Managing Offshore Teams

Outsourcing is a common tactic among most companies, regardless of the market where they reside. This is all the more easier thanks to the internet and various communication apps.

However, outsourcing to smaller companies outside of your native country for the sake of generating more profit is easier said than done. With issues like language barriers and radically different time zones, outsourcing to other countries can be a chore if anything else. So, if you are facing troubles dealing with offshore teams, or just don’t know where to start, this guide will help you.

 

How to Maximize Effectiveness

Maximizing the effectiveness of your company is the one of the major reasons why companies like yourself outsource in the first place. The real challenge that most companies face when it comes to outsourcing to companies is not your company’s effectiveness, but the other company’s effectiveness.

After finding the right company that has the right amount of experience and has the ample workforce size for your task, it is still easy for that company to be ineffective in its task. That’s is not to say that there is one particular problem that leads to this ineffectiveness, but there are many. Let us look at these problems:

1. Communication

One of the most notorious problems that nearly every company faces when it comes to outsourcing to a different country is communication. Effective communication is critical when it comes to your project, as a lack of communication could well lead to you having an unfinished product on your hands.

Lack of communication can happen, mainly, because of either language barriers or lack of responsibility; sometimes it is both. You must stay in constant contact with the company on a day to day basis, where you can discuss progress and talk about any future projects.

2. Lack of Leadership or General Vision

It is hard to ask a company to help you with a certain task, especially when they don’t know why they are doing it. Keeping an offshore team estranged from the rest of the company can often lead to lower morale and a much less efficient work ethic. Same is true for leadership, as a company that lacks leadership often fails.

3. Lack of Interaction

While you may argue that this is the same as communication, interaction with the offshore team is different. Although, it is important to communicate with your team on a daily basis through meetings, it is more important for you to meet them in person. Most companies do not realize the importance of meeting with their offshore team. This problem mostly connects to the second and first problems and can result in a lower morale and a variety of different communication issues.

4. Treating Them like an “Offshore” Team

One of the biggest mistakes that nearly every company makes is not treating their offshore team like a proper team. While this may seem a little confusing, in simpler terms you should not treat them differently from the team that you are already working with.

How to Properly Deal With Offshore teams

1. Video Conferencing

Starting off with one of the most well-known problems, communication is also one of the easiest to solve. Communicating with your offshore team is easier with social media applications, such as Skype and WeChat. Through these applications you can not only message them, but you can also contact them through both voice and video calls.

This will enable you to reduce the communication barrier, and can help in enforcing a presence that will otherwise be lacking in the office space.

2. Design Better Work Schedules

Designing better work schedules should be one of the major priorities of any company that outsourced their tasks to a company in a different time zone. While one or two hours doesn’t make that much of a substantial difference, 13 to 14 hours difference between you and your offshore team can lead to serious issues.

In order to avoid these issues, you should manage their time so that there are two or three hours that overlap with your working hours. This will allow for meetings in a more professional environment, and will allow your team to contact you without hesitation. This will help in establishing your presence in the team, and they will feel like you are treating them less like an offshore team.

3. Visit The Premises Annually

Finally coming to what is possibly the most important step for you to take is meeting them. Annually meeting them and checking up on your projects is a good way to ensure you are addressing all the aforementioned problems at once.

By meeting with the offshore team you are interacting with them face to face, you are communicating with them, you are making your presence felt, and you are giving them the importance they need to function effectively.

Conclusion

Managing an offshore team is much easier said than done. However, by instilling faith in them and communicating with them on a regular basis, you can solve most of the issues that otherwise plague other companies. Although you may face more troubles throughout your time working with offshore companies, just know that you can solve most of them with proper communication.

 

Vimware is a Los Angeles based IT strategy and services firm that strives to be your most trusted technology resource. We work with you to understand your business demands and goals, then align them with the right technology strategy and solutions. We help you improve your digital footprint by carefully managing every detail throughout the Product Life Cycle.

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