Monday, March 18, 2019

Successful Outsourcing: 5 Common Struggles Faced by Distributed Global Development Teams




In today’s world, members of the same development team can manage complex projects, brainstorm during strategy meetings, and even share holiday celebrations -- all from across the globe. Nearly 70% of companies in the United States rely on global outsourcing to provide scalable and affordable growth. These distributed teams provide the benefit of varied experiences and perspectives, creating a diversity that allows companies to remain competitive as the industry evolves. Nearshoring development projects to nearby countries in Latin America allow companies access to talented teams for decreased costs.


There are major benefits to outsourcing or nearshoring a development project, or augmenting staff with a global team. Working with Latin American developers can save 30-50% on staffing costs, while providing high levels of talent in Javascript, Django, or Python web and app development. The shared time-zones allows distributed teams to have workday overlap, and communication technologies like Slack and Google Hangouts allow for teams to integrate, strategize, and even bond.


However, while global teamwork is more popular than ever, there are some struggles to be aware of when entering a nearshoring partnership. A good global team is mindful of the potential pitfalls, and takes steps to ensure a smooth campaign. Here are some common struggles globally distributed teams face, as well as some solutions for creating a successful development project.



1. Different Time Zones and Holidays


Here’s a nightmare scenario: You run an e-commerce site. It’s Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, and your website just crashed. Your global development team in India is across the ocean--asleep.


Time zone differences are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s nice to have rotating teams, essentially allowing for 16 hours of productivity instead of just 8 hours. However, the time difference can leave a lull in communication, even if the message is urgent.


Solution:
Instead of offshoring to India or Eastern Europe, nearshore to Latin America. Countries in Latin America (LATAM) share time zones with the United States. Depending on your location, a LATAM team could be in the same time zone or, at most, just a few hours apart. This shared workday allows teams to work together in real-time, eliminating the struggle of different time zones.


Likewise, LATAM countries share most major holidays with the US, so companies don’t need to worry about having half the team go on vacation for a holiday not celebrated by the US team. It also means both teams can celebrate holidays together, building a cultural camaraderie that leads to more successful, productive teams.



Communication Gaps and Team Building

Even when managing a team in the same building, messages can get garbled when passed from person-to-person. Typically, there’s a lot of back-and-forth between colleagues, clients, and management, and messages may come through multiple channels, such as email, telephone, or in-person meetings. It’s easy for an important message to get lost in the shuffle.


When managing a global team, it’s all-the-more important to maintain a meticulously organized system of communication.


Solution:
First and foremost, it’s important for global teams to meet in-person. Typically, Innuy sends one or two developers to spend two weeks with our new nearshoring partners. Spending time together, building bonds and connections, and learning about each other’s company culture is a valuable beginning for any outsourcing partnership.


Using good communication tools, it’s very possible for distributed development teams to build work friendships, share in successes, and even build a combined work culture. We’d suggest using a tool like Slack, and then creating an exclusive channel for the entire distributed development team. Chat tools like this allow for instant communication; in fact, many companies who share the same office send digital messages to communicate with someone who’s sitting right next to them. Using a Slack channel, it’s easy to forget your colleagues are in another country!


Inclusivity should be a core value for a diverse and distant team. Be sure to include your nearshore team in team celebrations, not just strategy meetings. Using a video tool like Google Hangouts, developers can feel immersed and included in the celebrations of their fellow teammates, even from far away!


Innuy also encourages outsourced clients to, if possible, fly and visit their extended team in LATAM. The back-and-forth exchange strengthens communication and rapport between management and staff alike, building a strong foundation for project success.




Ineffective Organization and Productivity Loss

Organization is always important, but it’s especially important when working on complex development projects with global teams. While communication methods like Skype and Google Hangouts do allow for regular strategy meetings and updates, it’s still possible to lose track of goals, to miss a critical bug, or to simply have a staff member confused about what their next task is. Productivity is a valuable commodity, and there are tools and methodologies for protecting against productivity loss.


