For organizations looking to augment their technology workforce through an outside partner, developing strong strategic relationships is key to sustained delivery of high quality software over a long period of time. For example, in digital transformation efforts.

F或希望通过外部合作伙伴,以增加他们的技术员工团队,制定强有力的战略合作关系,关键是要在一段长时间的高品质软件的持续释放。 例如,在数字化转型方面的努力。

Alternative approaches to the long-term partnership approach include the body-shop model, which is more transactional in nature, but works for certain types of organizations & specific types of initiatives. I’ll address that topic in a separate article.

长期合作伙伴关系方法的替代方法包括“实体商店”模型,该模型本质上是事务性的,但适用于某些类型的组织和特定类型的计划。 我将在另一篇文章中讨论该主题。

The focus here is on the key considerations when developing deep relationships with an outside software engineering or resourcing firm that you intend to heavily rely on to build mission critical, high-value IP for your business over the long-term.


1.欲望/兴趣 (1. Desire/Interest)

First and foremost the partner must be interested in solving the problems you want to solve for your business. This might seem obvious at first but a great deal of relationships are either weak or break down over time because the partner is not fundamentally interested in the business/product/technology objectives or the path to get there.

合作伙伴首先必须对解决您要为您的业务解决的问题感兴趣。 乍一看似乎很明显,但是随着时间的流逝,很多关系要么脆弱,要么破裂,因为合作伙伴对业务/产品/技术目标或实现目标的方式从根本上不感兴趣。

To ensure desire and interest alignment with your partner you must first be clear about the objectives of the projects you’d like the partner to engage in. These objectives must be communicated to the partner as early and frequently as possible. Then be clear about the roadmap you intend to follow to get there. You can even build it together.

为确保与您的合作伙伴保持愿望和兴趣一致,您必须首先清楚您希望合作伙伴参与的项目的目标。这些目标必须尽早且频繁地传达给合作伙伴。 然后清楚说明您打算遵循的路线图。 您甚至可以一起构建它。

In the end however you have to make a judgement in terms of whether there is genuine interest there or at least strong potential for alignment of mission.


There is no point in pursuing a strategic partnership with a firm that doesn’t understand your long-term objectives or want to be part of the journey you’re embarking on to achieve them.


2. Mindshare (2. Mindshare)

All partnerships encounter challenging moments at some point or another. This may be breakdowns related to delivery, people, or something else. In these moments it’s vital to have the mindshare of the leadership team of the partner.

所有伙伴关系都在某个时刻或其他时刻遇到充满挑战的时刻。 这可能是与交货,人员或其他方面有关的故障。 在这些时刻,至关重要的是要有合作伙伴领导团队的共同心智。

After all, you are paying them to solve problems for you. If you can’t get their key executives or managers on the phone in difficult times then the partnership is probably not very important to them.

毕竟,您要付钱给他们解决您的问题。 如果您在困难时期无法与他们的主要执行官或经理通电话,那么这种伙伴关系对他们来说可能不是很重要。

The ideal metric you’re looking for here is probably “same day return call” or even “same hour return call” depending on the type of project being worked on.


Good leaders at resource providers know they should be a Slack message or phone call away. And that if they make themselves available at critical moments it helps to ensure a smooth running operation between the two orgs.

资源提供商的优秀领导者知道他们应该是闲聊或打来的电话。 而且,如果他们在关键时刻发挥作用,将有助于确保两个组织之间的平稳运行。

By the way, if all you’re getting from your partner is a holiday card once a year and they aren’t proactively calling you to check in, that’s likely a sign of a stale relationship.


If they are consistently providing value they should be very interested in telling you about it on a frequent basis.


3.人才招募与保留 (3. Talent Acquisition & Retention)

Your partner should be better than you at talent acquisition & retention.


In fact, this is table-stakes for any resource provider. They are in the talent game and should be experts at it; while you are in a particular industry and talent is just one part of your set of challenges. i.e you’re paying them to worry exclusively about finding and keeping the best people.

实际上,这是任何资源提供者的赌注。 他们在人才游戏中,应该是专家。 当您身处特定行业时,人才只是挑战中的一部分。 也就是说,您付给他们的薪水仅是担心寻找和留住最好的人。

A positive indicator in this area is that your partner is proactive about backfilling their open positions. Meaning, when one of their senior developers leaves, you shouldn’t have to contact the partner, they should be reaching out to you instead.

这方面的积极迹象表明,您的合伙人会积极回补空缺职位。 意思是,当他们的一位高级开发人员离开时,您不必与合作伙伴联系,而应该与您联系。

Another positive sign to look for is proof points that developers like working for the partner and stay working for them beyond the typical 3 year attrition window for engineers.


For this you need to do your research before signing the partner. That process should include asking them to list out their talent acquisition & retention strategies, as well as interviewing some of their long-term employees and asking them what makes them stay.

