Digital Transformation is a head-turning phrase for technical and non-technical professionals alike. Is it an impending event that you need to prepare for, or is it already underway?
Think about your current cycle of projects, and it may not seem like there is much of a transformation going on at all, but rather your day to day efforts as a software development professional. For example, have you migrated to or are actively managing data in AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud? Predictive analytics and DevOps? Consider then that your transformation is already underway.
Staff augmentation partners can be a vital part of your company's ability to adapt, scale, and future proof your business models and tech infrastructure. And, if you have decided to work with a nearshore partner, they must be on board with the direction you are taking. What follows in this post is a guide to align development professionals with your Digital Transformation.
5 Ways to Drive Digital Transformation with Staff Augmentation
- 1. Carefully Select Development Talent
You are going to need a strategic mindset and the right technology partners to scale your digital transformation. In a series of posts in early 2019 our CEO at Unosquare, Giancarlo Di Vece, broke down his advice for finding the best fit for your development needs or "Rightsourcing." Using a vendor for your development should be a pragmatic and incremental process and his advice provides a great roadmap for an efficient decision.
When it comes to talent selection, keep your transformation efforts top of mind. What skills and behaviors are you going to need to get you where you need to be now and in the future? These capabilities may not necessarily be the skills you have today, therefore it’s important assess a development professional’s ability to adapt to your ongoing efforts.
Don't let your new vendor assign anyone to your project. They lack the necessary insight into what you are trying to accomplish in your transformation efforts. Selecting the right talent has to be your decision after assessing a technical and cultural fit. You already do this internally and should apply this to staff augmentation professionals as well. If you are actively working with a nearshore team that you trust, have them screen candidates to see if they are a fit before they are presented for your internal interviews.
Provide your outsourcing partners with a robust job description, an accompanying description of the work to be done, and speak to the candidates at length about their experience. Ensure that they can communicate well and that you will have direct access to them. The ability to express themselves candidly is an important distinction to make and will support daily productivity and ensure communication during pressure situations. Anyone you select is going to need to be open to learning about technology advances and be adaptable to change. This also ties in with my point about sharing your roadmap below.
2. Take Advantage of Ongoing Education
If you have built, or are building, a reliable, productive development team that is providing consistent delivery, you can be adaptive to new technologies through ongoing education.
At Unosquare, our development talent follows a learning curriculum for their career development. They can follow a path of their choosing or, often, our client partners provide us with insights on where their distributed team members can focus their continuous learning. Working together with your augmentation partner to chart the learning path of your team members is a proactive approach to prepare for tech advancements that are upcoming in your digital transformation.
In his book "Digital Transformation: How to Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction," Thomas Siebel describes this distinctly:
“As the nature of work changes, so too must training and incentives for team members to be motivated work with or take advantage of new technologies”
Guided support of ongoing education is going to keep your team members excited about the future. They are developing new skills which will not only help their careers but keep them engaged. In our experience, when your extended team feels the investment that you are making into their collective futures, you are working toward retention of vital talent for the long haul.
Is your near-shore or off-shore partner investing in the career development and extra-curricular learning of their team members? If you are going to work with them, ensure that they are and stay engaged with their progress. Ask for the results of their learning and show an interest in what has been accomplished.
3. Share your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Let your team know your technology vision. Have you shared your digital transformation roadmap with them? If not, you should consider taking this approach to keep engagement high. If you have hired pro-active self-starters and invested in their ongoing education, it's a good idea to let them know what is coming down the line. The ideas of what's to come will raise interest in the effort and enable team members to start working in that direction with their own initiative.
Consider that when you are working with development talent from across the globe, you have access to a treasure of experiences. Some of our employees at Unosquare have been with us since we started over ten years ago. They have worked with several of our over 2000+ delivered projects. They have seen the challenges of over a decade of software delivery success. Consulting with your team members on your roadmap could prove to be an advantageous exercise.
4. Adhere to Agile Software Development Capabilities
If you are looking to "Rightsource" your software development, assess if your prospective partners have:
- a proven track record of delivery
- that the delivery is guided by the application of Agile Project Management processes and ceremonies
If it the case that your team is not currently following these processes and need guidance, can they provide you the developers, QA professionals, Business Analysts and Scrum Masters, and ancillary roles with the capability to help you develop Agile processes?
Agile delivery shortens development time and creates a collaborative environment for your internal stakeholders to stay in contact with your remote team members. If you are already an Agile shop and/or working in an interpretative form of Scrum, make sure that the the augmented team you are building is adaptable to that structure.
Most recently, I have heard the term "Scrumban" used to describe some processes, and it seems to fit the circumstances. When we are building out a team for a client, and they have an understanding of Scrum, Kanban, or in this case, a combination of the two, we at least know that their project management processes match what has proven to be successful at Unosquare. All of our team members are certified in Scrum principles and ceremonies when they join our company. Assessing your nearshore development partner's adherence to these principles, or the chance to build them, sets the team up for a strong start.
5. Effective Change Management
Finding the right people, supporting and encouraging investment in their professional development, and sharing your digital roadmap will help effective change management. To lead change effectively you need to identify your Change Agents.
A Change Agent is a person or group that facilitates the change process in an organization. They are motivators that can inspire the team toward being receptive to new ideas and help mitigate the risks associated with resistance to change.
Looking for "Change Agents" within your internal stakeholders and your distributed team is an effective way to drive the changes that you will be making during a digital transformation. For your augmented partners, look for those that most welcome change and have an adaptive and positive personality. If you’re in the middle of an ambitious transformation, make an effort to assess all of your team members for this aptitude and then choose the best fit to lead the change you envision.
What makes Unosquare the Best Fit to Support Your Digital Transformation Strategy?
Successful Digital Transformation projects require a specialized combination of accelerating innovation, anticipating change, and outpacing demands. To ensure a full realization of your vision, your organization needs the kind of support and expertise only a trusted software development partner can provide.
With Unosquare as part of your Digital Transformation strategy or initiative, your project will include experienced professionals with a deep understanding of technology, people, and processes. You will be working with team members who will help deliver your innovative vision to help reinvent and future-proof your business model.
Our experience has proven that a successful Digital Transformation strategy needs to focus not only on the management of evolving business rules but also on the resulting cultural change that accompanies these advancements.
Using our proven Distributed Agile Framework, our software development engineers provide the kind of external perspective, agility, and understanding required for real innovation.
When you partner with Unosquare, you’ll have access to highly skilled software development professionals, Business Analysts, Scrum Masters, Quality Assurance Engineers, and all the ancillary roles for delivery of your strategy.
Each of us at Unosquare is directly accessible to your project stakeholders, live and work in your time zone, and have the support and training from one of the best global software development companies in the world.