Solution:
Our experienced nearshoring development team has found that creating routine systems helps prevent productivity loss. We use a series of tools, and each tool is used for a clear and decisive purpose.


  • Plan.io

  • Github will be used as the repository site.

  • Jenkins will be used as the CI tool.

  • Slack is used as our central daily communication tool.

  • Monit is used to monitor the status of the servers and the application


By specifying the purpose of each tool, and only using that tool for its intended purpose, important messages are far less likely to get lost. No staff member is confused about their next task, because each task is methodically recorded in the same, expected place.




Client Autonomy

Another way of preventing productivity loss is by creating systems that provide autonomy. A Latin American developer may save you money, but are the savings really cost efficient if you lose valuable time waiting for updates, passwords, and information from the global team?


Solution:
An experienced development team will provide for the autonomy of their client. We suggest tactics like running the deploy script automatically, in order to keep the QA server up-to-date. This allows clients to test all tasks in Client Validation as soon as possible, without relying on their global team.


Passwords and authorizations are kept in specific locations, where both teams can easily access them--thus, sparing the client from waiting for an email or phone authorization.


Jenkins, Slack, and emails are integrated to ensure swift notification of communications, especially in case of website failure or bugs which need immediate attention.



Differing Expectations of Goals

Managing expectations is vital for any development project. When it comes to outsourcing, sometimes different cultural phrasing can make setting expectations different. Descriptors like “quickly” or “very soon” may mean something different, depending on the country culture and even the work culture. Using very specific phrasing and employing careful communication can help decrease the chances of workflow confusion.


Solution:
In the initial engagement with our clients, we typically start with 1-2 engineers on a project so that our clients can see how we work and start to develop a comfort level before adding more developers to their team. Communication is vital to the success of the relationship, so a communication protocol is part of our workflow.


It’s important to offer thorough and careful estimates during the proposal phase. We move forward in phases, adding features and functionality over time. We offer monthly one-on-one reviews with clients to discuss the quality and activity of the team members. We also utilize task diagrams and Agile methodology, so both teams have a visual understanding of their upcoming tasks, as well as any dependencies. Our teams move forward in two week sprints. These short bursts allow us to meet, review, strategize, and make any revisions in a timely manner. It prevents us from getting too deep into the project, then suddenly realizing there’s an issue.


Both teams have access to a QA server, so developers and clients can test at any time during the process. To save even more time, our team tests automatically every time an update is made, to ensure the best quality of the application.


Learn More About the Benefits of Nearshoring in LATAM
Outsourcing development projects bolsters cultural exchange, diversity, and global talent--and on top of that, it saves money! Innuy delivers 100% team integration. Our engineers are available to fully participate in your staff's daily processes and progress reports based on your preferences.


If your company has an upcoming web or mobile development project, it’s important to consider the benefits and struggles of working with a global company. The talented and experienced developers at Innuy recognize the potential stumbling blocks of outsourcing, and we’ve worked hard to minimize them and create smooth, seamless, and successful development projects.


Latin America is one of the most popular places for North American nearshoring, due to our competitive costs and highly skilled developers. We believe in inclusivity, communication, and realistic goals. If you want to see our talent in action, take a look at our case studies to see the incredible results of our LATAM team.
We offer Full-Stack development in Python, Django, or Javascript. Want assistance developing a mobile app or website with high-level functionality, with Native Development in Swift (iOS), Java (Android), and Hybrid: React Native or Ionic Framework?


Call our team of web developers at +1 252 723 5982 or contact us to learn more about our services and all the benefits of teaming up with a dev team in LATAM.



Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Nearshoring Web Development: 7 Benefits of Outsourcing Staff Augmentation to Latin America


Staff augmentation has grown by nearly 20% in the past decade, primarily due to a high demand for a skilled, affordable, and scalable workforce. According to Staffing Industry Analysts, “most companies prefer staff augmentation when facing high priority or fast-changing needs,” including implementing a new project or entering a testing phase, when companies need to double-down on focused employees.


