The outsourcing experience and agile development involve challenges that are faced in the day-to-day operation. We will be writing about the most important ones, based on our experience working with US clients for the last 10 years.
This involves language barriers and sometimes the need from many offshore firms to have onshore “point people” who speak “understandable” English. This is often a sign that the day-to-day dealing with offshore project managers, or engineers, will frequently breaks down.
Big differences in time zones also often hinder the communication process because the provider’s team will be working while the client’s team is sleeping and vice versa.
There’s an additional critical factor regarding communication. It is not just a matter of the language or the time zones. The “I feel good communicating with these guys” is something that goes beyond the right command of the English language. It is the “I understand what you mean and what you want. You understand what I mean so we can start working right away, with no delays translating or explaining more than needed”.
Something that our clients value tremendously is how easy is to communicate with our engineers. Their capacity to understand what the client is explaining or asking, their competency to provide ideas on different approaches based on previous experiences, and their commitment to make things happen is essential to us.
How it works? There’s no magic on this, it is a matter of living the Agile experience. Our approach encourages permanent and direct interaction with all levels of our company including Engineers, Project Managers, QA, Architects, and Executive Management. No “translators” or onsite “facilitators” are needed.
We are in this together and we ask our clients to involve us as much as possible, providing us with as much access to the big picture of their business as they can. That way we will be able to provide much more value in return, letting you know our ideas, our experience and suggestions, becoming an extension of your development organization, transcending the “us’ and “them” model to work as single team, and even more important, understanding each other easily so we can focus on delivering the work well done, the first time.