Adopting right compliances with offshore development partner

What is an Offshore development partner’s purpose? To guide you through the process and to take care of your entire legwork. So you want a company with years of experience developing productive offshore teams.

They are supposed to understand the business, the culture and have seen everything before. Unfortunately, while many companies are calling themselves “offshore construction specialists” or others are providing “offshore outsourcing,” some are far away. 

Let’s look at how to test early doors for an offshore partner – ensuring that they’re genuinely trustworthy and professional – before you’re in too deep.

Offshore Development Partner

Are You Certain You Are Offshoring?

Offshoring and outsourcing are two very different models although they are often used interchangeably. The problem is that as offshoring becomes more popular, outsourcing firms want their pie slice, misleadingly advertising services “offshoring” or “offshore outsourcing.”

  • Offshoring-Building a dedicated software development team in another country (complete with office space, administration and management). Offshoring has many advantages, most importantly the savings and exposure to a vast pool of talent. You own the entire team and they are fully integrated into your company but your Offshore Production Partner handles the administration.
  • Outsourcing-Hiring vendors to cover a power deficit temporarily. These are more like freelancers. They are called in when necessary, but independent of your organization. Workload is outsourced in all industries, typically due to lower costs. And this is always fine. As a result, investing in a great offshore company has major cost benefits.

How to Evaluate Offshore Partners For Compliance

  • Test Their Demonstrated Expertise

It’s 2020: there’s no reason why your offshore partner’s website doesn’t display portfolio items or case studies. These can provide a perceptive view on what your offshore partner can do, and how well they are doing it.

Your prospective partner should be able to showcase their productive offshore development team building experience. The most important information, such as project strategy or relationships, schedules, outcomes achieved, should be highlighted. But check their delivery as well. Do they sound competent and confident, rude and showy, or maybe lazy and insolent?

Keep an eye out for fakes. If an organization really knows their job and accomplishments, they will be able to explain it concisely and make it easy to understand. Rambling words, ambiguous definitions, and unrealistic claims should all be red flags!

Take the time to research their past clients. What kind of feedback do they provide? It’s smart to check online reviews and double client testimonials that you see on their website. This legwork can save you a lot of trouble later.

  • Strike the Quality vs. Cost Balance

While cost saving is often the biggest incentive to offshore your work, it should not be at cost of quality. You don’t want to work with vendors who are cheap but can’t deliver quality work. 

So, how can you ensure that you’re getting value for money when you hire an offshore partner?

The cost of living in developing countries like India and China is lower than in developed nations like USA and Germany. So, you can be rest assured that offshore labor will be lower priced than domestic workers.

Even if you add taxes, utilities, administration, and duties, the grand total can be 50% to 30% lower than indigenous teams. Suppose you land a partner who offers to work for 10% of the domestic cost, you will be tempted to take up the offer. 

But you need to look more closely before jumping the gun. Ask the vendor some questions: 

  • What is the work-cost breakdown?
  • Are there any additional or hidden costs involved? 
  • What are the timelines and quality standards you expect? 
  • Does the vendor have the essential skill set and infrastructure to deliver the quality your expect?
  • Will you be asked to pay for hiring and training new people required for the project?

Get all terms and conditions written in a formal contract and iron out all the kinks beforehand. In this way, you can avoid disputes later and get the most bang for your buck.

  • Proactive about Communication

When your vendor is working thousands of miles away, communication becomes the key to smooth working. You will be surprised to know that one in five offshore projects fail due to poor communication. Clear communication cultivates trust between both parties.

project failure rate due communication

How do you gauge if your offshore partner will communicate proactively once the project commences. You will get inkling about this during your initial communication itself. Do they answer your emails and calls promptly? Do they adhere to the set meeting schedules? Any red flags at this stage should be considered seriously. If the vendor is careless about communication in early stages, they are bound to follow the same pattern later too.

  • Factor in the Culture Gap

Cultural gap can be an impediment to a great working relationship between offshore partners. But there are ways to work around it. The first step is that you need to acknowledge each other’s differences and be committed to bridge the gap.

When we talk about culture gap, it could be as wide as language barriers and as narrow as national holidays. Educate your vendor about the tenets of your culture and ask them to do the same. if the vendor has prior experience of projects in your country, it is a definite plus. 

They will have a pulse around the market condition and audience taste of the area. They will also possess knowledge about the communication protocol prevalent there. All these things become critical when you plan to spend months or even years working together. 

Final Thoughts

This list is by no means exhaustive. We have not touched upon technical competency and hiring, but those factors are already widely explored. It is the finer details covered in this article that we often miss when vetting offshore partners.

To sum up, you want an offshore vendor who is stringent about quality, communication, and commitment. At the same time, they need to have requisite experience and demonstrated performance. If you’re lucky enough to spot such a vendor, it makes sense to hire them even for a higher cost.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on  and .

Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

How to Recruit Product Engineers

Product Engineers are changing the face of the product development domain. They are a step up from full-stack engineers and a level away from product developers. Simply put, product engineers are not plain coders; they code keeping user experience in mind. They not only understand technical stacks but also understand product design. You could call them “jack of all trades.”

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Do you get frustrated when your app’s features don’t reflect your vision? You had a perfect idea, precise product specs, technical resources, and tools, so what went wrong?

You missed the critical link between the design board and the market. You envisioned a product. You conveyed your idea to your designer. He communicated required technical specs to your engineer, who started coding. Where’s the collaboration? Where’s a continuous improvement? Consequently, you have a product that neither delivers ROI nor garners user acceptance.

Why Do you Need Product Engineers

If you have engineers who solve problems using code and product managers who take care of product features, why do you need product engineers? They are the critical bridge between design and development teams. By fostering two-way communication, product engineers ease friction between cross-functional teams. 

They code but with end products in perspective. Whenever presented with a coding opportunity, product-minded engineers evaluate how the code will impact the end product. More importantly, they think about user experience and business goals. They balance product specs with technical demands. The result is a product that meets market needs and business objectives- a win-win situation for all teams involved. 

You need a change in mindset here. Having product engineers in your team will create a pragmatic work culture with everyone striving towards building a winning product. 

How to Recruit Good Product Engineers

Product engineers need to have a blend of coding skills, analytical thinking, and business knowledge. A bit of creativity is a bonus. Plus, they have to be efficient managers and smooth talkers. 

How-to-Recruit-Product-Engineers_3

Step 1: Build a Job Description

Outline the proficiencies you desire in your potential product engineers. List their role and skillset categorically.

A sample job description could be: 

Product engineers will play a pivotal role throughout the development cycle, right from conception to testing. An astute understanding of market trends is necessary for the candidate.  

They need to be aligned with user expectations in a relevant niche. Once product specs are made, they will evaluate specs against market needs and re-align strategy to satisfy budget, time, and market constraints.

Product engineers will also have the responsibility to generate technical documentation and support material before a product is launched. They have to perform prototype testing for functionality, intuitiveness, and market appeal.

Add-on responsibilities can be assistance in the manufacturing process and guidance in packaging and marketing the product.

Read more: How to Manage Distributed Product Development Teams

Step 2: Interview Candidates

Go in for a structured interview instead of a generic banter with candidates. Have multiple screening rounds spread across different days? Screen at least two candidates per day so that you can eliminate unsuitable people early. This will save you lots of wasted effort and time.

Divide the evaluation questions into:

  1. Career goal and inspiration
  2. Academic and professional background
  3. Coding proficiency
  4. Product-based thinking skill
  5. Project communication 

Take time to weigh each candidate. You need an all-rounder who will impact your future products in a big way. Determine a candidate’s worth after analyzing his capabilities carefully. Have a ballpark figure in mind and leave room for negotiation.

Sample screening questions can be:

  • Define our company’s vision and values.
  • Why do you want to join us?
  • What interests you in product development?
  • Explain the layers of full-stack.
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of database procedures?
  • If a product designer lists five desirable features at the end product (give the features), how will you prioritize them?
  • Which setup do you prefer- MVC or some other?
  • What’s the use of the front-end framework?
  • How do you gather user feedback?
  • How important to you is product testing?
  • What team structure do you prefer- full-stacked or layered?
  • How can we scale our teams?
  • What makes a good mentor?

Invite questions from the candidate. Indulge in a discussion if opinions on a question vary widely. Try to gauge the person’s mindset and affinity. Are they concerned only about employee benefits? Do they have genuine concern about delivering classy products? How can they add value to your team?

Your recruiter’s job would include the following:

  • Study candidates’ body language: Make a note of how confident and composed a candidate is. Since this isn’t an entry-level job, you’d expect experienced candidates to not get nervous during interviews.
  • Don’t do passive listening: Listen actively to answers. Jot down your doubts and allow the candidate to clarify or rectify their answers. Reflect on previous answers. Also, refer to them in connected questions. This will show how genuinely a candidate is answering.
  • Make notes while interviewing: Prepare a checklist of must-haves and good-to-haves. Write down your observations succinctly. Highlight each candidate’s unique capability and its impact on the product development process. Summarize the interview answers into brief points. Read back answers to the interviewee and ask if you’ve understood them correctly. By doing this, you can avoid miscommunication.
  • Give instant feedback:  If you find an answer unsatisfactory, call it out immediately. Let the interviewee explain their viewpoint. Once the evaluation is over, don’t leave the candidates in a lurch. Communicate the next steps clearly. Don’t hesitate to end the interview early if you find a mismatch between your expectations and the candidate’s capabilities. 
  • At iViewLabs, we consider recruitment as a vital building block of team building and product delivery. We invest time and energy into it. You can do the same. To save bandwidth, delegate interviewing and screening responsibilities to experienced product managers. Brief them before so that they know what to look for in a candidate. Let them add to the questions and rounds since they are more in touch with the actual development process.

