Managing your nearshore development team is easier when you hire well from the very start. Adopting a set of best practices will help you get the most out of a nearshore development team that will result in a higher ROI within the organization. In this article, we’re sharing 8 best practices we’ve learned after over 20 years of working as an outsourced development partner for enterprise organizations.

Tip 1: High English Language Fluency

English is considered the global language of business and is spoken by 1.75 billion people. Many nearshore countries require English to be taught in schools making it easier for your development team to communicate internally and externally. One of the biggest challenges with offshore teams is not being able to effectively communicate because of a language barrier. Having a lower level of English fluency could mean mistakes being made or having something lost in translation which could elongate a project’s timeline.

A software development project is highly dependent on decisions made by stakeholders and project managers who may make changes to the development requirements quickly and the development team needs to be able to be flexible enough to do that without having issues communicating with them. It’s difficult enough relaying goals at times when a common language is already shared between the development and management teams!

At Aptude, we mitigate this risk by giving each project a bilingual Project Lead who can act as your project translator. Not only does this lead manage the team staffing, training, and workload, they can also help interpret project needs and help resolve miscommunication should it arise.

Tip 2: Strong Communication Skills

In order to be effective, a nearshore development team needs to have the ability to communicate effectively with anyone who might be involved with a certain project whether it’s a stakeholder or fellow team member. Being able to ask the right questions from the very start of the project and work as a team will allow tasks to be completed on time without delays in time-to-market. Tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams will allow your developers to coordinate tasks and maintain an open line of communication. Developers need to be able to use these tools especially if they’re remote. These tools, along with traditional project management tools like JIRA or Microsoft Project, allow sprints to be outlined and organized with assigned tasks to each developer as each phase is completed.

If you use Aptude as your nearshore outsourcing partner, your project lead is again who would help you with communication. You can meet with your lead as often as needed; some clients meet once a sprint, whereas others meet daily. Yet whether you choose us or not, it’s important for your internal team to set standards and guidelines for communication… and tools to make it happen easily.

Tip 3: Ease of Visiting (Once Restrictions Are Lifted)

If your nearshore team is located in Mexico, the close proximity to the U.S. is ideal to keep things running smoothly in the event your development team needs to travel and be onsite. Of course, given the current travel restrictions with the pandemic, there isn’t a lot of traveling going on right now. However, when these restrictions are lifted, developers located in Mexico City for instance can easily make a simple day trip to the U.S. without losing a lot of time. Mexico also uses the same time zones as the U.S. making work days generally the same, which is a benefit over traditional offshore outsourcing in India or Ukraine which has a built-in distance and time zone factor to consider.

Nearshore IT Services

From ongoing staffing needs to a rich, 24/7 onsite/nearshore model, our Data Science premium support teams are tailored specifically to meet your needs. Hire an IT resource that’s relatively within the same time zone, cost-effective and easier to access than most offshore services.

Since we’re highly proficient Data Mining and Big Data specialists, our Nearshore team can extract the critical knowledge and insights you need from your structured and unstructured data.

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Nearshore IT Services

From ongoing staffing needs to a rich, 24/7 onsite/nearshore model, our Data Science premium support teams are tailored specifically to meet your needs. Hire an IT resource that’s relatively within the same time zone, cost-effective and easier to access than most offshore services.

Since we’re highly proficient Data Mining and Big Data specialists, our Nearshore team can extract the critical knowledge and insights you need from your structured and unstructured data.

LEARN MORE

Tip 4: Low Cost per Hour ($38/hour+)

Because developers are in high demand in the U.S., costs are at an all-time high. Maintaining a nearshore team will keep an organization’s costs significantly lower. For example, a DevOps engineer can make up to $91k in the U.S. whereas the average in Mexico for someone in this role is $44k. In addition, a survey by Glassdoor found that the average salary of a web developer in the U.S. nationwide was $79k plus additional benefits compared to Mexico that makes $23k per year. This will allow organizations to expand their goals with development projects while staying within a budget.