为此,您需要在签署合作伙伴之前进行研究。 该过程应包括要求他们列出他们的人才获取和保留策略,以及采访一些长期雇员并询问他们留下来的原因。

4.运作模式 (4. Operating Models)

Lets define operating model as not just the org chart but all the details and nuances of how Product and Engineering at your company delivers and maintains software.


Many organizations don’t have this clearly defined. Therefore, your first step here might be to describe your current operating model so your partner can align to it.

许多组织对此没有明确定义。 因此,您的第一步可能是描述当前的运营模式,以便您的合作伙伴能够适应它。

This can include things like how you practice Agile, how you manage remote teams, your specific SDLC process, the typical composition of your teams, roadmap management, the way you approach technical debt, as well as other key processes.


Keep in mind that every organization including yours has an operating model. You might have arrived at yours organically and therefore never documented it, but it doesn’t change the fact that your partner needs to know what it is in order to work well with you.

请记住,包括您在内的每个组织都有一个运营模型。 您可能有机地联系了您,因此从未对其进行记录,但这并不能改变您的伴侣需要知道它是什么以便与您良好合作的事实。

5.成本谈判 (5. Negotiating on Cost)

If your partner is not one to negotiate on cost what you have is a one-way street which isn’t good for any partnership.


Good partners recognize that both sides must continuously maximize & optimize value in the relationship since dynamics for both the businesses and the labor markets are probably going to continuously change.


Good partners also understand that most organizations are under constant financial and budgetary constraints. Thus the issue of negotating on cost from time to time (I prefer a set periodic review) should not come as a surprise to either party or be viewed negatively.

好的合作伙伴还了解到,大多数组织都在持续的财务和预算约束下。 因此,不时进行成本谈判的问题(我更喜欢定期进行审查)不应让任何一方感到惊讶或被否定。

Negotiating should in fact be a natural and positive dynamic in the relationship so both parties are getting the most out of their investments at any given time.


6.技术经验 (6. Technical Experience)

When establishing a strategic partnership a surprising number of companies confuse technical talent with technical experience. Most organizations are looking for both but often agree to hire partners without testing for the latter.

建立战略合作伙伴关系时,数量惊人的公司将技术人才技术经验混为一谈。 大多数组织都在寻找这两个公司,但通常都同意雇用合作伙伴而不对后者进行测试。

i.e. you don’t just want a highly skilled construction company to build your home, you want a highly skilled construction company that specializes in building the precise kind of home you want to build. Or at least the key aspects what makes your home unique.

也就是说,您不只是想要一个高技能的建筑公司来建造您的房屋,而是想要一个高技能的建筑公司来专门建造您想要建造的精确房屋。 或至少在关键方面使您的房屋与众不同。

For example, in software projects you don’t just want a vendor who can supply you with NodeJS or Python engineers but a provider who knows the ins and outs of developing an e-commerce shopping cart experience, if that’s your use case.


Many resource providers will be happy to hand you talent which looks good on paper and/or tests really well in the interviews. But it’s the past experience which will really differentiate things and allow you to drive velocity out of the teams.

许多资源提供者都会很乐意向您提供在面试和/或测试中表现出色的才能。 但是,过去的经验将真正使事情变得与众不同,并使您能够提高团队速度。

Also keep in mind that you aren’t paying for the resources to learn on the job. Sure, there will be some leveling up on your stack. But for most software projects (not counting bleeding edge/hyper innovative efforts) the outside team should have done similar work in the past.

另外请记住,您无需为在工作中学习所需的资源付费。 当然,您的堆栈上会有一些升级。 但是对于大多数软件项目(不包括前沿技术/过度的创新努力),外部团队过去应该做过类似的工作。

7.领域专长 (7. Domain Expertise)

It’s obvious that most companies would like a talented and experienced group of engineering & product resources who have also previously worked in their business or product domains.


And today there are enough resource providers out there that many of them have a considerable amount of experience in industries like FinTech, HealthTech, EdTech, etc.


You must decide exactly how much you care about the partner having pre-existing domain expertise and how valuable that is for the project.


For example, if your projects are mostly infrastructure-focused such as migrating from a Data Center to the Cloud, perhaps domain-specific knowledge is minimally required.


However, if you’re adding a new & complex workflow aligned to a customer or market-specific use case, you might want to partner with a firm that has expertise in your market.


8.关键绩效指标 (8. KPIs)

Generally, people don’t like for their output to be measured very closely and unfortunately this is fairly common for strategic partnerships as well.


Metrics & financials exist of course, but given the chance most organizations (whether clients or partners) would love little to no data-based assessments of their performance while working together.


It appears that applying KPIs to relationships can lead to awkwardness and therefore many leaders on both sides avoid using rigorous data to ensure the relationship is highly functional.


