Sep 20, 2011 | By Leonardo Mattiazzi
Companies in today’s economy need to ensure that investments in Nearshore development projects result in high returns. As such, companies have often looked to providers to deliver applications at the lowest possible cost, and the quality and speed at which they’re delivered is a secondary concern.
With the economic situation as it is, it’s hard to fault them for this. Many Nearshore application development providers consistently trumpet their ability to deliver custom applications at a significant cost-savings to the client. But the reality is that any savings that may be gained in these engagements ultimately are achieved at the expense of productivity and delivery of true value to the business.
In development projects, agility and business contribution are critical. This is why I have long been a proponent of Nearshoring application development using a combination of Agile methodologies and Lean principles. In many ways, Nearshoring has proven to be a crucial enabler of Lean and Agile development, while reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and taking advantage of time zone, geography, and cultural similarities.
One way the Nearshore acts as a significant enabler of Lean and Agile development is through improved communication. Because of the geographical distance between the provider and the client, typical offshore projects involve the need for extensive documentation outlining requirements for the application. This leaves room for misinterpretation and delays due to differences in time zones, ultimately reducing the overall agility of the project and generating considerable waste. The time and resources devoted to writing this documentation and securing agreement on its requirements translates into considerable waste being generated in the overall project.
Nearshoring enables direct, real-time communication between the client and the provider, often without the need for this cumbersome documentation. Projects are executed with the utmost transparency as clients are kept up-to-date on every single aspect of the development process. The directness of communication makes it possible to identify any potential misunderstanding immediately, before it becomes an issue that creates additional work and investment in resources. The elimination of the waste created by costly and time-intensive documentation is a crucial benefit of Nearshoring, and it just so happens that the elimination of waste is also a key tenet of the Lean philosophy — thus, Nearshoring, in this case, acts as a true enabler of Lean development.
In the next installment of this post, I’ll take a look at some of the additional ways in which Nearshoring can enable better realization of Lean and Agile development to ultimately deliver real business value to the client.
Leonardo Mattiazzi is VP for International Business at Brazil-based Ci&T.