The Surprising Story of how our Client got Product Development on Steroids.!
From Survival to Providing Superior Value: How Teams Push Awesomeness
For every single outsourcing success story, you are likely to hear ten others that wouldn’t have a great ending. But like stories go, the outcome usually has to do with people associated with the story. As far as outsourcing is concerned, the outcome depends on the people or teams you hire. It’s as simple as that.
I won’t bore you with stories that ended up on the wrong side of the stick. I’ll tell you a story about how a client benefited from outsourcing gone right.
It’s also an outsourcing story where you get to actually see what happens when you take away a single pain point for the client and see results. Take that one single and often damaging aspect of running a business, and clients either save money, reduce expenses, spend less time on doing things, or directly earn profits.
A client (name withheld, because I am nice) is into providing data solutions for major marketing companies. The client’s portal is at the heart of data gathering, analysis, and reporting. With a globally diverse team and the portal to work on, the client had some real problems to grapple with. Some of the challenges were:
- The core development team was tied up handling support issues and fixing bugs.
- The software was complicated and needed hours of work just for upkeep.
- There was no time to document the technical architecture and functionalities of the product.
- Most of the time went towards resolving issues and fixing bugs. The time was often more than the estimated duration.
- A centralized knowledge base that was necessary for training and product development was hard to pass around.
- The core team was in Denmark and most of the support tickets issued were in Danish.
The path we took to overcome these challenges was a pretty straight forward one. We set up a dedicated support and bug fixing team in India.
To start with, we took time to understand the existing processes and to understand the functionalities underlying the software.
A local development environment was set up to better understand database architecture and to reduce the learning curve. The India team was put on the Danish time zone, queries were logged into bug tracking system, and we found a way to directly involve ourselves in the bug fixing part of the process.
While we jumped headlong into the client’s bug fixing part, what are the results, you ask?
- More than 1000 bugs were fixed in a short but intense 6 months.
- The process was hands-off. This meant that there was little involvement from the client side.
- Through bug fixing we got a deep insight into the client’s processes and product.
In another phase altogether, our team also got involved in building new modules and provide more value to the client by designing their portal’s basic functionality. While we did learn a lot from all this, the value we managed to provide the client was invaluable.
Client derives value from outsourcing all of the bug-fixing part.
The biggest value is the Clients own development team free up time to focus on developing new product features. Becoming innovative again. Cranking out new releases like they were on steroids!
Outsourcing works. It just does. You’d only have to find the right team and engagement model.