of this article. Feel free to share!
The way we develop software around the world has completely changed in just a few short years....
The way we develop software around the world has completely changed in just a few short years. Out of a need for quick expansion or better access to talent, companies have shifted from a local to a global mindset in order to reach top talent.
Offshoring by no means is a new practice, it has been around basically since the internet started. What has been escalating recently is a shift from offshoring to nearshoring.
Both terms refer to the practice of outsourcing your team somewhere else, for many different reasons:
Lack of local talent
Access to specialized talent
The need to augment fast
Location & infrastructure needs
and many more…
The main difference is time zone and culture. When you offshore, you hire a team anywhere in the world in any time zone. By nearshoring however, you hire as close as possible and in your time zone.
For us, the biggest pain points we help our customers with are: Quality, same time zone, similar culture and geographical location (being a few hours away by plane).
I believe this is why nearshoring will overtake offshoring.
For the past 4 years (since we transitioned from agency to nearshore team model) I’ve seen many trends come and go, but some are here to stay:
High demand and limited talent pools are driving companies to find nearshore teams
Local talent pools are usually overshadowed by rising demand. This means companies are finding it hard to source local talent to meet their needs. This is currently driving companies to evaluate other options like offshoring & nearshoring their teams.
Companies will transition to consider their nearshore teams as their own
One of the biggest concerns we see our clients have when working with a dev shop or agency is that they have to adopt another’s processes to produce THEIR results. This just introduces more friction all around.
Our nearshore teams on the other hand are no longer “developers-for-rent” by the hour. They are full time-dedicated individuals that you can consider as part of your own team.
These teams share the vision, take in the culture and adopt prosses to deliver results.
The shift from offshoring to nearshoring will continue
Same time zone? Check. Similar culture? Check. Easy travel? Check. Quality? Check.
It’s definitely a no-brainer for many companies and startups to shift to a location easier to work with and access. I’ve been seeing this trend over the last few years and I strongly believe many more US-based companies will shift to nearshoring in 2020.
A more specialized nearshore provider market
Nearshore team providers will keep specializing in 2020. You will be able to find providers that specialize in specific frameworks, technologies, blockchain or AI.
There are two reasons for this specialization: first, the more talent you have specialized in a specific field, the easier it is to attract, train and retain said talent. Second, it is good business to establish yourself as an expert in a field (by acquiring the experience) and then offer services to your target market.
Jack-off-all-trades service companies and agencies are (still) on decline.
Hands-off team management
Providers (like us) are taking the nearshore model a step forward by providing 100% hands off team management. This means you don’t need to worry about HR, office, management, retention, etc.
Focus on your product while everything else is taking care of.
High quality over cost
Most of the time, the cost benefit of hiring an offshore team had a big drawback: quality. Your team might be cheaper than hiring in-house, at the cost that you don’t get the best talent.
Some offshore/nearshore companies are able to provide a cost benefit by offering Junior level candidates that are then sold to you as more experienced developers. These types of teams lack the expertise to produce a high quality product released on time.
At Ideaware, we are very transparent about the individual team members we are bringing to the table, and in case we are hiring for a team, we involve our customers as part of the process. We’ve seen other companies in Colombia doing the same.
This transparent process ensues you get the experienced talent you need to execute your vision.
As the globalization trend continues, the easier it will become to work with nearshore teams. Improved communications, tools and processes keep making remote work better.
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The secret behind a great software product is an amazing team in charge of building, maintaining and taking care of said product....
The secret behind a great software product is an amazing team in charge of building, maintaining and taking care of said product. I’m talking about the men & women who spend countless hours building the founder’s vision and aligning that to client expectations.
But how can we define what makes a product successful? I like to keep it simple:
Product releases are on time.
Quality is top notch.
Measurable goals for the product are being attained.
In other words: the product is getting shipped, the stakeholders and customers are happy, and the company is growing.
It’s that simple.
Software teams are not a blackbox where you make requests and perfect code comes out the other end. They are real people who want to have a sense of belonging and purpose behind their work.
Its the job of the founder/stakeholders to not only set up the right team but also make sure they are taken care of. Here’s why:
The wrong team won’t own the product
The wrong team won’t deliver
The wrong team doesn’t understand the vision
… and many more
So if you want to make sure you have a high-performing, happy team working on your vision follow these 5 secrets I’ve learned over the past 10 years when building teams:
1. Find the right skillsets & personalities
Make sure you understand the right skills you need to ship your product. If you are not a technical founder, you need someone technical by your side. Start by hiring a CTO or Technical PM who is up to the task to help you define the tech stack and from there create roles & job profiles.
2. Have a shared vision
Have a clear vision on where you want the product and company to be in X amount of time and share it with the team. Live it, breathe it. I even recommend to write it down somewhere accessible to everyone. This is extremely important because the product is shaped from the founders vision. Consequently, the team, culture and company are shaped this way too.
3. Nurture team culture
Happy teams are more productive and work better together. Nurture your team culture by:
Creating sense of belonging (events, swag, non-work conversations, etc).
Do not micromanage! Let your team figure out how best to execute the vision.
Make time to bond with the team. If remote: get together twice a year at least.
Always listen when someone in the team wants to talk.
4. (Over) Communicate
Engage your team in every way possible. Create a feeling of belonging, of purposeful work. Once your team understands their purpose behind their work, more effort will be put towards reaching the product goals.
5. Recognize work
Recognize hard work and a job well done, every day. And mean it. Your team is exchanging their time to build your vision, recognition goes a very long way to make every individual in your team happy.