Depending on external talent during a period of critical growth is a common solution for many companies, who often rely on outsourcing or nearshoring to augment current staff with pre-trained experts at a fraction of the costs.


Latin America Emerges as a Global Leader in Technological Nearshoring


In the past decade, Latin America has emerged as a global leader in web and mobile app development, with technological initiatives starting as early as grade school to ensure a talented, proficient population. According to Forbes, software teams in Latin America (LATAM) have provided development for leading companies like Google, HP, Netgear, Viacom, and IBM.


Many companies in the United States have shifted their outsourcing and staff augmentation from India or China to LATAM -- from outsourcing to nearshoring. It’s easy to see why LATAM countries are emerging as a hidden gem in staff augmentation for software, web, and mobile app development.


1. LATAM Nearshoring Lowers Costs by 30-50%


Right out the gate, LATAM developers charge a lower hourly rate than those in the United States. According to the Software Outsourcing Rates for 2018, companies in the US can save up to $25-30 per hour on salary, coupled with $15 per hour in payroll and benefits. It can be the difference between a $1.6 million dollar project and a $700,000 one.


“By eliminating employee overhead costs,” it explains, “you’ll decrease your fully-burdened cost of employee benefits, taxes, paid time off, company perks, training and retention, and gain flexibility around growing (and shrinking) team.”


2. Access to highly skilled workers, no training required


Latin American development companies remove the financial burden of training from the US team that augments them. LATAM companies provide highly-skilled developers, who have years of experience in technology and development, including Full-Stack development in Python, Django, and Javascript.


By hiring an augmented staff from LATAM, companies in the US can be assured their new team is responsible for management, provision, and quality control, as well as training and expertise. This allows managers to focus on their project, without worrying about recruiting or onboarding, while enjoying the flexibility to increase or decrease their team size as-needed.


3. Neighboring Time-Zones Means Shared Work Day


One common struggle companies face when augmenting staff with an outsourced team from India or China is the time difference. Often, overseas employees are working overnight while the US team is sleeping. Not sharing a common workday creates a communication lag that may make it difficult for the two teams to truly connect.


However, when nearshoring with a team from LATAM, companies can experience 100% team integration, participating in team meetings, daily processes, and even morning scrum.


Many LATAM companies use modern channels like Slack to create a dedicated place for team members to have constant, real-time communication. By implementing Slack and even video chat, the augmented team feels as if they’re just sitting in the next room. Especially when using Agile framework, this constant interaction between teams is critical to the success of a project.


4. Similar Holidays & Vacations


Overseas development teams sometimes celebrate holidays during different times of the year than their United States teams. Just like the different time zones impact a project’s productivity, when working on a development sprint, it’s important that the two teams share similar work hours and work days.


However, Latin America and the United States share a common cultural heritage, meaning countries across North and South America celebrate similar holidays and vacation-times.


5. Overall Cultural Connection


To build a synchronous team, it’s important for team members to be able to bond over shared television programs and daily experiences. On Monday morning, the team from the United States wants to discuss the latest episode of Game of Thrones -- and so does the LATAM team!


Latin Americans share similar cultural ideals and work values with the US corporate culture, making it easier to avoid communication glitches. Consuming similar media, enjoying the same music, and watching the same TV shows are important for healthy team-building, which keeps morale and productivity high and allows for smoother discussions.


6. Scalability Allows Temporarily Augmentation During Periods of Growth


Augmenting with nearshored staff from LATAM gives management maximum control of a project’s scalability -- to dial up or dial down staffing as needed, controlling the budget with precision.


Whether a company is developing a new mobile app or entering the testing phase for a new product, management may not always immediately know how many employees will be needed or how long the job will last. Augmenting staff allows management to scale their team according to the changing needs of the project.


7. Total Team Integration


During an initial engagement with long-term clients, LATAM developers may visit the US company, spending a couple of weeks with the new team to build rapport and trust.


“Communication is vital to the success of the relationship,” shares Roberto Uriarte, the CEO of Innuy. By creating specialist Slack channels and utilizing video conferencing, many LATAM companies work seamlessly alongside their new teams, even going so far as to include new teams in birthday celebrations.


