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 CTO of Norsk Byggtjeneste, Øystein Berg, 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.”

Hybrid model for IT development provides several advantages

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 Øystein Berg.
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 Øystein Berg, and emphasises “A high level of quality and compliance of all our quality requirement are vital.”

Appreciation of Conscensia’s values

”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 Øystein Berg 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 the consultants. This way, Conscensia invests in both the consultants and in a long-term cooperation with their clients.”

It requires maturity to outsource

As a client, you have to have a high level of maturity in your IT development in order to benefit from outsourcing, Øystein Berg 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.” Øystein Berg 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.”

Working together across borders as one team

In Øystein Berg’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.” Øystein Berg 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.”

Would do it again

There is one thing, which Norsk Byggtjeneste has 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 Øystein Berg.
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 consultants in Lviv. I cannot pinpoint a simple thing, which should have been done differently, and I would do it all over again”, concludes Øystein Berg.



About Norsk Byggtjeneste

Norsk Byggtjeneste is the largest provider of information to the Norwegian construction industry.
Norsk Byggtjeneste sets the standards for transactions and documentation between the industry’s value chain, and they help optimize and increase the trade between the industry’s players. Norsk Byggtjeneste has Norsk Byggevarebase (NOBB) and Byggtjeneste Portalen.

Norsk Byggtjeneste is a .Net company with a Microsoft full-stack set-up. Norsk Byggtjeneste and Conscensia are currently migrating existing applications to Azure and they are also developing new applications for the platform.