offshore resourcing

BIS believes in working on Developer to Developer model of offshore resourcing, minimizing cost and maximizing productivity and return on investment.

The D-D model's underlying philosophy is to trust the offshoring partner. This is done by treating the offshore team as an extension of the organization, which involves putting in place mechanisms to monitor the progress of the offshore partner and mentoring the team as if its members were your own. For instance, in the early phases of the relationship, when the learning curve of the offshoring partner is high, proactively sharing information on the domain is critical. Team members need to be accessible to the offshore team by providing solutions to the simple problems and guiding the team to the source of updated information.

Trust is achieved with regular communication and face-to-face interaction. One way of doing that is with weekly teleconferences. Depending on the complexity of the problem, it may need to be daily or every other day. Use email to help clarify topics and get answers to quick questions. The pivotal point in such communication is that this has to be bidirectional with equal vigor and engagement. Also, travel at all levels by both organizations should be encouraged.

Mentor and Monitor

The D-D model will promote ongoing mentoring and monitoring of your project. One common fallacy of offshore outsourcing is that work can be moved overseas with little to no guidance after the initial knowledge transfer phase. Ongoing mentoring is essential, as offshore outsourcing is no different from having new hires who have just joined your organization.

One of the most critical mentoring mechanisms will be face to face interactions through travel to either location. Of course, this starts at the executive level, where senior level managers get to know each other on the client and service provider teams. But it shouldn't end there. We believe that staff members should also participate in a mentoring program.

At a minimum the mentor and the person being mentored should have face to face visits once a quarter. This is the best way we know for enabling client-side employees to teach service provider employees the domain and intricacies of the work that needs to get done.

Monitoring the team's progress is equally important. The D-D model promotes early identification of risk and issues. Monitoring can include structured metrics, performance metrics, volume of tasks completed, schedule overruns and quality and domain knowledge improvement. The analysis of metrics allows the client to take proactive action to aid the team in improving performance by training, closer mentoring in transferring domain knowledge and guidance towards improving skills. The result would be mitigation plans, which could include increased training, providing more detailed specifications or changing out of a team member. All of these factors can have an impact on your ROI.

We've seen many benefits from the application of the D-D model.

  • Reduction in cost of operations. Fostering direct interaction between companies and their offshore counterparts reduces an offshore partner's onsite presence and, thus, the cost of the engagement.
  • Absolute transparency. The offshoring organization and the offshore partner share a relationship that is totally transparent at all times. Communication and expectations are managed at all levels with no intermediary points of communications.
  • Information transacted directly, thus, no loss. Information and requirements are communicated directly. This improves the understanding of the requirements and the subsequent quality and effectiveness of the deliverables.
  • Team-building and bonding. Building relationships with offshore teams ensures their commitment and willingness to go the extra mile.
  • Free idea-sharing. With a strong team relationship, innovative ideas are more likely to flow freely at all levels and in both directions.

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