Lemberg Solutions strives to provide technology, consulting, and engineering solutions to clients, making certain that our competencies are shared by means of extended teams. The extended team model is based on the idea that LS will attach its engineers or other specialists to a client, offering their services for an extended period to work on their projects and bring them to a successful conclusion.
This cooperation model works best when a client’s internal capabilities are limited by their available local talent. The duration of the cooperation may vary, but the result is the same: LS employees utilize their particular skill sets and merge with a client’s own in-house staff, working on a project with blended teams.
Roy Vikovych, business development manager at LS, points out several mistakes that can inhibit successful cooperation. Through past experience he’s discovered a set of challenges that should be considered in advance, allowing us to better serve our customers by informing them of potential pitfalls that can negatively affect collaborative outcomes.
Prior knowledge of potential challenges can help to set expectations for the merger, making sure our extended team will fulfill anticipated results and also feel a sense of teamwork in their new environment. Managing an extended development team well in any cooperative effort will only occur when both sides are motivated and duly involved in the process. Teamwork fails without shared goals and motivations.
By planning in advance, our clients can be sure to utilize their workplaces properly, with minimal challenges or delays in successful outcomes. Together we can make the collaborative process beneficial and limit negative possibilities from arising in extended development teams.
Mistake #1: Using different languages to communicate across in-house and extended teams
Understandably, the language that people use is most often the one where they live. Throughout most of Europe and much of the world, an array of local languages are employed within firms that are a reflection of their workforce. Most often, this will include the core team of the client that wishes to collaborate, and they will be accustomed to using this language in planning, meetings, and communication.
Yet, in managing an extended team, language differences can present an issue when our attached team begins their shared work. In the local market it may be essential to conduct business in the dominant language, but when extended teams are included in product development, English is best used. The dynamic of a new and shared company culture will not become a reality if an extended team is feeling left out or marginalized due to language isolation.
Using the common language of English creates a standardized method of processing information. It also has the added benefit of making the extended team feel like they are part of the client's culture, making the atmosphere a pleasant and unifying one within the extended development team.
Mistake #2: Excluding extended teams from the wider picture
Another aspect of an extended software development team can be problematic: when integrating an extended team, there may be a lack of strategic inclusion of new members in the client’s operations. When new collaboration begins, it may occur that the arriving team will be given tasks to complete, but at the same time, the team may be unable to offer input on the overall project where they are working.
This way of offering work to the onboarding team is logical from a contractor’s assumption of duties, but it doesn’t allow them to create value for the client. Their experienced and knowledgeable background is left out of the planning and strategic phases, and they often only see a snapshot of the completed project at the end of the process — not the all-important “Big Picture.”
When this disconnect between an employee's talent and being part of the client’s team happens, both the client and extended team model are harmed because available expertise and potential improved results are lost. Such a situation is neither optimal nor ideal and can detract from a shared and positive work experience.
Mistake #3: Employing inefficient processes
A final matter to consider for a prospective client is a matter of structure. When merging LS’s extended team with a customer, it is vital to ensure a sufficient set of processes are in place to allow for continuity within the project.
When an integrated work environment from separate companies is formed, processes that are already in place can be an important part of making the venture successful. As an example, when a new team member is given a ticket to work, everyone will be best served if their assigned task is carefully and completely written, giving a thorough understanding of what must be done. If the documentation or explanation of the problem is poor, then valuable time will be lost when the matter must be further explained and rehashed.
Efficiency relies on structured and reasonable processes. In the above example, if the project manager makes certain that directions are completed and clear in advance, the extended development team will be able to work without extensive delays.
Further, it is better when communications with the client allow our extended team to quickly solve problems without stoppages due to tardy emails or phone calls. The shared workplace is better served when the flow of information is two-sided and rapid. Simply put, if time within the extended development team is wasted on unanswered calls or unresolved emails, the client’s project goals may suffer.
Make collaboration work every time
There are crucial characteristics of successful cooperation when combining extended teams with a client. Using the English language makes for a shared understanding of challenges, strategy, and company culture. Ensuring that the core team and extended team have similar ability to offer expertise and strategy is helpful to morale and encourages better project results. Productive processes, set up in advance by the client, can assure equal footing with new employees within the extended team.
The concept of teamwork is one that stresses inclusion and is especially relevant when dealing with employees from different companies. By following these suggestions and focusing to ensure that our extended team is able to feel part of the client’s project and culture, positive and efficient results can be expected in our shared activities.
Building productive projects using Lemberg Solutions and its extended team model has never been easier, particularly when challenges are anticipated and planned for in advance. LS wants to ensure the process is as transparent as possible, making the transition to the combined efforts as easy and effective as possible. Please reach out to Roy to discover how our extended team model can help bring success to your project.