It’s Impossible to Solve New Problems with Old Methodologies - Distributed Innovation vs. Traditional Software Offshoring

A Case for Distributed Innovation

When software projects hit the development team, generally there is pressure on the teams to reach the V1.0 milestone as soon as reasonably possible. Software development services companies are often relied upon for these outcomes. However, methodologies are changing in how software services are being provided, and the customer needs to make the right choices. Otherwise, they can experience more significant problems than just cranky salespeople; problems that result in increased project costs and possibly a piece of software that isn’t really what their clients need.

In this article, we will be discussing how to move projects through a new distributed innovation methodology, including, selecting software development teams that are a good fit for your particular project, building partnerships with the software service provider, and the value of understanding the team cultures from within each organization to maximize innovation.

Don’t Rush the Onboarding Process - Instead, Invest in It

In his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen R. Covey teaches us that in regard to relationships with people, slow is fast and fast is slow. It comes as no surprise that when selecting a software services company, you are in fact, building relationships and working with people. So, when selecting the provider, investing the time in the onboarding process may seem wasteful. However, it is critical in ensuring the most coordinated outcomes that meet or exceed your expectations.

If the sales teams or your customers are putting more pressure on the need to get the software built fast than on taking the time to do things right, that should be a sign that you need to do the opposite and instead spend the time finding the right partner. If you buckle, then the customer isn’t going to have the product they asked for, and then the team needs to ‘burn the midnight oil’ to get version revisions out that patch the issue.

Spending the time with the team in advance and making sure that the software service provider is an excellent fit, resulting in a more robust software build. And what may seem more expensive upfront, ends up being a substantial cost saving in the end.

Make the Software Service Provider a Partner, Not a Vendor

Gone are the days of outsourcing to another vendor that will deliver engineering services. Integrated distribution is the name of the game, and it works! The integration process is treated more like a partnership, where both teams sit on the same side of the table and collectively and proactively collaborate on the project resulting in a level of innovation that wasn't possible before the distributed innovation methodology was being practiced.

Engineering teams as a whole must work together on both sides to ensure the best results. Before the distributed innovation model, you hide your engineers and only present your top-tier sales and engineering managers to the software service providers, pigeon-holing the experience that is brought to the table and thereby, weakening the level of innovation distilled into the end product. This was great for starting projects quickly and to 'tickle the ears' of the customer, however, left little to be desired for in the long-term.

Unless the project requirements are such that there is no need for an integrated approach. Then the company can just hire outsourcing companies to do the needful.

Team Cultures Aren’t Isolated in the Distributed Innovation Methodology - So Stop Treating Them as Such

No, we aren’t speaking of team cultures or corporate cultures in which organizations form their foundations of corporate structure and values. It is much simpler than that. Generally, when a company distributes their work to a software service provider, the companies aren’t in the same country. It is essential then that each company learn about the culture of the country of their partner.

So, how do you go about learning someone’s culture? Well, you can start by Googling it! More importantly, though, teams are encouraged to travel, do research and understand the underlying societal culture of the partner. Not only will this help show respect for the partnering company, but it will have profound, lasting effects on the relationships between the teams working together. There will be stronger bonds and higher quality communication passed from one team to the next. There will be friendly banter and, in the end, an environment that fosters innovation.


As you can conclude, there is a paradigm shift from what once was to the current and the what will be in the future. Interrelation development teams that work within the distributed innovation methodology will thrive, even though it may mean a change in how vendors and partners are treated from within your organization.

In summary:

  • Take your time to select the right technology partner.
  • Strive to make the relationship, not one of having a vendor that you will hire for a service, which are at most times almost always confrontational. Instead, make the relationship one of selecting a partner, an extension of your team and treat it as such.
  • Finally, learn the partner's culture and try to use that to become closer to your software service provider to foster an environment of innovation.

By taking these steps, you will no longer be playing the game “follow the leader” and instead, will be excelling within your industry.

To learn more about how Aloha Technology can incorporate API-led connectivity in your next project, CONTACT US. Our team will be happy to answer your questions.