Outsourcing is riding the waves of popularity nowadays. More and more companies resign from manufacturing products or providing services in-house, using external contractors instead. Reasons for outsourcing vary but overall it is a practice that can save a lot of time and money. Yet, as the old proverb goes, every cloud has a silver lining and so has outsourced.
Issue Tracking in Outsourcing
Lately, we had a call from a representative of an American company. They are dealing with cellphone hardware, manufacturing it for one big shot on the market. Their daily operations include close collaboration with a bunch of very talented software programmers based in India.
The amount of work to be done is incredible. The two companies have to work really closely together in order to achieve the desired results. This includes working on the design and certain features but most importantly troubleshooting. And this is where the true communication problems appear!
Problem #1 Information Exchange
Communicating through e-mails and instant messengers causes too much information to be lost underway. At both ends, issues have to be approached in a structured way, otherwise, issue resolving may not be effective enough. Communication by e-mail or phone is not going to work in this case, as important details about a certain problem are scattered around their issue tracker. As a result, the final message about a problem might be devoid of important information.
Problem #2 Different Status Updates
Don't forget that various companies may have totally different approaches toward describing problems or naming issues. Add organizational differences to that and you will have a recipe for a disaster! This is the case here too. Even though the two teams speak very good English, differences in workflows and status updates often cause misunderstandings
How will Exalate Improve its Work?
Since two companies were doing their issue-tracking tasks using JIRA, we suggested using Exalate. It is an out-of-the-box solution that makes it possible to manage issues over different issue trackers. Thanks to the improved flow, all issue-relevant information will become available locally. Exalate automatically shares two (or more) instances of that issue tracker, which means an improved flow of information. See how Exalate may enhance daily operations!
The Solution to Problem #1
We suggested they use Exalate. The solution will cut down the number of errors related to manual data copying by 80%! Information is no longer copied manually but automatically synchronized between the Belgian and Indian instances of JIRA. To put it another way, one team will get a nice overview of all the details about an issue that the Indian team is working on, without having to access the remote system.
Now, the two teams will be able to exchange information as easily as if they were sitting in one room! This will obviously speed up both issue-tracking and problem-solving.
The Solution to Problem #2
Exalate includes very straightforward status updates. Both teams are now very clear about what is going on with the issue. Our solution allows for synchronizing attachments, work logs, or comments. Also, metadata, like versions, components or priorities is being transferred between the two instances.
This translates into cutting down any delays when working on certain problems. Clear status updates will also make it easier to report on the progress of the work to the big shot.
Exalate - Other Advantages
All it takes to use Exalate is just a simple installation. The solution works out of the box, without the need to set up servers. Thanks to that, you can start using it in your company even today!
Also, you can easily tailor Exalate to the needs of your company almost like a bespoke solution. With its powerful scripting language, Exalate is highly configurable. We know you are used to JIRA which can easily be customized, so our solution is even easier to tailor! Soon, we will be connecting Exalate with issue trackers other than JIRA too.
Using Exalate is particularly beneficial for outsourcing, as the solution lets two teams record their work. This means easier invoicing and better control over spending money on the services provided by external parties.
With every company's corporate standards of interaction and even cultural differences, there are more obstacles than it seems at the first glance. With Exalate, eradicating communication problems becomes much easier, which translates into improved cooperation standards between the two companies.