For LATAM development companies like Innuy, building camaraderie is invaluable. Uriarte shares, “Many of our clients come visit Uruguay, and we do team building activities and adventures.”


He adds, “We want to ensure that they feel that our engineers are really a part of their internal team.”
Increase Productivity, Save Money, and Bolster Your Team


If your company has an upcoming web or mobile development project and you’re looking for a staffing solution to save money and turbocharge your team’s productivity with additional talent, it may be time to consider nearshoring to LATAM.




  • Maximize affordability
  • Allow for a shared work day (due to similar time zones and holidays)
  • Provide flexibility to increase or reduce team’s size
  • Increase control over the staff allocation and budget
  • Allow access to the most qualified developers in LATAM
  • Create a deeper cultural connection
  • Allow for total team integration


Need a little inspiration? These case studies show the incredible results of choosing a LATAM development team.


Need a staffing solution for Full-Stack development in Python, Django, or Javascript? Want assistance developing a mobile app or website with high-level functionality, with Native Development in Swift (iOS), Java (Android), and Hybrid: React Native or Ionic Framework?


Call our team of web developers at +1 252 723 5982 or contact us to learn more about our services and all the benefits of teaming up with a dev team in LATAM.

At the end of the day, when we’re working with geographically dispersed teams, the distance doesn’t matter because we’re all trying to get to that same common goal: A complete and successful project.” - Roberto Uliarte, CEO of Innuy



Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Web Development Outsourcing: 8 Reasons to Choose Latin America | Innuy


Outsourcing web and mobile app development to Latin America is an emerging trend. With cost-efficient projects, shared time-zones, bilingual talent, cultural affinity, and a highly tech-savvy population, Latin America is one of the fastest growing outsourcing destinations in the market.

When American companies hear the word “outsourcing,” they most often think of countries like India or China. However, as the demand for cost-efficient staff augmentation and development projects grows, Latin American countries are poised as the next emerging trend in web development, mobile apps, and staff augmentation. Their close proximity to America, similar time zones, cost savings, and high skill level are shifting the narrative in global outsourcing. We’re not looking overseas for web development anymore. More and more, American companies are looking to their highly technical southern neighbors.


Over 300,000 tech jobs are outsourced annually, with those numbers increasing steadily. According to the A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index, which tracks offshore outsourcing globally, five of the Top 20 countries for outsourcing are in Latin America.


There are several reasons countries like Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia, and Brazil have become the evolving destination for American outsourcing. Uruguay, specifically, has been named a “hidden gem” in web and mobile app development, and it’s easy to see why.

1. Latin American Outsourcing is Cost-efficient


Whether you’re managing a small start-up or a department of a multi-billion dollar company, web development and mobile applications are expensive. On average, a development team in Uruguay can complete a successful project for 30% - 50% less than an American tech company.


Uruguay owes its cost-effective businesses to the country’s affordable hiring rates for quality developers. An experienced and versatile American developer could cost upwards of $100,000 a year in salary. In Uruguay, a full stack developer experienced in Python, Django, or Javascript requires a lower annual salary. With less overhead costs from salaries, companies in Uruguay are able to charge less per project.


If your company website or mobile app requires high-level design functions like intelligent conversational bots, artificial intelligence (A.I.), or progressive web apps, hiring an American developer may prove cost-prohibitive. However, in Uruguay, not only can you hire a development team for one project; it will be affordable to hire the team as an extension of your own company for an extended period of time. This is especially important if your business or department needs a scalable project, and a development team that can assist your tech needs for the long haul!  


While cost-effectiveness is one of the most obvious reasons American companies choose to outsource development projects, it is by no means the only one--or even the biggest one!  

2. Latin America has a High Level of Technical Talent & Innovation


There’s a reason Uruguay--and Latin America in general--is being regaled as the new emerging space for web and app development: The developers are incredibly talented!