Let us know how you recruit product engineers. We would be glad to assist you with more helpful resources and free consultation. 

If you are looking to build a web, mobile or a cloud product, you can avail of a round of discussion with iView Labs’ tech team. Our developers and project team are always here to help and suggest what is required and necessary for your products.

To know more about iView Labs, kindly log on to our website www.iviewlabs.com and to get in touch with us with your queries and needs just write us an email on  and .

Download the latest portfolio to see our work.

4 Myths of IT Product Development Outsourcing that you need to let go of

For a long time, India was the most preferred outsourcing hub for businesses in the field of information technology. Several technical, as well as nontechnical persons, have written about the benefits of outsourcing and how it is useful for firms small and big alike. Business size apart, there are certain common myths around IT outsourcing that either stop people from taking full advantage of this possibility or make them take its benefits for granted. Today, we talk about some of the around this business strategy and how they can be rectified.

Continue reading 4 Myths of IT Product Development Outsourcing that you need to let go of

Micro Web-Services

Micro web-services  is the new way for architecting software applications. These services are independent and autonomous and bring more scalability in the applications. As told by Martin Fawler in his book “micro services are used to compose complex applications by using small, independent (autonomous), replaceable processes that communicate by using lightweight APIs that do not depend on language.

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Continue reading Micro Web-Services

“Developers on Demand” for IT Companies

Catering to the new shift in IT industry of reducing bench resources

Typically, as most persons are familiar, Just in time is an inventory management method for materials and goods to be available “On Demand” or be replenished as required in the production process.

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The general perception is that this method is most suitable for companies and industries where repetitive manufacturing functions are involved and are beneficial when the tasks involved are on an assembly plant or a job floor. However, with the rise of Information Technology and the advent of service-based businesses in the last one and a half decades, this has become an established practice in the IT circles too.

With a growing industry but season based demand for example in case of service businesses, it is highly time-consuming to build, maintain and manage the turnover of developers inventory through the traditional candidate pipelines. Moreover, despite the time and efforts put in it is not always as value adding for either the firm or the client since many software developers remain as Bench Resources in wait for a project and are a preventable cost to the company.

“Benched Resources” by definition are software developers who are waiting to get the project(s) to work upon. While these are important assets for the firm, it is also crucial to note that Benched Resources do not bring in revenues till such time that they get a project and hence remain more of a cost to the company. On the one hand, in situations or seasons where there are no or limited projects with the firm, it considers trimming down resources on the bench and on the other, the fact that he/she is waiting on the bench and a trim-down possibility can be demoralizers for the resource. Bench Resources were considered as the key strength of the Indian IT industry for a long time. However, with the increasing popularity and relevance of Developers being available on demand for short and fixed-term contracts, the environment is different. Added to this is the rise in automation and all these factors have reduced the average bench strength from 8% to 4% in recent years.

“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”Jim Collins, Author of Good to Great

How can IT companies then maximize the value for both the software developers as well as the company with appropriate planning and work allocation?

This is where Developers on-demand model comes into the picture.  Traditionally, firms build and maintain candidate pipelines without an actual need but with developers on-demand model, IT companies are able to hire candidates that exactly match the needs or requirements of the project, at the time when they want them, in the appropriate number and at a mutually agreed cost or fees. Albeit, this does not provide the safety of the traditional candidate pipeline approach yet it is more targeted and rewarding. Also, with the advent of gig economy, business models where services are traded on the basis of access rather than ownership are picking up.

In some cases, many companies consider outsourcing projects for a specific duration when they want to focus on their core businesses. Many IT companies today send their benched resources to other companies for a project.  In this way, the companies are able to leverage expertise from multiple talents for specific projects and also better utilize the available resources by sending them for specific projects outside.

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Given below are some benefits of Developers On demand method.

  1. This is a pull system where the resource is pulled or utilized based on a need or demand. This permits IT companies to cover the staff requirement without having excess human inventory.
  2. Developer on Demand faster resource replenishment and lesser burden on the human resource department of the company.
  3. Developer on Demand model gives companies flexibility and convenience to get access to different talents which are existing across the industry. Moreover, since resources can be found quickly (usually within 24 hours) there is increased productivity and less slack time.
  4. This approach reduces the overall cost to the company, increases efficiency, productivity and saves on crucial organization time.

“The smartest business decision you can make is to hire qualified people. Bringing the right people on board saves you thousands, and your business will run smoothly and efficiently.”  – Brian Tracy

With so many advantages on the table, still one cannot nullify the importance of having some benched resources in this industry. Resources which specialize in certain skills and are high on performance are contracted so that they can be called upon as needed

The Developers on-demand model is beneficial as it makes underused software developers, both tangible and intangible. If companies come together and start sharing their underused resources or services, this will decrease cost and also will make sure that every resource is rightly utilized.

Team iView