Norsk Byggtjeneste (NOBB) is the largest provider of information to the Norwegian construction industry.
The organisation is owned by the construction’s industry and interest organisations, and they provide product information on more than 900,000 products from 700 suppliers to the industry’s players via the NOBB database
The NOBB database is the heart of product information in the entire Norwegian construction sector, the CIO of Norsk Byggtjeneste, André Ruud, explains: “If the players in the Norwegian construction sector are unable to get the correct information from the database 24/7, the consequences will appear quickly. The flow of goods in the sector will be at a standstill.”
Norsk Byggtjeneste has their own little in-house team of developers and a sourced team of developers with Conscensia in Lviv in Ukraine. “We have chosen a hybrid model for our IT development. We ensure that we build and maintain core competences in-house, while we at the same time boost and upscale productivity via Conscensia’s intermediate and senior developers,” says André Ruud.
As NOBB is extremely important for an entire industry, it sets high requirement for all parties responsible for the database. “It is vital that all parties follow the planned processes to the point – regardless of whether we are dealing with updates and maintenance, daily operations or development tasks,” says André Ruud, and emphasises “A high level of quality and compliance of all our quality requirement are vital.”
”When we selected our outsourcing partner, it was important that Conscensia could offer the right IT resources and competences. However, equally as important as the technical skills, are the fundamental values, which is the heart of Conscensia’s business; things have to be done in a proper manner,” says André Ruud and adds: “An example is Conscensia’s setup in Lviv with a strong HR department, where they work continuously with retention and professional growth of their employees. This way, Conscensia invests in both their employees and in a long-term cooperation with their clients.”
As a client, you have to have a high level of maturity in your IT development in order to benefit from outsourcing, André Ruud explains. “You cannot outsource your problems, and therefore you should not underestimate the resources it requires for an organization to outsource. You have to be able to plan and initiate projects, prepare specification and follow up. Processes must be defined and controlled, tools and processes must be in place. You must ensure some degree of redundancy in-house and that you have enough IT competences to understand the details.” André Ruud summarizes, “In short, outsourcing can increase productivity, but basically it requires the same efforts as if you solved the tasks in-house. You have to make it clear that you have to have the right competences in-house to be a good sourcing client, and it requires a real effort.”
In André Ruud’s experience, there is not much difference in how his Norwegian team and the team in Lviv works, and the daily cooperation runs smoothly. “We work agile using the Scrum principles. Therfore, our in-house team and our sourced team use the agreed processes with short deadlines and deliver on time. Scrum provides us with a common method of setting cadence and matching expectations for the progress of the projects.” André Ruud has not experienced any language barriers in his development teams. “The software developers are used to English being their working language, so we do not experience any language barriers between our team in Norway and the team in Ukraine. We work together without really thinking about whether our colleague is sitting across the desk or in Lviv.”
There is one thing, which Norsk Byggtjeneste have had to take into consideration after starting to outsource. “When we work with teams on several locations, it forces us to be very structured in our development processes to get the best output, but that is simply a huge benefit for everyone involved,” says André Ruud.
He does not regret adding sourced developers from Conscensia to his existing development team. “We have had a good onboarding process with Conscensia, in a pace where everyone involved is comfortable with the process. We are very satisfied with both the entire startup and our new employees in Lviv. I cannot pinpoint a simple thing, which should have been done differently, and I would do it all over again”, concludes André Ruud.