Today, numerous businesses choose to augment their software development team with remote developers for a variety of advantages, including cost-effectiveness, experienced personnel, and quicker product launch. Latin America is an increasingly popular choice for North American companies due to its abundant talent pool, comparable time zones, and shared cultural values.
This article provides tips and strategies for successfully incorporating a Latin American remote software development team into your organization.
Integration challenges in nearshore software development
Different work styles
Disparities in work styles can create issues such as delays or disagreements because the approaches to problem-solving, decision-making, and communication are very different, with some leaning towards a more hierarchical structure and others towards a more collaborative structure. Nearshore development teams also have different levels of experience and expertise than the existing team, which can lead to differences in the approach to project management, development processes, and quality assurance.
When a new nearshore software development team is added, often there is some hesitation in adapting to the change, particularly when the team is working away from the main office. This could result in a lack of collaboration, which can reduce productivity since people may be reluctant to share their thoughts. If the goals and objectives of the new team are different than that of the organization, it can be difficult to create a trusting relationship. Additionally, if there are language or communication style differences, it can cause miscommunication and make it harder for both teams to rely on each other.
Inconsistent quality metrics
Integrating a LATAM remote software development team into an organization often presents the worry of uneven work quality due to disparities in experience and knowledge between the existing team and the new team. This can be caused by discrepancies in the level of training and education between regions.
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How to solve integration issues when you hire LATAM developers
To avoid the integration pet peeves mentioned above, you can choose an IT staff augmentation partner with good reputation and demonstrated experience in managing these issues so you don’t have to invest time on them, and also clearly communicate your expectations and project requirements, establish a good working relationship, and maintain open communication throughout the project.
That being said, when integrating nearshore software development teams, you will still need to address these differences at some degree. To achieve that, you can:
- Define your project goals and objectives: Your priority is that both teams know exactly what are the goals of the project and your business in general and how they’re going to contribute to it–task by task. This will align work styles and processes towards achieving the project’s objectives.
- Identify differences in work styles and processes: The second most important thing in your list is to analyze what is the work style of the team or team members that are part of the technical team augmentation. For example, how strictly do they adhere to deadlines? How frequently do they provide updates? Just by identifying these differences, you can make appropriate requests to align your new team members with the rest of your in-house team.
- Establish communication channels: Set communication channels between the teams and make sure everyone understands that their use part of the process. This can include regular meetings, video conferences, and messaging tools like Slack.
- Provide training and support: Provide training and support to the LATAM remote software development team to ensure that they understand the existing team’s processes and work styles, including onboarding processes, mentoring programs, and ongoing training and development.
Ideas for managing cross-cultural remote teams
Understand cultural differences and diversity
If you want to effectively manage remote teams with diverse cultural backgrounds, you have to recognize the unique features of each culture and use it in your favor. For instance, Latin American cultures are generally more focused on relationships and emphasize communication and socializing. So instead of looking for alternatives to nearshore software development outsourcing, if you accept these differences, you can see how just making a few changes in management can create a huge difference in productivity.
Establish stable communication channels with your LATAM remote software development team
For your Latin American remote software development team to succeed, you need a solid communication system in place. Hence, you can use the same methods for contact. Video chats, emails, messaging, and more within the same platforms. In fact, communication tools are one of the primary investment targets of businesses today. That’s because remote work is here to stay, and when everyone knows what’s expected of them, there’s less confusion and more productivity.
Set useful input systems
You should show your team members the impact of their work and how their performance is impacting the project. This is really important because it helps latam software developers feel motivated and clearly see where they can make adjustments to create even more positive impact and give results that align with your expectations.
Three steps to achieve good leadership in LATAM remote software development teams
Burnout, aimlessness, and unsatisfactory results can occur if there’s no leadership. But hey, with the right strategies and tools in place, remote leadership can be just as effective as traditional in-person leadership. It just takes some extra effort and intentionality. So, let’s see three things you can do to improve your team leadership.
- Set clear expectations from the get-go. Make sure everyone knows what they’re responsible for and what the goals and deadlines are, so set expectations clearly and regularly. You have to keep the communication flowing too–use video calls, instant messaging, all that stuff to stay in touch with your team. And don’t forget about work-life fit.
- Encourage your team to take breaks. Set boundaries for work hours and disconnect from work when they need to. The last thing you want is for them to burn out. Did you know that, in 2022, 25% or employees stated that their biggest struggle when working remotely was not being able to unplug? That’s why work-life fit is so important.
- Building trust is key. Do team building activities, have social events, and get to know your team on a personal level. That way, you can foster a sense of camaraderie and teamwork, even if everyone’s working from different locations.
How to measure the productivity of the LATAM remote software development team integration
It’s not easy. There’s also never a one-size-fits-all answer, so we have to speak somewhat generally. However, the things we will mention below have proven to be crucial strategies in a successful integration when you hire latam developers.
- First, identify KPIs that measure the success of the integration–some of them are completion rates, quality of work, customer satisfaction ratings, and productivity metrics.
- Another way is to regularly ask for feedback from team members. For that, you can use surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one meetings to see what’s working and what’s not. The success of both your project and the team integration depends on how well you measure the effectiveness of communication between the remote and in-house teams. How can you do it? Start by analyzing response times, how frequently they communicate, and how up-to-date every member is with each other.
- Make sure to measure how frequently your teams rely on each other, including the frequency, quality, and effectiveness of collaboration tools like Trello, Notion, Figma, and such.
- You should also measure how aligned are both team’s work cultures, maybe start by asking questions and seeing their values, work styles, and participation at work events.
- Finally, keep watch on how engaged the team members are, things like their job satisfaction, motivation, and commitment to the project’s success, and the accountability they take for their part in it.
These steps are some of the most important to make sure everything’s going well and/or make changes to keep your teams working together with high productivity.
- Software development in Latin America is growing rapidly, so many businesses are using technical team augmentation from that region to achieve their goals at an affordable rate, but it comes with challenges.
- Some challenges include misunderstandings, differing work styles, and lack of reliance on one team to the other. This can be solved by looking for a trustworthy IT Staff Augmentation partner, but you can also proactively improve these areas with a few simple tips.
- When it comes to leading a remote team after you hire latam developers, you need clear expectations from the get-go and make sure everyone has a good work-life fit.
- To be a good leader in a LATAM remote software development team, you also need to measure the success of your integration with productivity metrics, and although this is custom to each business, there are a few KPIs you can use to measure success regardless of the nature of your project.
Damian is a passionate Computer Science Major who has worked on the development of state-of-the-art technology throughout his whole life. In 2018, Damian founded BEON.tech in partnership with Michel Cohen to provide elite Latin American talent to US businesses exclusively.