Working Together

It's all about communication and strong teamwork

Work and development models

Great outsourcing is about communication and structuring projects professionally, not about “throwing complex requirements over the fence” and hoping for the best… no matter what any other outsourcing firm may tell you.  At Xentio, we’ve perfected our engagement models through years of experience, and we bring that knowledge to each customer we work with.

Engagement Models

Fixed Project

Our fixed project engagement model involves delivering a discreet project on a fixed time and a fixed budget. This requires clearly defined specifications for a discrete work activity.  Xentio controls staffing, methods, and processes, and is responsible for the final delivery. You must provide clear business, functional, and technical specifications.

Details about Fixed Projects

Team Extension

With Team Extension, Xentio provides a remote dedicated core team with the look, feel and behavior of y our own engineering team. Xentio manages everything for you – hiring, setting up the development environment, administration, and anything else needed – your engineer or product managers drive product vision, development planning, and engineering scope.

Details about Team Extension

Our customers are our testament to quality

Fixed Project or Team Extension?

Fixed Project

Fixed projects are a bit like they sound: we develop a certain component, feature, or even a whole application for a fixed price, and on a fixed timeline. There are a few things to be aware of on Fixed Project engagements, both on the positive and challenging sides.

Requirements:

Fixed Projects require a really detailed business, functional, and technical specification. Different people call these documents different things, but basically: we need to either have, or assess, a lot of detail on *exactly* what you want, and what the purpose of the deliverables are. If we don’t have tight specifications up front, expectations won’t be properly met, and the project will most likely run over time and budget.

When they work well, we have the following in place:

  • There are detailed requirements for the project!
  • It’s likely that the requirements will be fixed – meaning they won’t change much! This prevents a lot of change requests, and blown budgets and time-lines.
  • If it’s a large project, there should be a strong project manager available, as well as a business resource to determine and confirm requirements.
  • To start out with – a lot of customers may be concerned about their first outsourcing engagement, so finding a fairly isolated, small fixed-project is a good way to test the relationship.

When they are challenging (but not impossible):

  • It’s a start-up environment, and requirements frequently change!
  • There are not very well documented, fixed requirements for the project. Chances are, there can be a lot of miscommunication around what a feature should or shouldn’t do.
  • There is little oversight available from the customer side. We try as much as possible to reduce the need for overhead and time on your side, but ultimately we need to coordinate with you to ensure development is on the right path!

Team Extension

Xentio’s Team Extension model does our best to replicate and work like another division of your own engineering organization. PM’s or technical leads from your teams drive the product and development planning for all engineers, and we take of all the details on our side.

Requirements:

Team Extension works well when you have a long term project, and when you have the engineering resources and time to manage your outsourced team. While we make it as easy as possible, it goes without saying that our team needs to be included in your project planning, tasks, and meetings in order for them to communicate and deliver effectively.

When they work well, we have the following in place:

  • We have a dedicated point of contact with someone (or more than one) from your team!
  • It’s likely that the requirements are not fixed – there can be a lot of changes, end-customer requirements, and overall pivots to the product!
  • There’s good person-to-person / team-to-team communication.
  • Ideally there’s a product, project, or team leader on the customer side to manage workflow.
  • It’s a long term project (e.g. more than 6 months).
  • There’s a reasonably good pipeline of work – continuous development, new product features, etc.

When they are challenging (but not impossible):

  • It’s a very short project, and it’s well defined (in which case, probably better for a a Fixed Project).
  • When there is an unclear duration and volume of work – or if there is a strong possibility that the work may terminate unexpectedly. This is because we’re careful to plan for team continuity, and sudden stoppages of work for even short periods of time make it difficult to maintain productivity.

Our Book – Outsourcing for Small and Mid-Sized Enterprises

Not everyone is a multinational…

Outsourcing, like any long-term business relationship, isn’t always easy. In fact, it rarely is! We’ve distilled our years of expertise, lessons learned, mistakes, ideas, and thoughts into a little booklet. From contractual arrangements to team dynamics, we try to cover a range of considerations.


Download the book!