The Squeeze: What to do when there is more work than money

Doing More for Less

In today’s fast-paced world it is ever the case that businesses will want more output for a smaller budget. I call this “the squeeze”. When every last drop of productivity is required… and then some.

If you have ever worked in the IT department of a “successful” company (read stressed-out and overworked), you might be familiar with this situation: upper management has set the budget from on high. Instead of giving you the money to hire more staff, they expect you to get 1.5 times as much work out of every developer. Your software programmers are already about to explode and quit, and your project managers are running to the bathroom to cry every few minutes even before this latest “adjustment”! So what can you do?

Others who might be familiar with the feeling of “the squeeze” are entrepreneurs seeking funding from a panel of investors. You show them your carefully calculated budget and they purse their lips. “Yes, but the development costs are a bit high. Can’t you cut that down?” It doesn’t matter that software development is the heart of your project. They need you to pay out less or they won’t invest. If it’s between slashing the software development budget or getting no funding at all, the choice is clear. But how?

Don’t let your software development team burn out!

Instead of trying to wring your in-house developers’ brains to see if more code will drip out, or simply getting a “rabbit-in-the-headlights” contractor in last-minute, how about looking at an outsourced team resource?

If you know that offshore development teams:

  1. Have the skills
  2. Supply their own infrastructure, and
  3. Cost less

it seems to be a no-brainer, right?

But choosing to outsource is not enough on its own. I’ve seen a lot of projects saved by the addition of outsourced development power. I’ve also seen them doomed. It has to be done right. If you have the chance at all, don’t leave until it’s too late. Start planning the introduction of offshore staff as early on into the game as you can.

Of course the practice of adding outsourced development teams isn’t like waving a magic wand. Experienced hands are needed to guide the project and, although you might have to do less direct management of an offshore team, you will need to have tip-top requirements and constantly check outputs against predefined metrics to make it work.

Experience Can Go a Long Way

I’ve spent many years in different IT development teams and have pretty much seen it all. Some people just thought throwing money at a problem would solve it. Others thought that just shouting at developers would somehow make their code output increase when they were already working at 120% capacity! I’ve dealt with the ups and downs of development and outsourcing and I will say this: if you don’t know how to get more for less, ask somebody who does.

If you’re struggling with the “squeeze”, I invite you to schedule a free strategy session to discuss how I can help you relieve the pressure.

Question: How else are you being impacted by the “squeeze”? I’d love to hear your comments!



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