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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Council Post: Building A Nearshore Tech Team Through The BOT Model

Co-founder and CMO at CodersLink, a technology solutions agency helping companies find and build elite IT nearshore teams in LATAM.

Nearshore tech teams are often regarded as one of the ways large companies bolster their IT department productivity. In reality, companies from all sizes are able to tap into the advantages of this type of outsourcing. If you’re unclear about the different types of outsourcing, you can familiarize yourself with its most common variations

The implications of building a nearshore team stop a lot of C-levels, managers or founders in their tracks as they explore this option to expand their access to specialized talent, reduce labor and hiring costs and manage their growth demands. A key to successful and scalable nearshoring is using the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model to establish and bring a team up to operating capacity. 

Through my experience in building multiple tech teams through the BOT model, I see it as a structured approach to creating a team in a location that you’re not familiarized with. This model can also allow a company to tap into the recruiting and HR management strengths of an IT partner to build and grow a team that delivers quickly.

The BOT model is comprised of three steps that take a company from the building blocks of establishing a team to operating it until certain indicators are met, to transferring all management to the hiring company. 

The Building Phase

At this stage, the main objective is to understand the scope of what’s looking to be accomplished and building the first layer of the team. Here, you decide what business goals and technical requirements are looking to be met with the nearshore team. There’s also a deep dive into the company culture and the soft skills sought after to ensure new members will align with those.

Next comes the building of the actual team and office space. This means sourcing talent, securing office space, getting equipment and managing the HR functions.

An IT outsourcing partner can serve as a knowledge resource for specific talent trends, salary expectations and benefit recommendations. One thing to have in mind is that these partners shouldn’t operate without your final say. That specifically means that they present pre-vetted and interested candidates for your team for you to interview and make the final hiring decision.

The Operating Phase

Next comes the operating stage, where the objective is to grow the team to full operating capacity and establish policies and procedures for everyday management. The most intensive part of the model is the operating part, where structure, trial and error are common.

Focus on running and operating all HR functions including payroll and benefits, performance management, equipment and office scaling up or down, and continue recruiting support to meet the BOT plan agreed upon. Parallel to this, be sure to standardize policies from job roles and descriptions, salary tables, benefits packages, performance expectations, engineering management practices and career paths.

The Transfering Phase

Finally, the transfer stage is where the objective is to transfer all of the tech team’s operations into the company’s internal functions. This part usually kicks off when a certain milestone is met in size or when a company has the internal structure to manage the nearshore team.

Most of the work done at this stage is administrative in nature. Employee payroll, benefits and performance are transferred completely. Office contracts and equipment management responsibilities are also moved internally. 

At this point, if there is an IT partner agency involved, it should stop actively managing the team and move into a support role for the company for continued team growth. This means that companies tap into their IT partner on an ad-hoc basis for help in finding and hiring specialized talent as their team scales.

Putting It All Together

By using this established process, the BOT model can help companies avoid common problems with building large nearshore tech teams. It allows a company to tap into the best practices on running them and can increase the predictability of hiring and team building while reducing hiring and time costs. It’s like training wheels for nearshore tech team building.

Companies can take from 18 to 36 months to go through the whole BOT process. This approach is best used by medium and large companies looking to invest in a tech team to expand their workforce based on changing market demands or looking to support internal HQ IT teams with secondary tasks and priorities, as well as to meet demand peaks.

The BOT model is a structured approach to building, managing and growing a remote tech team in a nearshore location. It’s a competitive advantage for tech-enabled companies that are looking to bolster IT department productivity, predictability while keeping costs low. Companies looking to build a nearshore team should dive into this model.

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