At Aptude, we maintain affordable per-hour costs that always considers our clients in mind. When our clients need to ramp up staffing, we work to make it happen quickly. And when they need to ramp down, we don’t hold them hostage. We transfer the resources to another project to save costs, while retaining project knowledge in our Data Bank so clients can pick back up whenever needed.

Tip 5: Strong Technical Talent

The quality of technical talent is key. Mexico is home to hundreds of thousands of highly trained engineers and technicians who are annually being trained in best coding practices and modern architectures. This richness of developer talent is why we were able to develop a Python Center of Excellence so quickly.

As a client, it’s critical to consider your nearshore team’s background and training to understand how they could contribute to the organization. Strong technical talent means being innovative and being able to build code and strategies that are agile across the organization that are really invaluable.

Many developers who have strong tech talent owe it to practicing agile methodologies- it creates a culture around teamwork communicating with different teams and creating better and more sustainable code. The struggle is that agile practices don’t always align with management’s scope or schedule. Agile is all about quality first, and that’s why we adopt agile methodologies where possible on all our development projects

Tip 6: Secure intellectual property

This is a continued issue that needs to be addressed for organizations that outsource their development teams. Having a nearshore team will minimize the risks that are associated with outsourced development teams when it comes to protecting intellectual property. In some countries, intellectual property laws aren’t as strong as they are in the U.S or other nearshore countries. Federal legislation and international trade agreements makes Mexico a favored location for creating intellectual property. Making sure your development team signs non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements are other best practices to implement for your nearshore team. You definitely want a team of developers you can trust as they have access to so much of the organization’s property.

At Aptude, we take security seriously. All our project information is controlled by the Project Lead and stored in a secure location in our Data Bank, rather than in random places on developer machines.

Tip 7: Increase Cultural Engagement

With a nearshore team like Aptude’s in Mexico City, you’ll find that your development team is more culturally aware and has been exposed to Western culture more than an outsourced team that is based in an Eastern country, for example. Cultural differences may also lead to operational differences when it comes to decision-making and could mean delays- and time is money. The relationship-building with a nearshore team is more likely to be successful and it’s something that you want to have when that team is helping the organization meet critical business goals.

Tip 8: Setting Goals and Realistic Expectations

Successful developers have clear goals and understand what’s expected of them for each project they’ve taken on. Larger projects mean larger sprints that need to have clear deliverables. If a developer doesn’t complete a project as intended, it’s likely that goals weren’t clear from the start. Again, communication is key and it has to be clear!

Be sure to outline roles and responsibilities with each sprint to set them up for success. Taking advantage of available tools as previously mentioned will only help communicate those expectations for each developer on the team.

If you use Aptude as your nearshore development firm, expect to be able to frankly and openly discuss tasks, goals, and expectations at least once a month, if not daily or weekly. Your success is our success, so each project lead will work with you according to your desired cadence.

Conclusion

By following these best practices with your nearshore team and making sure they have and maintain these qualities, you can better stack the deck in favor of launching successful development projects moving forward. Even better, you’ll do it without having to acquire more risk than necessary.

Download the printable “7 Risks of Outsourcing Development” PDF today

When applicable, we value and strive for high-quality onshore development using Aptude’s experienced U.S. based team. However we also recognize that at times other options may be necessary due to budget or hiring limitations. Here are the 7 risks of outsourcing your software projects, and how AptudeFlexTM mitigates each one.

What Are You Working On?

Looking for intelligent technological solutions? Seeking consultation on your upcoming projects? Need a quote for services? Contact Aptude’s executive team directly. It’s amazing just how much one little email can rapidly accelerate your productivity.

Guy DeRosa

Senior Vice President

EMAIL GUY

p: 630.692.6700  ext. 406

Srinath Parepally

Vice President

EMAIL SRINATH

p: 630.692.6700  ext. 402

Uday Mehta

Vice President of Development

EMAIL UDAY

p: 630.692.6700. ext. 403

Diana Guzman

Communications Administrator

EMAIL DIANA

p: 630.692.6700  ext. 409