How To Align Your In-House and Outsourced Dev Teams for Success

For many businesses, outsourcing their DevOps processes has become a way of life, and that is something that should come as no surprise, seeing as how outsourced development teams can expand the capabilities of internal staff, help save money, and provide opportunities to take on larger projects.

Nevertheless, for many businesses, perhaps your own, extended development teams never feel like part of the culture or organization, and that disconnect can hinder collaboration and make it harder for your internal team to achieve synergy with third-party developer talent. 

With that being said, we invite you to join us as we explore the basics of in-house vs outsource development teams. We’ll also provide seven practical tips to help you align all of your DevOps talent. 

In-House vs Outsource Development Teams

It’s easy for outsourced development teams to feel disconnected from your core staff; after all, their members work in physically disconnected and distant areas — often entirely different countries — and since an IT outsourcing solutions provider typically employs them, feelings of compartmentalization are only magnified. In contrast, your in-house team members enjoy higher job security as full-time workers.

That said, if you want your in-house workers to align with your extended development team, you must ensure that everyone feels like they are an equal part of the company culture. When everyone feels valued and respected, they can work together more effectively for the good of the organization. 

7 Tips to Align In-House and Outsourced Development Teams

Outsourced development teams don’t have to exist in the gray area between employees and freelancers; there are several ways that you can make them feel valued and appreciated while simultaneously promoting chemistry with your internal staff. 

With that in mind, ensure that you do the following before kicking off your next joint DevOps project:

1. Define the Scope of Each Team

The age-old adage of “stay in your lane” can be applied to DevOps all the same, but if you want each group to focus on their core competencies and responsibilities, you need to define the scope of their respective roles. Make it clear who is responsible for what, and work to minimize overlap between team responsibilities whenever possible; you don’t want workers from your internal staff and your outsourced development teams taking on double work. 

When everyone knows what’s expected of them, they can carry out their responsibilities more efficiently, and on top of that, keeping everyone aligned in terms of roles and responsibilities reduces the likelihood of conflicts. 

2. Establish Clear Lines of Communication

Your next step should be creating clear lines of communication between your two teams. Your outsourced developers should have a designated point of contact within your internal team and vice-versa. In addition, designate a second-in-command for each team to ensure they can communicate time-sensitive information, even if their primary point of contact is unavailable.

Deciding who that point of communication will be is only part of the equation; you must also define how the teams will communicate with one another and at what frequency. You can use email or an app-based messaging system to simplify the exchange of information, but regardless of your platform of choice, the key is to ensure that everyone is using the same channel. 

3. Create a Unified Workflow

Moving forward from general communications, your in-house and outsourced development teams need to be on the same page regarding the work that is getting done, how to prioritize it, and how important it is to the overall success of the project. 

Ideally, your internal and external groups should be able to easily collaborate on joint tasks during the entire project lifecycle, and in order to achieve that level of collaboration, both groups must be using the same project management methodologies; otherwise, they will encounter conflicts regarding how to divide and prioritize their work. 

4. Align on Goals and Objectives

Make your goals clear to your outsourced development teams. Let them know what you want to achieve through the project, and divide your overarching goal into smaller milestones.

While you have to safeguard proprietary and sensitive business data, you can share your big-picture goals, and when your outsourced personnel understand what the end game looks like, they’ll be better able to accommodate your organization’s needs. 

5. Foster a Culture of Openness

Far too often, members of extended development teams are hesitant to speak up when they see a problem or share ideas, believing their viewpoints aren’t welcome. As contract employees or short-term outsourcing partners, they may be worried that voicing concerns could compromise their role in the project.

As such, you need to make it clear that all constructive feedback is welcome from the outset. By creating a culture of openness, you can obtain new insights into old problems and view your project’s challenges from a holistic perspective. 

6. Schedule Regular Feedback Sessions

On the subject of feedback, make sure that you gather it both early and often, and ensure that any feedback sessions are a two-way street. Connect with your internal DevOps personnel and find out whether things are going well; if there are points of friction, you need to know about them.

Likewise, reach out to the outsourced team’s leader and ask them to gather feedback of their own. Getting a feel for the other team’s perception of the process will help you foster a more collaborative and inclusive environment. 

7. Use a Nearshore Team

There are inherent difficulties involved with outsourcing DevOps processes to personnel halfway across the world. Your internal staff and external group will be in dramatically different time zones, and cultural differences may only compound these challenges, making it challenging for the groups to achieve synergy.

Therefore, you should consider prioritizing nearshore outsourcing. A nearshore team is located in a nation adjacent to the United States, which means its members work in similar time zones, have a better understanding of the differences in cultures, and will have more opportunities to collaborate. 

Ready to Tap Into the Benefits of Outsourced Development Teams?

Outsourced development teams can be valuable assets to your organization, especially when scaling up your operations or taking on huge DevOps projects, but if you want to get the most out of these partnerships, you must ensure that your internal and external personnel are aligned. 

If you’re not sure where to begin, consider leveraging consulting services to build a sound outsourcing strategy, evaluate multiple partners, and prioritize nearshore vs. traditional offshore options. In doing so, you’ll be able to reap the benefits and accelerate the growth of your business.

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