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Setting up an Offshore Development Team for an Existing Product: Risks and Mitigations

 


Offshoring risks are real and could land your startup in a more-harm-than-good situation if not mitigated well.

Before taking the decision of whether to go for an offshoring partner for your startup, there might be a few questions or risks on your mind. In this blog, I'll be addressing those on the basis of how Evon, in its decade worth of experience of working with hundreds of Startups, has been handling those risks.

For a little background, Evon has worked with 600+ Startups ranging from the ones started by established enterprises to solve bigger consumer and institutional problems, to individuals who built their ideas block by block and eventually created runaway revenue generator machines. There are successful Startups now in the market whom Evon has helped build and scale from scratch to $2.5MM/Q profit businesses.

Now, without further ado, let's dive into the offshoring risks that a Startup might perceive and mitigations that Evon has in place.


Evon’s Take On Offshoring Risks and Mitigation

#1 Risk: No Prior Offshore Recruitment Experience or Don’t Know How to Establish if You’re Hiring Right People

Description: Setting up an offshore team is a first time experience for most startups. Of course, some degree of trust is required while building a team with an offshore partner, but no transparency in the hiring process could prove detrimental to your product expansion plans.

Mitigation: Transparent Hiring Model

Description: Evon understands your fear of being thrown off the scent, and therefore offers complete transparency in the hiring process. Be it one-on-one interview or running test series for gauging the required skill-set, you can do all that helps you make a confident decision about Evon’s development and testing & QA services. You can even further evaluate by giving some real project tasks for two or three days, and hire after being completely satisfied with the effort and skills.

#2 Risk: Cost of Evaluation

Description: Waiting for five to six weeks to get something from developers just to evaluate whether or not it’s worth continuing with them involves cost for the effort made during that time. It could be really frustrating for clients to look for another offshore team after six weeks because the previous one couldn’t meet their expectations. It’s just not loss of time but money as well for the unused effort.

Evon’s Take: Start Small , Build Fast.

Description: Evon’s strategy to effectively mitigate the cost-of-evaluation risk is to start small and build fast. It’s in fact not necessary to work on multiple modules for six long weeks and then send it across for evaluation when a small weekly or biweekly release is good enough for the evaluation purpose, be it code quality, bug fixes or the team’s overall understanding of your product.

Such an approach enables clients to become decisive much earlier than usual. Short release cycles also help test early, give feedback for user acceptance and market fast. For those who are concerned about the evaluation cost, Evon is ready to share the cost for the first two to three weeks. Contact us to know more.

#3 Risk: IP (Intellectual Property) Security and Data Confidentiality

Description: Data security has become one of the biggest concerns of today, be it personally identifiable information or IP of an organization. Your product’s source code, or any product info for that matter, is confidential information that you obviously don’t want your offshore partner to share with third parties. But, how would you ensure that?

Evon’s Take: Legal Framework and Different Levels of Security Confidentiality

Description: As a data security standard, Evon signs non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with all its clients. There’s often a fear among clients that the offshore agency may use their unique idea, source code, or any other product related info to start a similar business of their own or may share it with competitors or third parties for unethical financial gains. To leave no room for such fears, Evon is also ready to enter into a non-compete agreement. Evon also follows latest security protocols for data transmission and sharing.

#4 Risk: Working with Remote Teams in a Different Time Zone may lead to Communication Gap and Delays.

Description: One of the major pitfalls of offshoring is occurence of communication loops while working with remote teams located in a different time zone. How would clients/project managers prioritize requirements, track progress, review and be on the same page without proper communication and collaboration?

Mitigation: Daily/Weekly Meetings and Flexible Work Hours

Description: Daily/weekly meetings with clients/project managers at a time that suits them is Evon’s way of ensuring that time-zone-difference is never a hurdle to communication. Evon also offers flexibility in work hours to all those clients who want their offshore teams to work in their time zone.

Evon also provides a dedicated account manager to do regular Pulse Check twice a month to ensure if you’re happy with the way things are going or if there are concerns to be addressed. Besides, every Evon client knows what exactly their offshore team’s hierarchy is, therefore they correctly use the chain of escalation and know who to reach to get their concerns addressed.

#5 Risk: Ramping Up Team Size in the Future

Description: More often than not, project requirements keep on changing and you may need to increase the team size in the future. Hiring resources from different locations for staff augmentation not just increases cost due to managing two remote teams now, but also drains all your energies in making the two far-off teams coordinating well with each other.

Mitigation: Provide Skilled Resources on Need Basis

Description: Being in software offshoring business for over a decade now, Evon has grown a large base of skilled and passionate techies to keep all sort of requirements fully covered on need basis.

As a matter of fact, there’s a big pool of English speaking, skilled, talented and experienced workforce available in India. This also works well in Evon’s favor to provide you all the required resources at one place. So, partnering with Evon enables you to work on your product for 100 hours when your competition is working for 40 hours, that too without any hassles and without taking too long. Reduced time to market is the key to stand out competition, which Evon makes it possible for you.

#6 Risk: Resource Monitoring, Progress Tracking and Work Hours Spent

Description: Managing a team from a different corner of the world becomes a risky affair when there’s no solid means of monitoring resources and tracking their efficiency. Also, not being able to verify work hours spent on particular tasks and who is actually working on your project could lead to extended deadline and cost hike.

Evon’s Take: Real-Time Reporting and Tracking with our Project Management Tool FindNerd

Description: Evon has its own real-time reporting tool FindNerd which sports slick features for task creation, scheduling, monitoring, bug tracking, activity updates, and analytics. Clients can ensure complete transparency and veracity of the tasks worked on and the effort spent via sprints, session tracker and desktop screenshots of developers’ systems.

Although Evon’s tech leads and SMEs do code review before creating a test instance for clients, FindNerd helps ensure user acceptance by enabling clients to be in complete control of processes and management all the time through. Grab a good look at the features FindNerd offers and how it is distinct and better from others.

Last but not the Least

There is no denying that IT outsourcing has to offer many benefits to a business. But, one must not make the mistake of underestimating the risks associated with it. Evon analyzes all the risks associated with offshoring and makes efforts to mitigate them to ensure not only quality product delivery, but good client-vendor relationship as well.

The relationship between the Business organization and the Outsourcing partner are sustainable when there is openness in communication and sharing of concerns to resolve the issues. With time the trust is built and it becomes a mutually beneficial association. However, it is also essential that there is total commitment from the Business organization, at all levels, to support the outsourcing decision once made after considering all the tradeoffs, rather than one or more champions of the cause trying to push a reluctant organization.

Are you looking for an offshore IT consultant to help you take your business or product idea on the right path? Are you feeling the need to scale up your team to expand your product and add new features to it? Get in touch with us and fill the form, we promise to get back to you soon and get your offshoring journey started on a positive note.

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