The rise of globalization and the accelerating war for talent has forced executives to look for new and innovative ways to find the right resources for their technical teams. To compete in this economy, companies need to explore new and innovate ways to contract the talent they need to improve business productivity while reducing risks and operational costs.
Software development outsourcing has become an increasingly common solution. Made easier by the very technologies that have created a global marketplace, outsourcing gives a company access to expertise and talent it might otherwise lack.
However, it isn’t enough to simply hire the first competent software development expert that is found. Rather, this needs to be seen as a partnership, and any company looking to outsource needs to ensure that the relationship with their business partner will be both healthy and productive.
Healthy, productive relationships do not happen by accident. Nor are they simply the result of a shared history.
The questions, then, are, “How are successful relationships built? And are there ways I can help ensure that success?” We believe we can answer both questions.
While you won’t find “teamability” in Merriam-Webster, for us the concept is so useful that we’ve coined the word. We define it as the ability of two disparate companies to form highly cooperative and efficient working relationships. It includes the ability to communicate with the intent of advancing the team’s mission, as well as an intrinsic and persistent pursuit to make meaningful contributions to the entire team.
Successful outsourced relationships with a high degree of teamability are those that build cohesive and positive teams that combine skills and expertise focused on a common goal.
Creating a solid team means more than ensuring that your business has a partner-friendly culture. While that is part of the equation, it is – at most – only half. Because forming a team means trusting that your associates also have a partner-friendly culture, and that their culture and yours are compatible.
When looking to establish a new business relationship, bear in mind that a successful partnership is not a zero-sum game. Rather, these relationships are mutually beneficial. Both parties work to achieve shared goals, and the focus is not singularly on the contracted work but on a fruitful partnership in which both the company and the service provider are committed to each other’s success. (For more of my thoughts on this, see my post here.)
Also at issue are your company’s culture, values, and mission. These not only define your corporate identity, but also delineate how you engage with partners and customers. Ensuring that your company’s culture, values, and mission – its specific DNA– are aligned with the company’s you choose to partner with is an essential component of developing a successful relationship.
Technology experts and service providers can be found on every major continent. The challenge as an executive is to find a provider whose culture and values align with your company’s. Intangible elements such as differences in cultural norms can add layers of complexity to otherwise straightforward processes. At the same time, more concrete problems – language barriers and time differences, for example – also have to be dealt with.
All of these aspects need to be considered when vetting a service provider. Remember also that Teamability is a two-way street – your potential partners will want to know that you are right for them just as much as you want to know that they are right for you.
Best Practices to Identifying a Good Fit
A single, simple solution to finding the right service provider doesn’t exist. Anyone your business chooses to partner with should be carefully vetted.
There are, however, some best practices that can make it easier to achieve Teamability.
While technology has made it possible to consider companies anywhere in the world, looking for nearshore partnerships can solve many of the problems in creating a viable team. While proximity isn’t the issue it would have been 40-years-ago, nearshoring increases the likelihood that your partner will be familiar with – and even share – many of your customs and values, languages, and schedules. All of which can impact the rapport between partners, and ultimately the quality of products and services.
Selecting service providers and development teams with experience in similar settings and with similar issues will enable them to more quickly and efficiently handle situations as they arise. A company that shares a close affinity with your business’s culture and values can be better trusted to make the right decisions when questions come up. Misunderstandings will be avoided, and the decision-making process made faster and more certain.
The Benefits of Teaming with the Right Partner
A fruitful partnership will be evident in a number of ways.
- A good outsourced partnership will be a natural extension of your internal team and yield high-quality output.
- The right partner will understand your business and how you operate, communicate, and deliver.
- A pairing between companies with high Teamability will be quick to identify risks that could affect either partner, will be flexible, and able to leverage previous experience to drive innovation.
- The right service provider will take ownership of their part of the partnership. They will be accountable for their tasks.
- Finally, you’ll know you have found the right match when the expertise of both teams is maximized, allowing you to focus on your business and trust that the outsourced work will be done, and done well.
Working with the right partner is absolutely critical. It will influence every aspect of your IT business – processes and deadline management, the quality of the product or service, and ultimately the return on your investment.
At Proximiteam, we understand both the necessity in, and the problems of, finding the right partners in a global market. Our headquarters in Toronto, Canada, coupled with our development centers in South America, have positioned us perfectly to create a team that can understand and work with your company’s values and culture.
Like to learn more? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.