More companies are outsourcing their projects to offshore companies not only to reduce overhead costs but also to tap into the expertise of local talents. However, not all those who have tried outsourcing offshore have had success with it as they have failed in building a good working relationship with their hired staff.
What is Offshoring?
Before we further delve into the topic in hand, let us first define the word “Offshoring”. Pretty much all of you have already an idea about what “outsourcing” is. It is basically, the practice of obtaining a third-party, outside of your company, to perform some of your daily business tasks. Offshoring, on the other hand, has the exact concept, the only difference is that it is something that is done overseas.
While in most cases the service provider is to be blamed – projects do not get delivered on time, went beyond budget and did not satisfy performance specifications – there are also instances when the client company is at fault. Sometimes, projects go awry because the client company failed to establish a good working relationship with their offshore team. They give unrealistic requirements, create complicated systems that are difficult to maintain, place aggressive schedules and have loose metrics. As such, their offshore team has a difficult time accomplishing what is expected of them.
How to Handle Offshore Team
If you are a business owner and you plan on outsourcing your projects to an offshore company, you have to realize that establishing a good working relationship with your offshore team is the foundation of sound project management and successful output delivery. To make sure you will be able to do that and keep the team efficient and passionate about delivering top quality service, here are some steps you need to take in managing an offshore team:
1. Let Them Know Your Business Objectives and Goals and Be Clear About Them
Remember that your offshore team is a part of your business, so it is important they stay in the loop. Provide them a clear idea of what your business is all about and what its objectives and goals are. Always bear in mind that clear communication is always the key to success. Doing so promotes project accountability among the team and allows each of them to realign the way they work and their goals with your success. Also, by letting them know your business objectives and goals, they are aware of what they should be targeting.
2. Make Room for Adjustments
For your offshore team to function effectively, they need to acquaint themselves with the culture and processes of your business. They also need to understand all your requirements before they can tackle projects successfully. All these demand learning curves, which you can be able to provide by giving them time to learn the ins and outs of your business. Keep in mind that, offshoring also means that you have to entrust all nitty-gritty information regarding your business to your service provider. More so, you also need to be transparent about your plans and expectations to avoid miscommunication and disappointments in your offshore team.
3. Be Clear About Project Requirements
If you want to achieve successful results, do not assume that you can just give requirements in a document and your team will handle everything from there. You can avoid frustrations by clearly communicating project requirements using all channels possible. This will ensure that there will be an agreement on requirements. Also, be clear how you want things done so revisions can be minimized.
4. Provide Necessary Infrastructure and Training
Your offshore team will not be able to accomplish tasks on time and a budget if they do not have the necessary software and hardware in place. So be sure that before any work gets underway, all infrastructures required for the project are set up. If you are worried about data security, work with your in-house security team to provide your offshore staff with minimal infrastructure allocation or access.
As with infrastructure, training should also be a part of your strategy to strengthen your relationship with your staff. Most offshore staff considers training as a perk that allows them to keep up with changing the business landscape and address difficult aspects of your project. Remember, confidence comes from knowing, and with the additional knowledge they will acquire through training, you can be assured they will carry out their jobs with great efficacy.
5. Value Their Time
In most cases, offshore companies are located several time zones away from you. So while you are probably fast asleep, your team is busy doing their tasks. And once you login to work, most if not all you need is in place. Never expect your team to work beyond their working hours and do not assume that they will be present round the clock. Just like you, they need to attend to their responsibilities, so allow them to do that. Should there be a need for your offshore team to extend because of time constraints in the project, be sure to provide a premium to them when they have to work longer than their work schedule?
6. Provide Feedback and Recognize Achievements
Motivation is necessary for any staff to perform their jobs effectively. One way you can keep your offshore team motivated is to give feedback that will allow them to have an insight into the progress of their performance and advice on how problems can be resolved. It is also a good idea to recognize the achievements made by the staff. A little pat in the back or a simple reward will make them feel they are valued and that you approve their job.
Source | Pixabay
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