This article is part of a series that covers (almost) everything that you need to know about setting up- and working with a remote team of specialists. For this, we brought out the big guns; Marcin Wasowski to be exact. Our Delivery Manager with more then 15 years of experience in software development. We start with 'why' and 'which roles'. An orienting glance. In our next iterations, we'll help you start. And eventually scale-up. Or down. Have a good read.
If the past years have taught us one thing, it is that IT is one of the fastest-growing industries we've ever seen. And that the demand for specialists is growing every single year. That makes it almost impossible for companies to staff their teams with local talent. While this may sound bad, our industry is not geographically limited. Maybe except for time zones, but most of our work can be done from anywhere in the world.
Not that long ago, many companies were afraid of remote work. Fearing that they would lose control or productivity would drop. This changed when COVID forced us all to work from home as much as possible. The global pandemic left us no other choice, and even the most skeptical of companies had to learn to deal with remote work. Quickly all of them realized that we can work this way without losing efficiency in quality. Many companies started to see the upside of working with specialists from all over the world, the cure for a dire shortage of specialists.
What is different compared to working with an in-house development team?
First of all, it is important to explain that working remotely doesn’t mean that we are not working with an in-house team. Right now many companies 'go remote' and even resign from regular offices. In such cases working as a remote “team member” in nearshoring mode is even more natural. When remote teams are becoming more common, a nearshoring model becomes a far more attractive option.
From a specialist perspective, there are some pros, but also cons. Con-wise, sometimes a specialist can feel that they're not a full member of the development team, but that can strongly depend on the company.
A big pro is for sure a stable situation, the fact that we are part of some bigger local community and that situation such a person is much more stable - if one project will finish, then our company is moving us to the next one, we do not have to look for other work.
From a client's perspective, the cons can be quite the same. Companies can struggle with a lack of ownership with remote working developers. Something that's relatively easy to solve, if you're dealing with a proper nearshoring company that is ;)
The list of pros for the client side is significantly longer, the first and foremost is the possibility to be independent of the place where the HQ/office is situated. Remote specialists can work with companies from other countries. Sometimes there is also a financial aspect to it - different places in the world have different levels of compensation.
Another big advantage is flexibility, working with a nearshoring company enables you to be much more flexible with the size of your development team. Additionally, you don't have to deal with the recruitment process or any form of bureaucratic hassle.
Last but not least is experience or competence. Nearshoring enables your company to work with truly battle-hardened specialists that your company would never have been able to recruit.
What roles are required/recommended when setting up a remote team?
This is really simple, you need all of them. There are such roles as business analysts, product owners who prepare work for the development team - they change ideas and plans into descriptions and materials usable in later stages. The development team are people who are responsible for the creation of software itself - here we can mention developers, DevOps engineers, testers, sometimes UX/design specialists are also included in it. We also need roles responsible for the management, or maybe better words are guidance and leadership of the development team - we can mention here project managers or scrum masters (depending on what type of methodology we will use).
Just like you would in a local team. However, in both cases, you don't need all the roles full-time. When nearshoring, you can actually do this. You can make use of specialists part-time, while this is next to impossible when working with local people.
Which part of such a team will be on the client-side, which should be delegated to the partner company providing us nearshoring services?
It completely depends on what your local team (if any) can handle. Sometimes you want to delegate the whole development process to an external team - ideally with the product owner on your side. The fulfillment of the rest of the roles depends on your local capabilities,
So, if you've made clear what you actually need. It's time to actually start. How? That's what we'll cover in my next article.