But when it comes to resource providers for long-term & large projects, measurement and KPIs are an absolute must for success. Without good data you will never be able to truly be sure if the partnership is succeeding to its maximum potential. At best you will have an approximation.

但是,对于长期和大型项目的资源提供者而言,衡量和KPI是成功的绝对必要条件。 没有良好的数据,您将无法真正确定合作伙伴关系是否正在发挥最大的潜力。 充其量您会得到一个近似值。

A KPI framework is necessary and actually not very difficult to agree upon if both sides understand the true value of it, which is more about continuous improvement than accountability.


You should drive the development of this framework and seek alignment from the partner rather than waiting for them to do it. Ideally of course, this framework is already being used in your organization to manage your existing team.

您应该推动该框架的发展,并寻求合作伙伴的支持,而不是等待他们去做。 当然,理想情况下,此框架已在您的组织中用于管理您的现有团队。

9.文化适应 (9. Cultural Fit)

This is one of the trickier areas to nail down.


Culture has such a broad & varying definition from company to company that it’s difficult for most organization to define it clearly. But to ensure good partnerships it’s worth going through the exercise.

企业之间的文化定义如此广泛而又千差万别,以至于大多数组织都很难清楚地定义文化。 但是,要确保良好的合作伙伴关系,值得进行整个练习。

Here are some examples to look at that fall under the broad umbrella of culture:


  • Is communication primarily on Slack or does your team prefer face-to-face or Zoom interactions?


  • Do you celebrate big wins by throwing a party or sending a congratulatory email?


  • Is there a focus on big meetings or are more intimate and personal 1:1 conversations preferred?


  • When problems or roadblocks arise during development is there finger-pointing or is a mechanism for blameless analysis in place?


  • What is the relationship like between Product & Engineering? Is it fraught with tension or highly functional?

    产品与工程之间是什么样的关系? 是充满压力还是功能强大?

The easiest way to solve for cultural fit is to write down your culture.


By documenting your culture you give the partner an opportunity to either align to it, come up with ways to meld the two sides together, or choose not to be a partner.


10. 10%额外 (10. 10% Extra)

The best people are always doing at least 10% more than what they’re paid to do and the same holds true with partners.


If you have a partner that acts purely based on the MSA and nothing more, then they’re probably not the right long-term fit for you. You want a partner who is going to go the extra mile, and not just at times of key deliveries but throughout the relationship.

如果您有一个纯粹基于MSA行动的合作伙伴,那么他们可能不是适合您的长期长期合作伙伴。 您需要一个可以加倍努力的伙伴,而不仅仅是在关键交接时,而且在整个关系中。

The same holds true for you, the client. There is give and take in any healthy relationship so you’ll have to put in the extra effort as well to ensure a highly functional partnership.

客户,您也是如此。 任何健康的关系都是可以让步的,因此您还必须付出额外的努力来确保高度合作的伙伴关系。

For example, I had a partner recently offer the work of one of their AWS architects for 2 days pro-bono. It meant a lot during a time-constrained period, and ultimately went a long way towards awarding their team a contract for new work.

例如,我最近有一个合作伙伴无偿提供其AWS架构师之一的工作2天。 在一个时间紧迫的时期内,这意义重大,最终使他们的团队获得了一份新工作的合同。

Doing 10% more might sound small in the grand scheme of things, but it’s the secret sauce of what makes a partnership successful.


However, many organizations on both sides tend to overlook this concept or have a mindset that the other side has to put in the extra work, when in actuality it truly is both parties that must make the commitment to do more.


In the end what drives the best 3, 5, or 7 year technology partnerships between two organizations is a shared mission.


If your partner is excited to join you in going where you want to go, and wants to work with you to figure out how to get there, including managing through the trials and tribulations of most major software initiatives, you’re probably talking to the right firm.


But if they don’t care about or understand the problems you’re trying to solve for, and their approach and operating model is short-term focused and transactional in nature, then they probably aren’t the right fit.


Remember, the external resources will need to be an extension of your team for many years for things to work efficiently. Ripping and replacing mid-way through is expensive, disruptive, and is probably not a good option. So doing your homework up front is a very worthwhile investment.

请记住,要使事情高效运行,外部资源将需要多年扩展您的团队。 在中途翻录和替换是昂贵,破坏性的,并且可能不是一个好的选择。 因此,预先做好功课是一项非常值得的投资。

Ultimately, the art of deciding who to partner with is knowing your own mission and establishing the objectives of your initiatives as clearly as possible, while at the same time leaving enough room for a partner with prior experience to come in and help you evolve your capabilities in the right areas to effectively deliver on big initiatives.




  • 0
  • 0
    觉得还不错? 一键收藏
  • 0


  • 非常没帮助
  • 没帮助
  • 一般
  • 有帮助
  • 非常有帮助




当前余额3.43前往充值 >
领取后你会自动成为博主和红包主的粉丝 规则
钱包余额 0