Uruguay is the leading software exporter per capita in South America, with a “One Laptop, One Child” commitment to technical education as early as elementary school. Industry leaders like IBM, HP, Cognizant, Capgemini, Infosys, Wipro, and US Global have begun making investments in Uruguay, and according to Fortune Magazine, this small country “leads the way in software, easing the path for foreign startups.”


Latin America has been known as a growing hub for advanced Agile development for years.  Offering complex development services utilizing Python, Django, and Javascript, these teams are proficient in creating scalable projects. Panelists have attested that professionals from these countries tend to communicate more openly and directly, with a creative approach towards problem-solving.


Uruguay, specifically, has made a name for itself as one of the world’s most high-quality software testing and quality assurance hubs. Established organizations like Centro de Ensayos de Software have championed education in quality assurance and testing, and TestingUY, one of Latin America’s largest testing conferences, takes place in Uruguay.


The time-zone alignment with North American companies makes Latin America an ideal destination for agile partnerships with a variety of staff solutions. Teams from each time-zone and culture have been proven to enhance and complement each other with the unique set of strengths offered by the Latin American workforce.

3. Neighboring Time Zones in Latin America


One major struggle US companies face when outsourcing to India, China, or Eastern Europe is the immense time-zone difference. Because teams are all the way across the globe, one team is often finishing their work day when the other begins, leading to a lag in communication. Uruguay is only one hour off EST (sometimes two, depending on daylight savings). This full workday overlap makes it easier to include an augmented team as part of regular daily meetings.


Innuy, for example, manages to have seamless interaction with clients by utilizing modern communication channels like Slack. Sharing a dedicated Slack channel allows for real-time discussions during the work day -- almost as if you’re chatting with your colleagues in the next room. Outsourced teams from Uruguay often form bonds within their new company, especially during long-term projects, and even share team birthday celebrations through video chat. Clients are welcomed to visit Uruguay offices and share in fun activities. For long-term projects, developers will travel to spend two weeks on-site with clients every quarter, so the teams can build rapport.


Ultimately, even if teams are geographically dispersed, they share a common goal of completing a successful project. When a company from the US outsources to our team in Uruguay, our primary goal is that we truly become an extension of your own company.

4. Latin American Countries Share Cultural Affinity with the United States



Cultural affinity is a critical part of working with a globally outsourced team. Some US companies discover they struggle to overcome cultural differences in how teams approach work.


According to the KPMG Insights from the 2018 Outsourcing Survey, companies cite “poor scope definition leading to multiple, costly change orders post transition” as a major challenge when outsourcing. Another survey shares, “While outsourcing can save money, it's not without certain drawbacks. Nearly 50% of employers that outsource say the quality of their service providers and a reactive versus proactive attitude are the most frustrating issues to deal with.”


Due to cultural similarities between companies in the US and Latin America, development teams in Uruguay are less likely to struggle with undefined scope. The United States and Latin America both have deep roots in European history, and have been influenced by similar cultural backgrounds. Developers in Uruguay typically use work styles that American employees find familiar, such as valuing creativity and assertiveness, viewing collaborations as partnerships rather than hierarchies, and building sustainable relationships. Also, teams in Latin America and the United States celebrate similar holidays, which means more overlap in shared work days.


Uruguay teams utilize Agile, a commonly used American development framework. The culture promotes being proactive, but also setting realistic goals. Rather than over-promising and under-delivering, Latin American developers move forward in 2-week sprints, and grow progress over time.


Design trends also differ depending on culture. Just because a trend is popular in the United States doesn’t mean it’s been picked up across the globe. From music and fashion, to film and web design, different cultures catch onto trends at different times. Latin America, sharing a cultural affinity with the United States, will often be on the same page when it comes to current trends, meaning there’s less of a barrier when describing the visuals and functionality of a development project.


Differing cultures can also impact contract negotiations. Especially for long-term development projects, it’s important to work with a team that shares similar work values -- such as meticulous attention to detail, or a similar vision for project processes. Regardless of which country a US company chooses to build an outsource partnership with, the real key is that the two companies share values and company culture to create a strong foundation for success.

