Building a nearshoring partnership can be quite a challenge since it requires that two individual entities operating in two different countries find a way to collaborate remotely, effectively and on equal footing. However, if you get a good start, right at the very beginning – when you’re selecting the best company – it will be much easier to develop a long-lasting and trust-based relationship. You need to choose wisely and then build a solid foundation for your future cooperation.
However, building a foundation like this requires effort from both sides of the partnership, and you definitely shouldn’t make this your IT partner’s responsibility alone. A partnership implies that both parties will work together towards a common goal. Of course, you wouldn’t hire a nearshore IT company to share software development tasks with you – but the level of engagement in the process should be more or less equally divided between both sides.
Now, let’s see what this means, exactly.
Building a nearshore partnership in 3 steps
Find a company that is a good fit for you.
- They should be a good match for your corporate culture.
This means that the company that you cooperate with should hold similar beliefs and have a similar approach to work. This is important because the corporate culture shapes employee behaviour: The way that they interact with each other, the way they work and perform tasks, and the way they collaborate with clients. If you share the same attitude, it’s easier to communicate and agree on the terms of cooperation. Plus, the overall atmosphere will then be much more pleasant and enjoyable for everyone involved.
- They should have expertise in a field that matches your needs.
While this may seem obvious, it’s worth mentioning anyway: your IT partner must be knowledgeable and experienced enough to deliver to your expectations. They don’t have to have the exact same software solution in their portfolio (in most cases, this may not even be possible due to high levels of customisation and innovation), yet the ability to oversee the project from start to finish, while keeping in line with your requirements, is absolutely crucial.
- They should understand your goals.
You can’t cooperate effectively without a mutual understanding of your objectives. The software development company that you work with should be able to demonstrate their ability to figure out your actual needs, comprehend the way that you think and operate, and understand what you want to achieve – they should also be able to uncover any problems or goals that you might have overlooked.
So, run a thorough background check on the IT companies that you have put on your short list. Check their expertise, experience, methodologies and reviews. And when you finally start talking to them – always be clear and honest about your needs, and carefully observe what their working attitude is like and see how they handle your case.
- They should be a good match for your corporate culture.
Focus on the trust-building process.
This should proceed on two levels:
- on the senior management level – by demonstrating the ability to work as a team, taking a problem-solving approach, and having a flexible and open-minded attitude, etc.
- on the technical level – by working in accordance with the best practices and methodologies, and being open to innovative ideas and solutions, etc.
Trust-building is a long-term process that begins well before the cooperation actually starts – while you are still selecting your IT partner – and it works both ways. Figuring out the communication and collaboration processes that will work for both you and your partner is essential to the cooperation, and it needs to be on equal terms. You should put an emphasis on timely delivery but also be able to deliver timely and honest feedback. Make sure that both you and your IT partner are always responsive and accessible. And if you expect them to be predictable, remember that your predictability and ability to follow the procedures that you have agreed upon are just as important.
The road to building complete trust in one another isn’t exactly a walk in the park, especially when you have no experience cooperating with any nearshore IT company at all. However, in order to see what the partnership may look like, you can always start small and run a test project together first, and then decide whether or not they are reliable.
Take advantage of the right tools.
In order to make sure your remote cooperation goes smoothly, you also need to know how to use the recommended tools for:
- collaboration – because you will often have to work on the same thing together, for example, during a brainstorming session,
- communication – because you will constantly need to stay in contact with each other,
- data sharing – because there will be tons of new information and relevant documents piling up, and you will both need to have quick access to them.
You may want to suggest using your own set of tools, but we recommend trusting your partner on this and using the solutions that they’ve already tested. They wouldn’t leverage anything that was found to be ineffective. So, don’t shy away from innovation – it will pay off in the future in the form of a pleasant and flawless workflow.
To sum up: in order to build a good partnership with a nearshore IT company, you need to: (1) choose the most suitable company for you, (2) make sure you start the cooperation off on the right foot, and then (3) follow the agreed upon procedures that you’ve established together. (4) And last but not least – you have to give your IT company some room to operate so that they can demonstrate their proactive approach. Obviously, you can never be 100% sure that the company you select will definitely be the best choice for your project until the moment that you actually start working with them. So, be observant and open-minded, carefully monitor the progress of your project, draw relevant conclusions, and try to figure out the best way for you to cooperate, together.
And if you’re interested in starting a partnership with a nearshore IT company, don’t hesitate to contact us so that you can take advantage of a free consultation with one of our experts – no strings attached!