May 2, 2020

Finding A Delivery Model That’s Right For Your Organisation

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In these extraordinary times, we need to look at your options for delivering the best solution outcomes now that remote working is the norm and barriers have come tumbling down at an unprecedented speed.

Planning, designing, developing and governing delivery of technology solutions are rarely cheap or easy, be it with a closely controlled in-house team or outsourcing to the capability to a provider.

The obvious traditional models are:

  • “in-house” (a full product design and development team staffed in your organisation),
  • Outsourcing to “off-shore” (primarily large India based software development providers delivering to a tight set of specifications),
  • “near-shore” outsourcing (handing the capability to easily to accessible, European, and sometimes South African, based product design and development suppliers),
  • “local/on-shore” outsourcing (depending on your location, either UK, or USA/Canada, handing the capability to providers based in your home country or state)

For a long time off-shore outsourcing the capability to develop and design your solutions  was the go-to option; individually highly skilled resources, low per resource rates, and deliverables-based commercial relationships. This was seemingly the easily accessible, low-cost, low-risk option, but the reality has unfortunately turned out slightly different for many.

There are constraints and pitfalls in handing it all over to a party (seemingly cheap) far-far away

While the cost and access of offshore development outsourcing looks good on paper, several constraints and limitations are experienced, ranging from difficulty relaying requirements, incorrect solutions being proposed, burdensome management and project governance, delayed product deliver, and ultimately spiralling costs. Exactly the issues that you wanted to avoid in the first place if you were doing it yourself.

What was unlikely anticipated when handing the capability to an off-shore development supplier, was that it comes with multiple layers of disconnect (including culture, teams structure, tools used, time differences, and language); differing ways of working practices; but primarily the expectation and representation of you as the customer in portfolio and product management.

So, what are the options?

Having the capability in-house or outsourcing off-shore or on-shore/near-shore suppliers are the obvious options, but are there any difference now that all development work can, and is, done remotely?

A quick look at how the options compare shows an interesting gap….

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On the surface it looks like you have two real options, 1) you can bear the burden of managing an in-house digital development team (when your core business is not to deliver technology products), or 2) hand over responsibility (beyond basic requirements specification) to a 3rd party, resulting in losing control and succumb to the supplier’s mercy.

You just want to focus on your key business competencies and get access to the tools to enable that; not become a technology product development business.

There is a pragmatic, better, middle way…

A sensible alternative is to have somebody in your corner. A specialist digital product partner that takes ownership for effective portfolio management, product definition, planning, expectations management and delivery governance. This can be complimented by your partner leading the selection of the right development supplier, as well as setting up the most appropriate model, tools and architecture to effectively manage segregation of duties and delivery management.

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By enabling you to focus on your core business; the cost and accessibility of development resourcing becomes the next consideration.

With low cost offshore resources sometimes much too far away in time, culture, language and ways-of-working, and on-shore/local developers commanding a significant premium; near-shore suppliers offer an ideal balance of cost-efficiency, accessibility and aligned ways-of working.

The pragmatic option is a go-between partner and a competent near-shore development supplier; an approach that can provide you with the necessary flexibility and agility to get the right products and solutions to market in a timely manner, as well as to balance tactical vs. strategic options and planning.

BML Digital consciously includes complementary coaching and capability maturity development to enable you to succeed in any approach; this effectively sets you on the potential path to easily transition to an in-house model, should your strategy shift in that direction.

With the product partner and near-sourcing model (“BML-sourcing”), you gain the benefits of experience, representation, sensible portfolio structure, assurance and maturing your business that the specialist digital partner provides; along with using a cost-effective development supplier to only develop the digital products, not outsourcing the capability completely.