Software Development Outsourcing Hub

How To Avoid Internal Resistance While Software Outsourcing?

November 23, 2023

How to Avoid Internal Resistance in Your Company During Software Development Outsourcing

Shifting to IT outsourcing can trigger uncertainty and fear within your internal teams. As you transition to outsourcing, it’s critical to address internal resistance.

While disgruntled employees may undermine your efforts, resistance isn’t necessarily bad. Your internal team’s concerns may be pivotal to establishing better processes. 

To this end, our experts have outlined key tactics to reimagine internal resistance. Our tips will help you embrace a people-first transition that reduces conflict. Learn how to avoid internal resistance in your company during software development outsourcing.

Before you manage the transition to IT outsourcing, prepare your organization in advance. Check out our in-depth guide here!

Why Do Companies Outsource Their Software Tasks?

Software development outsourcing can be highly beneficial for your business. This is especially the case if you’re struggling to attract IT experts in today’s market. In fact, access top talent is the #1 reason why companies choose to outsource software today. 

In addition, businesses may have other motives for opting for IT outsourcing, such as: 

  • Significant cost savings
  • Flexibility to scale project
  • A high-quality end product
  • A faster time-to-market
  • Access to latest technologies

Overall, outsourcing is ideal if you don’t have internal know-how and need expert guidance. For more, see our best use cases for IT outsourcing

IT Outsourcing Challenges Your Teams May Face

Of course, adapting to IT outsourcing may involve some growing pains. Your internal team will have to acclimate to a variety of changes, including:

  • New roles. Incorporating outsourcing may redefine responsibilities for certain managers and employees.
  • New working dynamics. Updated processes and organizational structures may mean shifts in day-to-day work. 
  • New communication practices. Your IT partner may be located across time zones and/or speak a different language. This can change logistics and require more deliberate communication practices.
  • New company culture. Integrating outsourced teams will impact your company culture. To unify your teams, you may implement new working styles, expectations and more.
  • New mindsets. As you define your product vision, your teams may need to shift attitudes about goals, values and more.

Transitioning your internal team can take time, but also it requires strategic processes. Ultimately, it’s best to address resistance instead of sweeping it under the rug. 

Understanding Internal Resistance in Software Outsourcing

When employees feel threatened, they may try to thwart your outsourcing efforts. Opposition can quickly spread through your ranks and hinder the transition. Obviously, this can be frustrating and counter-productive to your business. 

So, how to avoid internal resistance in your company during software development outsourcing?

The key is to empathize with your people. 

First understand why your internal teams are disgruntled by the shift. It’s common for employees to feel like their jobs are in jeopardy. Or they have real concerns about taking on new responsibilities. Some may even create opposition to protect a company culture that they love.

Focus on your teams during this time and make them feel valued and informed. Some specific ways to do this include:

  • Be transparent about changes, as uncertainty can cause panic.
  • Communicate why outsourcing is advantageous for both company and individual strengths.
  • Include them in key decision-making and planning processes that may impact their work. 
  • Listen to your internal team’s concerns, suggestions and feedback about the transition. 
  • Bust any negative perceptions about your IT partner’s country, culture or abilities. 

Why Internal Resistance Can Be Helpful

Don’t forget that internal resistance can be a tool for change as well. It's normal to want to limit destructive attitudes at your company. Yet, you can benefit from understanding the opposition, too.

For example, embracing internal resistance can help:

  • Bring up concerns that you may have overlooked.
  • Address people issues that existed long before the shift to outsourcing.
  • Infuse the transition with team-led suggestions.
  • Make your internal and outsourced teams stronger in the end.

How to Minimize Resistance and Adapt to IT Outsourcing

What's more, you can minimize resistance by having seamless transition processes in place (learn more about it in our complete guide about software development outsourcing process). Here's how to avoid internal resistance in your company during software development outsourcing. 

1. Foster Strong Communication Channels 

Communication is everything when you’re undergoing significant organizational change. After all, 57% of outsourcing relationships fail due to miscommunication. 

Keep your people in the loop by having an open-door communication policy. In addition, hold regular meetings, leverage collaboration tools and undergo team building. 

2. Align Project Vision and Objectives

Misalignment can create all sorts of friction between your internal and outsourced teams. To kick off your IT project, be sure to clarify your vision and objectives. Doing so enables your teams to have a shared roadmap and KPIs. 

Often companies start with an MVP to integrate goals and transfer business knowledge. This initial understanding is crucial to achieving your requirements, quality standards and more.

3. Clearly Define Roles Within Your Teams

As team roles shift, it’s vital to define and manage them so that responsibilities are clear. At first, your employees may need some time to adjust. This is particularly true if outsourced experts have “taken over” their usual functions. 

Avoid stepping on any toes by assigning key responsibilities to your internal employees. Also explain why their new role is so important to the company. Demonstrating their individual value can go a long way towards team unity. 

4. Empower Your Hybrid Company Culture 

Choosing software outsourcing will inevitably alter your company culture. This isn’t necessarily negative. Embrace your new hybrid culture as much as you can. You may have opportunities to celebrate new diversity and harness remote work benefits.

Just be sure to maintain your core values and include everybody in this new culture. Focus on building community through virtual coffee meet-ups, fun Slack channels, etc.

5. Resolve Conflicts ASAP

Unresolved conflicts can fester, causing daily collaboration and productivity to suffer. If you notice something going on, try immediately to resolve it. 

Usually these conflicts can be avoided altogether by having open communication lines. Work to cultivate this open atmosphere by example. Be transparent and honest to inspire your internal teams to do the same. 

6. Manage Expectations Across Teams

Making organizational changes can generate all sorts of unrealistic expectations. It’s essential to “keep it real” with your teams and stakeholders so that there aren’t any false hopes.

Integrating IT outsourcing takes time and patience to get right. Not everything will go smoothly from day 1. Manage expectations early-on so that your employees know that perfection won't happen overnight. 

You’ll have to craft and revise IT processes as a united front. Be sure to celebrate when efforts are successful and regroup when challenges arise. 

Get Your Software Teams Fully Aligned With Netcorp

Know how to avoid internal resistance in your company during software development outsourcing. To facilitate the best transition, address your team’s concerns and reduce conflicts. Sometimes opposition can even be constructive for building stronger outsourcing processes.

For even better results, you should also carefully consider your IT outsourcing partner. At Netcorp, we’re driven to fully align your teams and maximize efficiencies. Reach out to us to find out how we build well-integrated teams and processes. Our seasoned developers are ready to collaborate with you and achieve high-caliber products.

Paavo Pauklin
Executive Board Member

Paavo Pauklin is a renowned consultant and thought leader in software development outsourcing with a decade of experience. Authoring dozens of insightful blog posts and the guidebook "How to Succeed with Software Development Outsourcing," he is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. Paavo hosts two influential video podcasts: “Everybody needs developers” and “Tech explained to managers in 3 minutes.” Through his extensive training sessions with organizations such as the Finnish Association of Software Companies and Estonian IT Companies Association, he's helped numerous businesses strategize, train internal teams, and find dependable outsourcing partners. His expertise offers a reliable compass for anyone navigating the world of software outsourcing.

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