This article is originally published on the website of INCONTO to inform their clients about the way they work and how the development is done.
“INCONTO is supplier and developer of the most complete software package on the field of procurement, contractmanagement and electronic invoicing. This software is originally developed by the use of the knowledge of the purchasing consultants of Emeritor, which specializes in procurement services since 1998. This knowledge has led to the development and sale of procurement- and contract management software. Software by buyers for buyers.
Who are the people behind the product development and what are they dealing with. You got the insight by reading this blog.
INCONTO started in 1999 with a team of only one developer. Following years the team grew with varying composition. The current team exists of a development team in the Netherlands and one in the Philippines. The Filipino team is a dedicated offshore team, hired via the offshore software company Global BrainForce.
Each team is responsible for his own workflow and tasks. The Dutch team exists of a product owner, developers and testers and is responsible for the strategy and defining of the new software to be developed. The Filipino team exists of developers, testers and a project manager. They are responsible for the development of the defined software. Since a while they are also responsible for the second-line service desk.
Getting used to…
The cooperation between INCONTO and Global BrainForce started two years ago. We started with one developer, just to get used to the idea of and the way of work with an offshore employee. At this moment we are employing seven developers in our dedicated team. The deployment of a team abroad needed some adaptibility of our employees. They had to learn to know each other, i.e. the way they talk, they behaviors, the way they code. Although The Philippines are very Western oriented, they are some cultural differences. Nowadays, the teams are getting used to each other and knows what they can expect of each other. Communication is going well, the quality of the work is good.
A day at the office
When working with an offshore software development team, only one question arises: ‘how do you make sure the teams stay in good contact?’. We asked Stefan, one of our Dutch developers, how he is experiencing working with a team abroad.
“Working together with our Filipino colleagues wasn’t that easy at the beginning. The time difference of 6 hours (in Winter 7) resulted in some problems with planning and communication. Small chats with your colleagues during the day weren’t possible. We adjusted our daily planning and made sure that we start the Dutch day with a meeting with our colleagues. This meeting is scheduled at the end of the work day in the Philippines. We don’t see the time difference as a disadvantage, but as an advantage. We expand our daily development time with a few hours so we can keep on developing without any delay.
Another issue we experienced is the difference in language. Luckily the most Philippines do speak English on a high level. So does our team. Even our Dutch colleagues had to get used to use English as main language. But… practicing makes perfect. Even in discussing software development in English! As main communication tool we use Skype calls and chat. It is a very accessible tool and works perfect, as well for oral and written communication.
The biggest of all differences between the Netherlands and the Philippines is pre-eminently the work ethics. The Dutch are known for their direct approach and short (communication) lines within companies. Be critical and think along is part of the culture and work ethics. The Filipino culture is a mix of three other cultures: Asian, American and Spanish. Employees are more holding back and are therefore not used to be critical or give their opinion. We asked our team to do so and they keep on improving them on this part.
Our Filipino team developed themselves to a self-managing team. They are designing, developing and testing the same way we do in the Netherlands. The Dutch teams stays in control by being the product owner. They write the specifications and make a final test of all new functionalities after delivering by the Filipino team.””
Want to learn more about the way we work and about the way INCONTO works? Please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or at +31-172-525285.