5. Latin America is Full of Bilingual Talent


According to the EF English Proficiency Index, much of Latin America has introduced “an array of new governmental programs focused on augmenting or overhauling English education.”


The EF English Proficiency Index explains, “This reflects a desire among Latin Americans to strengthen their public education systems and give students and professionals better opportunities to participate in the global economy.”


Already, Latin America’s countries score on-par or better than China or India at English-proficiency.


Not only is this bilingual talent useful for American companies who require English-speakers, but it’s also incredible when working with American companies who also serve a Spanish-speaking population. This leads to an incredibly integrated experience, with websites and mobile apps that can easily, accurately, and inexpensively be translated into English or Spanish.

6. Latin American Work Culture Means No Smoke and Mirrors


Companies in Latin America are passionate about building energized, engaging work environments to nurture their creative talent.


Unlike the highly competitive, sometimes cut-throat nature of some careers in the tech industry, developers in Uruguay are given a comfortable place to learn and grow. This lack of intense competition means companies are more comfortable being honest about their capabilities -- they don’t need to create a “smoke and mirrors” cloud of mystery to overcharge clients or overhype their own ability.


The benefit to American companies is an honest, direct negotiation. What you see is what you get.


Since developers are not seen as dispensable, management takes time to coach and support their team, which creates a workplace people enjoy. This creates a richer sense of teamwork, where colleagues lift each other up, and increase their skills with management support.


The result: A skilled and efficient outsourced team, who will be honest about deadlines and work capacity.

7. Free Trade Agreements in Uruguay


For the past ten years, Latin American--in particular, Uruguay--has been working to establish itself as a global leader in the tech industry. The government has ramped up access to education in the computer sciences, ensured school children have access to technology like laptops, and provided broadband internet to over 99% of their population.


To further their commitment to becoming a global industry leader, the Uruguayan government established 12 free trade zones with the hopes of making the country a hub for outsourcing. Free trade zones come with a number of benefits and incentives, including the elimination of taxes for income, transportation, and VAT. Foreign companies can import goods without tariffs, duties, or inventory tax.  


These free trade zones encourage outsourcing by allowing for foreign currency to be used freely and providing tax benefits to foreign companies. With Latin American governments working hard and investing in their outsourcing and tech economy, it’s easy to see why Latin American countries are the fastest growing on the global web development outsourcing scene.

8. Latin America is the Fastest Growing Market for Outsourcing Development


As the global market for outsourcing services expands, Latin America is growing rapidly, taking its place as a leader in outsourcing for web development and mobile applications, as well as many other tech careers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020 the demand for software developers will increase by up to 31%, which could mean a widening gap between number of development jobs and number of developers. Meanwhile, a KPMG study done in 2014, Latin America’s annual growth rate through 2017 was projected to average nearly 10 percent, up from 5.3 percent in 2013. The rising demand for developers globally, along with Latin America’s initiatives to support college graduates in computer science fields, leaves Latin American tech companies poised to play a large role in software outsourcing.


With well-established markets in Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia, Latin America continues as one of the fastest growing destinations for technical outsourcing. Promising lower costs, high talent, and teams within nearby time zones, it’s only a matter of time before Latin America becomes the top destination for outsourcing and staff augmentation.

Do you have a web or app development project to outsource to Latin America?


Choosing a global company to outsource a web or mobile app development project is a critical decision that will impact the cost and success of your project. Many companies are shifting their outsourcing projects from popular locations like India, China, and Eastern Europe, to learn more about the benefits of working with Latin American development companies. With a much smaller time-zone difference, bilingual talent, and a 30% to 50% cost savings, it’s easy to see why Latin America is the fastest growing destination for outsourcing.


The developers at Innuy are experts in Python, Django, and Javascript, using Agile as our framework for project management. If your company has a web or mobile app development project, call us at +1 252 723 59 82 or contact us to learn more about our services and all the benefits of teaming up with a dev team in Uruguay!