Have you ever been in what seems like a never-ending process of trying to source highly-skilled developers locally? Or when the deadline is just around the corner, and you have no bandwidth to deliver?
If so, you’re not alone.
We know because we’ve been in the same position ourselves. And we’ve learned lessons that are worth sharing with a broader audience. So here’s our story.
As a UK software company with healthy ambitions, we wanted to grow our business and needed extra resources to make this possible. But we struggled to find the right quality we were looking for.
Our search in the Midlands in the UK (where we’re based) felt fruitless. After several months, we began to lose hope.
In the end, we decided that we’d have to look beyond the Midlands and beyond the UK. And we’re glad that we did. Because what we discovered at the end of our journey would not only revolutionize our own growth but that of our clients, too.
The Outsourcing Journey Begins
When people think of outsourcing, they often think of India. And there’s a good reason for that. After all, the country has a long history of providing resources for brands across the world. So, we decided we’d try our luck there, too.
After six months, we began to see the kind of results we’d hoped for. But the development team there felt very removed from our own. And the amount of time we spent managing the team in India meant that the savings in both time and cost felt limited.
We decided we’d have to look elsewhere.
Our next stop was Armenia. We hired a third party in the country to take on the job of recruiting. And the quality we found there was excellent. It’s just that, once again, we felt very much like two teams rather than one. There was a disconnect.
What’s more, because we were a small company, we struggled to get the attention of the senior management of the third party we hired. Their focus was on larger clients.
And so our search went on.
To Kyiv, Ukraine!
As we continued our research, Ukraine popped up frequently. And the more we read about the country, the more it sounded like the ideal location for an Extended Team. We discovered that there were thousands of talented developers in Kyiv alone and that the Ukrainian education system almost seemed designed to prepare people for a career in IT.
Costs were reasonable rather than low. But we weren’t looking for the lowest price. We were looking for quality and cost-effectiveness.
Convinced that we’d finally found the right place, it was now a case of changing our approach. We wanted an extension of our own team in Leicester rather than a separate entity that we would just delegate work to.
So, with that in mind, we recruited a team based in Kyiv, but we didn’t stop there. We also embedded them into the Evolve culture and the expectations of our clients. We made regular visits to the office in Kyiv and took part in sessions where we shared our specific values, vision, and mission.
Most importantly, we encouraged a culture where the team in Kyiv felt able to proactively share their ideas and use their expertise to suggest alternative strategies.
It was a long journey, but we couldn’t be happier with how it ended. We now have the additional software developers we need to grow our business. But more than that, we have what genuinely feels like a single team pulling in the same direction.
We’re just on opposite sides of Europe.
How Our Ukraine-based Extended Team Helped Us (and Our Clients) Level Up
So, how did our Kyiv team help us level up?
Well, the truth is they haven’t only helped us to grow. They’ve also helped our clients to do the same.
Read on to find out how.
Winning Awards From the Off
Well, a lot of it comes down to a strong focus on maths and science in Ukrainian education. This results in fantastic problem-solving skills. And it turns out that these are just the kind of skills you need to excel in Fintech software development.
Recognising these skills in our newly-formed Kyiv team, we put them to the test building leading-edge microservices architecture with both web and native mobile applications for our Fintech client.
Our Dedicated Development Team in Ukraine delivered the initial MVP in just 12 weeks, and the final version of the app was awarded Mobile Magazine’s Best Mobile App award.
Naturally, the client was so impressed that we handed over the team that built the app to them so that they could continue helping them to grow their business.
Success That’s Founded On Mutual Respect and Trust
After the success of this Fintech project, we decided to expand our own team in Kyiv. Now, it includes a UX/UI designer, PHP, and .NET developers, as well as native mobile, front-end (React and Angular) and both automation and manual QA specialists.
We combine this expertise in Ukraine with UK-based talent including PMs, Scrum Masters, BAs, and DevOps. And this only serves to reinforce the feeling that we’re one team in two locations.
Together, this group of talented developers has spent time in the last year building out the MVP for our Price and Margin Management solution called e-Bate. It’s just one way in which our own Extended Team in Kyiv has helped us to grow our business.
Clients and partners often ask us what the secret is to our success in integrating Extended Teams into their corporate cultures. And the answer is simple – mutual respect and trust.
The work that we did from the outset, introducing our culture and values to the team in Ukraine and encouraging them to be proactive and challenge us has been incredibly valuable. Whether they’re based in Kyiv or in Leicester, our team members are respected equally and have the same opportunities.
If you’re thinking of creating an Extended Team for your own business, then introducing a similar culture would be our number one piece of advice.
Do you think an Extended Team might be the answer to help your brand level up? If so, click here to schedule a chat or request our callback now!