Traditional software development offshoring provides huge cost-reduction benefits; however, it has demonstrated to slow down production cycles due to difficult communication processes.
Nearshoring has grown to be a better alternative for expanding your teams: you can get the benefit (cost reduction) without the hassle (the communication problems). It is especially compelling in current work-from-home times, where most of us realized that we don’t strictly require local developers, what we need is someone working at the same time as us. For the US, this means South American countries with almost the same timezone are a perfect nearshoring partner.
Leniolabs is one of the top nearshoring companies working with Bay Area enterprises that need to fast grow their Silicon Valley teams with frontend specialists that effectively integrate into existing culture and processes, participate in agile ceremonies, and are responsive as a local remote team.
If you are already familiar with Nearshoring, confidently jump to Nearshoring with Leniolabs.
Nearshoring can be the perfect solution now that work-from-home is gaining such high momentum.
Traditional offshoring not-so-hidden problems
Offshoring understood as the relocation of production centers outside the company home country has traditionally been focused on cost optimization. Companies’ attention was then driven to a well-known set of countries that offered a really attractive theoretical production cost as long as work could be performed in any location in the world.
It seemed the perfect match for software-making companies (or departments) where the requirement for workers’ physical presence is not as strong as in other industries, and production can be easily moved anywhere in the world.
Over the years, this revealed to be only partially valid, since humans working together are intrinsically in need of constant communication and interaction. It is not easy to achieve it if half of the team has an inverted workday.
Having only a reduced amount of overlapping working hours has lead product owners and teams to struggle for a good communication channel. Synchronous, real-time communication is no longer a realistic option, so large, detailed specifications documents are required. Even so, not all problems can be solved by previously documenting requirements; thus, teams need to wait for the next full meeting to try to solve them since there is no way to easily communicate a problem as soon as it appears.
Trying to offshoring while promoting an agile culture can be challenging, at the very least.
Companies have dealt with this problem for quite some time, and now that all of us are compelled to rely more and more on remote workers, the main concern is to see it even more amplified.
Relying on local remote workers can solve most of the offshoring issues; however, remote is different from offshoring and it comes with its own set of unique problems.
Let’s try to focus on remote working, but if you already have a remote team in place, confidently jump to Nearshoring with Leniolabs.
Remote working: it’s all about culture and communication
Remote working in the software development field is increasingly recognized as a valid working option. It is not a new concept and a lot has been said about it already. There also exist successful companies that are functioning on a full-remote schema.
From the company perspective, remote working has a very interesting set of advantages but usually cost reduction is not the first objective here. Instead, companies focus on productivity: either by attracting talented people that would not relocate to company headquarters or that starve for a saner work-life balance, either by promoting a results-oriented culture that focuses more on getting things done, rather than being present (at the office).
However, working remotely is not as easy as it could appear at first, and it can be challenging for companies that are not prepared for it. It is a complex subject that would require a dedicated discussion, but we can extract two main aspects: culture and communication.
Building a company culture around remote teams can be challenging since we must leave out things like office perks and stop relying on physical events or informal meetings in shared areas to help build a sense of community. Instead, trust and people are the key aspects here.
On the other hand, communication is a pillar of well built remote companies since remote workers need to communicate even more than on-office ones, more often and in a more effective, structured way. Technologies like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and such can help with that but you can’t rely on typical casual office conversations to keep the team motivated and/or up to date.
Besides, location freedom opens the door to what is known as the Digital Nomad lifestyle, where people freely move around the globe as long as they have access to a wi-fi connection and can accomplish with their work. While being very attractive to someone, it brings back the problem of communication among people living in very different timezones.
Trying to find a solution to remote working problems while maintaining the advantages of offshoring brings nearshoring to shine.
Leniolabs is successfully establishing the nearshoring working schema with Bay Area enterprises working from South America with no frictions and real integration with local teams. In the following, we will try to explain the reasons behind that.
Nearshoring with Leniolabs
Leniolabs is well aware of the hidden problems behind building and maintaining a functional remote company. Shortly after the company foundation, back in 2013, we realized that a traditional on-office schema was something that Leniolabs can not afford to implement. We can not afford to lose valuable talent because our office was two hours away from their house, and we know first hand that high-talented professionals we would love to work with were living in other cities. Thus, we immediately focus on building the company around a remote-first approach.
Over the following years, we were able to identify and solve (hopefully!) all the major problems that any software company would face when trying to switch to or integrate with remote workers. We adapted traditional management processes and created a culture around people and results where trust backed by responsibility is the key. On this matter, the Agile Manifesto principles, focusing on communication among teammates, fitted very well with what Leniolabs needs to be so we quickly started to adopt them.
Bonus content Working from home
Always looking for new challenges, we began working on some exciting projects for US partners such as SAP, Ellie Mae, Commvault or Paypal since the USA timezones are an easy fit for teams working from South-America countries. Almost without realizing it, we were successfully implementing what is known as Nearshoring.
Seamless team integration
If you endured the read up to this point you may be wondering, “how can a South-American remote team integrate with mine, after having spent years in processes refinement?”
And you hit the core problem there. When a company begins working with an external partner, how to effectively integrate with him is always the biggest challenge and if one thing has demonstrated to be a key success factor in building nearshore software teams is integration. So, how do we achieve it at Leniolabs? We should take into account two main points.
Most of the effectiveness shortcomings of remote teams come from people, either from workers that are not used to work with delocalized teammates, either by a management that is not used to let leave some traditional management technique. Sometimes we even see companies trying to force the use of screen recording applications to monitor people. We already know that such practices are deemed to fail, with the only result to push away talented professionals.
As we see before, Leniolabs was born around remote and people that love working that way. Leniolabs’ remote-first approach works especially well when working with high-level professionals, specialists in their own fields who have already developed an inner responsibility self-awareness, and enjoy working in this modality.
Bonus content How to be the best teammate
On the other hand, the greatest enemy of integration is time, the time difference to be precise. Integrating with local teams, remote or in-office, can be tricky when members do not share a similar timezone. Force them to work in an entirely async manner, removing almost completely full-team daily meetings, backlog groomings, retrospectives, etc. is generally not a good idea.
Leniolabs South-America nearshore teams remove the root cause of the problem by sharing a very similar timezone with their US-based partners. The simplicity and effectiveness of an improvised support/alignment call, a direct message, or a quickly answered email is still present in everyday workflow.
Timely and effective communication is the key to the successful integration of any new team.