Ukraine has made it to the top outsourcing destinations for software development. It comes as no surprise, taking into account a combination of profound tech education, cultural and geographical proximity to the Western world. And while some businesses looking for outsourcing partners are still weighing things up, many companies have built fortunes and keep reaping benefits from extending their dev teams to Ukraine. Those who have already worked with Ukrainian outsourcers, know it all boils down to professional project management when it comes to distributed teams.
We all want to go for the safe and predictable, so it's only natural that those who consider building or extending their teams to Ukraine might have some concerns.
We've collected some of the most common fears related to outsourcing software development to Ukraine. Let's check out what they are and how companies that succeeded in partnering with Ukrainian software providers deal with them.
Loss of control over product development
Some companies are afraid of losing control over the development process. This is one of the biggest concerns that most companies have when outsourcing for the first time.
To keep tabs on the project, try to focus on regular communication, clear responsibilities, and the ever-changing project condition. The IT industry has a big number of solutions helping to manage software product development. To communicate effectively, dev teams often use Slack, Skype, Microsoft Teams or other messengers. Tools like Jira or Trello come in handy in project management, including task and time management. Roles and responsibilities are easier to handle, when applying Agile/Scrum methodology.
Obviously, a well organized process of communication itself will not resolve all of the issues with the project. The reasons for concerns can be various, like vague ideation of the product, wrong understanding of business needs, inaccurate сollection of product requirements, not optimal development approach, etc. However regular connection and feedback can help identify the majority of pain points and find a timely solution.
Using available tools for project management and communication helps to be in the know and be ready to pivot, when needed.
Loss of code quality
Customers are often concerned about not being able to check the code quality as often as needed. To secure a high standard of product code, stay focused on these three essential steps.
First, build the right team with the necessary skills. Engage with those developers who have relevant experience. Luckily, Ukraine boasts a good reputation for having a large talent pool of highly educated and experienced engineers. There are over 400 universities with computer science and math faculties, many more private IT schools, and over 4000 IT companies, where software engineers master their skills. Some companies often build their engineering teams in a way that the core tech staff is in house, setting and controlling code standards, and the rest of the team is distributed.
Second, place a special emphasis on software testing. Manual and automated testing practices help reveal defects at an early stage and resolve them sooner.
Third, perform regular code reviews. We recommend you have internal code reviews, where team members check each other's code. Additionally, you can do an external audit to ensure that the best practices of software development are applied.
Loss of intellectual property (IP)
When outsourcing software development, technology startups may be afraid of risking their know-how. As startups operate in a highly competitive environment, and aim to offer a unique solution, IP is of huge value to them. General advice here is to sign a necessary minimum of agreements including NDA and IP Agreement.
Ukraine has ratified international treaties on IP rights, which means that generally acceptable rules of IP are adopted and respected in Ukraine.
Another concern is that the cultural and language differences will make communication harder. This is true that some project teams have issues with communication. Nonetheless, following Agile methodology helps minimize them. Daily sync meetings, standups, time and task tracking, regular demos ensure necessary communication. Professional project management is also extremely beneficial in coping with information gaps and therefore making timely and informed decisions.
Hard to build a culture with the remote team
Some companies think that it is hard to extend their company culture with the team, which is in a completely different environment. This is understandable, as the Ukrainian dev team will most likely follow the culture of their immediate surroundings. The easiest way to deal with this will be to find a partner agency in Ukraine with the company culture similar to yours. Enquire about your vendor’s company values to check if there’s a match in your principles of work and life.
Additionally, you could consider doing team buildings and fostering informal communication to make stronger social ties. If you can get together with your remote team members at your HQ, or somewhere else once in a while, it would help immensely to build the company culture. Your team members will have an opportunity to learn to communicate better with each other, understand the cultural differences, get trained in the company processes etc.
Fortunately, Ukraine, and the city of Lviv in particular, have direct flight connections with most of the EU capitals, bigger US and Canadian cities. Moreover, Ukrainians now have a visa-free regime with the EU, which makes travelling even easier.
Some partners also agree to apply the branding of the customer in the office space of the remote team. Following these practices will help establish corporate ties and build a strong community.
As you can see the risks associated with IT outsourcing to Ukraine can all be handled and minimized. And instead the benefits you will get from partnering with software developers in Ukraine speak for themselves:
highly skilled engineers,
accountable dev processes,
cultural and geographical proximity.
Have more questions on what it takes to build your software in Ukraine, we at Bitcom Systems, will be excited to tell you more.