Bridging the cultural gap

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Jeff Bianco
Dev-Pro.net, Founder
Bridging the cultural gap
Be the partner, not a vendor:
1. Hope is not a strategy.
2. If you are scared to talk about problems, you won’t be able to lead the project to success.
3. Preventing takes 10x less time than fixing.

FIRST CONTACT

🔹 First name is important. Make it pronounceable to Americans (Slava vs. Vyacheslav)

🔹 While the client interviews you, you should interview the client.

🔹 Be prepare to start an intro call and drive it.

🔹 Anything your clients say and do at earlier stage of your partnership – is NOT a coincidence. Listen!

🔹 Understand why a client asks a question. Questions may hide opportunities.

FIRST PROJECT.

🔸 When you start a project, it can be very stressful, time-consuming, as there is needed extra time to have things set correctly

🔸 You won’t get the second project until the first one is successfully completed.

🔸 The first project may be not ideal for you, but it’s a way in.

🔸 Estimate your first project as if it your tenth project, not first.

🔸 Train your client how to work with Ukraine.

🔸 Time zones: a blessing or a curse. They may not simply understand the difference in time, you should inform your client, otherwise, he would keep calling you at 4 a.m. for instance. Thus you prevent your partnership from some problems in the future.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IS DEVELOPING BUSINESS WITH A CLIENT.

  • TRUST is gained linearly, but lost exponentially. You are building trust with a client, you are doing things that the client is observing, much more carefully in the first week and the first month. One example, when you find mistakes, you just reveal them, and then your client will see that you treat them as a partner, not just a client.
  • Errors during pre-sale process cost much more.
  • Have proof for all your statements. At the beginning clients are checking everything you say, be careful.
  • Beware of assertions.

HONESTY MATTERS

  • Do not hide errors that benefit your client. Reporting things that would otherwise go unnoticed builds trust.
  • Flexible morals. Your attitude to the law and business ethics implies the same attitude towards the client.
  • Respect IP rights. Licensed vs. Non-Licensed Software.

SECURITY MATTERS

  • Use corporate software to share screenshots with your clients (Monosnap).

POSSIBLE CONCERNS ABOUT OUTSOURCING IN UKRAINE.

  • Why talent may stay in Ukraine instead of emigrating to US/Europe. In Ukraine we have low tax policy.

UKRAINIAN VS. SOUTH ASIAN OUTSOURCE

  • Different meaning of the word “yes”. It can mean “Yes, I hear you” , but not “Yes, I will do it”.
  • Ukrainians are less inclined to take up a project they won’t be able to handle.
  • Indians have reputation for thinking literally.

💡 UKRAINIAN VS. WESTERN CULTURE

1⃣ Respect your client’s cultural specifics. Just because something is not important to you does not mean it is not important to your client.

Example: Lunch is sacred. No matter we are doing release, everyone disappears for a meal.

2⃣ Joking and exaggerating can be interpreted differently.

POSSIBLE CONCERNS ABOUT OUTSOURCING TO UKRAINE

America First. Negative attitude to outsourcing in the US nowadays. They think you are stealing their jobs.