A simple test to find out about the maturity of your development team

Published by Guntis Urtans on Tuesday, June 03, 2014 23:00

If you want to learn how mature and well organized your in-house software development organization is, ask a simple question to your team’s management: “Can we outsource some of the work?“

If the answer is “YES”,

you may not need to read this further. Ask your team for some detail to make sure that there is logic behind the short answer, but most likely your team is doing fine. As a next step, you may or may not consider outsourcing – depending on your business rationale.

If the answer is “NO”

– you are likely to have an issue with your team’s maturity.
 
Here are the typical reasons that prevent an organization from using outsourcing or distributed development:
  • poor development processes, standards, practices
  • unclear team responsibilities and inter-team interfaces
  • poor communication skills on team lead / project management level
  • weak infrastructure support
  • over-ambitious individuals in team management
  • poor quality of current code, as a result of all or some of the above 
If you will follow up with another simple question:

“Why can’t we outsource?”

you are not likely to hear any of the reasons just mentioned. You will hear how unique the team’s skills and competences are, how complicated the product is, or how “nothing of this can be outsourced, as it will ruin everything”.
 
Our experience shows that a mature development organization can support outsourcing or distributed development in most of cases. It does not mean that you have to. Ability to outsource and the business rationale for it are relatively independent issues. 
 
You do need to understand what is behind that “NO” as the initial answer. Leaving it unaddressed may contain risks regarding your team’s deliverables as well as decrease your sourcing flexibility.
 
At the very minimum, our advice is to find out what are the reasons for responding with a “NO” to the simple question. Let us know if we can help you with this. 
 

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