Modern outsourcing requires a more agile approach
by Dilip Allam, client services director, Mastek
Monday, August 20, 2012
Dilip Allam, client services director at Mastek, explains how organisations can implement successful outsourcing schemes, even when teams are based in different locations.
With the explosion of cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS), it has never been easier for organisations to outsource business processes to other countries in order to take advantage of a large talent pool, cut costs and increase efficiency. Many businesses, however, are still reluctant to implement offshoring projects like these, since there is a misconception that the project won’t work if the team isn’t in one location.
To change this out-dated view of offshoring and implement more agile ways of working, firms need to develop a framework that incorporates an on-going cycle of ‘identify, plan, develop and deliver’.
As a first step, organisations need to identify exactly what they are looking to achieve. By understanding their key business objectives, it is possible to design a methodology that can meet these specific requirements very quickly. Secondly, agile offshoring will require a cultural change within the business in order to encourage greater collaboration with any offsite teams. For example, by training key stakeholders on the various tools and technologies that enable a flexible approach to IT projects, it is possible to ensure that the business can see the progress being made abroad much more easily and in real time.
Tools like audio, video, instant messenger or desktop sharing via a high-speed link are already making it possible to increase communication between the onshore/offshore teams. These regular updates also have the added benefit of ensuring that any change in requirements can be easily communicated on a continuing basis, and can help to ensure that everyone is happy with the end result.
Finally, organisations can boost engagement with offshoring staff and create a single homogenous team by using the same development tools, code repository and increment goals in every location, regardless of where the project team is located. This synchronous way of working means that offshore teams can be set up as an extension of the onshore team.
In today’s business world, the reality is that project teams are located across multiple locations and geographies, but that doesn’t need to be a problem. By adopting a more agile approach to outsourcing, this model can provide a viable and productive way of meeting many different business objectives. In fact, by adopting a more strategic and cyclical approach to offshoring, businesses can ensure they are taking advantage of growing trends in globalisation and maintaining competitive advantage. As such, by adopting a more agile approach to outsourcing, we expect that more organisations will be able to enhance their IT implementation, boost innovation in development models, and create greater communication between different teams.