For Complex Projects Retention Is Key

Medical Device Company Seeks Team It Can Depend On

The Challenge

This well-known medical device company was growing and the new head of engineering was under pressure to significantly increase development productivity to meet the increasing demand. He knew it would be necessary to outsource, but it needed to be done right, since the company is in the business of saving lives. Its devices are used in hospitals all over the world to administer drugs to patients on the operating table and those battling disease in intensive care units.

The engineering head openly shared his experiences with other development firms: “I’ve hired companies in countries where the economy encourages a high turnover rate. I’ve also started teams with good people, suffered from having to train new people when the original team leaves for a new opportunity, and was disappointed with the performance of subpar replacements.”

He did not want to go through those experiences again.

The Solution/Outcome

We have helped this company overcome its biggest challenge: meeting the needs of a dynamic market under a tight development budget. The Integrant team supports multiple product lines with different versions of each product designed to meet the regulations of each country it serves. We adhere to a complex but flexible strategy that allows the development team to meet the constant, demanding, and fluid requirements for new releases.

The company continues to grow and we’re growing with it. Over our five-year relationship, our amplification approach has allowed the company’s development team to keep up and in fact stay ahead of its business demand and growth curve.

The Backstory

The company’s new director of engineering came armed with deep industry experience, but he had to confront the same issue all software development leaders must tackle: there simply isn’t enough local technical talent to staff at the levels required. Like everyone else, he struggled to attract, recruit, and retain top technical talent. The current team was built with really good people, but adding new talent quickly was difficult, as was retaining the people in which they’d invested so heavily.

The director of engineering’s top concern in evaluating development partners was retention, but he also ensured vendors had good people, maintained a strong bench, and understood development and testing standards as part of his due diligence. He knew the domain was complex, the processes were detailed, and meeting compliance regulations was a requirement to ship product and generate revenue, which meant any team he hired, internal or outsourced, required a significant investment in training.

We were prepared with answers to his most pressing questions:

  • How many people do you have on staff?
  • How strong is your bench and how many people are on it?
  • What is your turnover rate?

We noted that our people stay with us for an average of five years, and broke down and reported retention statistics based on location and role. We also focused on some of the things we do to support seamless development:

  • Provide attractive benefits packages, including paying in U.S. dollars.
  • Implement a strenuous interview, onboarding, and evaluation process to ensure really talented engineers are hired.
  • Continue to challenge people, since good engineers will only stick around if you continue to give them problems they can sink their teeth into.
  • Always keep a core team with deep domain experience on project teams, cross train to extend this knowledge, and leverage tools to quickly train newcomers to the team.

We don’t claim to never lose people; we lose good people just like everyone else, but we focus on continuously reducing turnover rates and implementing knowledge retention methods customized to each project.