At first glance, it seems like a simple and obvious thing to do. However, incorporating non-local resources on any technology project is far from simple, and often requires more time and effort than you may expect to get the solution that will delight your end users.
But, it’s not all bad news. I spent some time with Jeff Koch, Manager of Integrated Delivery for Qlik Consulting Services, who shared how he leverages nearshore and offshore resources on customer projects. The key is making sure you align the right resources, at the right time, to maximize ROI.
Jeff explained that using nearshore or offshore resources makes the most sense on projects that can benefit from a mix of resources. This might mean projects with multiple concurrent work streams or an ability to divide a single work stream such that the work can be completed simultaneously by multiple resources. But be careful: just because a project is big doesn’t automatically mean it will benefit from nearshore/offshore resources. By the same token, it also doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t leverage nearshore/offshore resource for a relatively small project.
Instead, Jeff focuses on bringing together the right mix of resources into what he calls “Integrated Delivery”. This means different resources with the right skills/experiences to fit the specific tasks, pulled together by a single Integrated Delivery Manager. Imagine a symphony performing beautiful music. To do that, you need both musicians who know how to play their individual instruments well, and a conductor who knows how to blend their individual parts together in just the right way.
Whenever possible, Jeff leverages nearshore/offshore resources as part of the Integrated Delivery team. With the number of projects that Jeff has done, he has experience and access to a fairly broad set of resources, onshore/nearshore/offshore, which means he’s able to pull together the right team at the right time. The result is he delivers more robust and relevant applications in a shorter timeframe, by driving higher velocity of work through multiple resources, thereby maximizing the customer’s investment.
So, how does this work in practice? For one customer, the request was simple: help them setup the SAP connector to Qlik. But once onsite, the needs of the customer became much larger than a simple data connection as they started to understand the extent of the integration that would be needed and the ramifications this would have against their original timeline and budget.
Utilizing an Integrated Delivery approach, Jeff was able to find a way to spread the workload effectively, using a combination of Qlik onshore developers, nearshore contract resources, and the customer’s own IT staff. The result, not only were they able to stay within the original budget, but gained an added benefit of enabling the customers team to continue maintaining Qlik when the work was done.
To summarize, not every project can benefit from integrated delivery, and not every integrated delivery project uses nearshore/offshore resources. But Jeff will tell you that the most effective way to leverage nearshore/offshore resources is with an Integrated Delivery approach. Music to many people’s ears!!
To find out if you can benefit from Qlik’s Integrated Delivery approach, visit us at qlik.com/consulting.