Once you have hired your offshore development team, you must work closely with them to guarantee the best result. Similar to managing a locally based team, remote employees are only as effective as your management allows them to be. Offshore team management can present some unique challenges, so let’s take a look at some of the best tips you can put to practice to ensure your overseas investment pays off.
Tips for Offshore Team Management
So much of how to manage offshore teams lies in good communication strategies. Important elements, such as establishing a common language within the business is a great place to start. You should also strive to find a way to make virtual meetings and conferences work despite time-zone differences.
Utilising a communication software package with a full range of tools, such as voice notes and attachment features, can make this collaboration easier. Understanding the communication hierarchy when it comes to offshore management can also be advantageous.
At the bottom of the pyramid is text. Whether via instant chat or long-form emails, text can be a practical way to communicate short bursts of information. However, the written word can be open to interpretations and misunderstandings and you will not be able to see if the person reading the words truly understands the meaning. After all, we can all type ‘OK’ or send a thumbs-up emoji.
While audio calls are slightly better as they allow both sides to elaborate on what is being discussed, the best method of communication is via video link. Face-to-face communication is best because you can not only give detailed explanations of each point you need to cover, but you can also visually gauge if the person or team you are speaking with has a clear understanding of the objectives being discussed.
Offshore Team Visits
How to manage offshore teams really comes down to making the overseas team feel like an integral part of the business from day one. Allowing them to learn the ins and outs of the company can help them to gain an in-depth understanding of the brand ethos and company objectives. To make the offshore team feel part of the family, an annual visit to their offices can be very beneficial. You may want members of the offshore team to visit your local offices as well.
When you are visiting them, use the time as an extensive team-building exercise. Aside from dealing with any operational issues you may need to iron out, the main goal of these visits is to make the offshore team feel like a valued family member. Engaging with workers and spending time getting to know them can result in tighter business integration and more trusted communication.
Implementing a good project management system can help in offshore team management by allowing progress to be monitored and any problems to be caught before they spiral out of control. The more efficiently your offshore and local teams can communicate, the better the result will be.
While you want to check in with your offshore team regularly, you don’t want them to feel as though you are micromanaging them. They will come to feel as though they are not trusted with the task in hand and it can result in a fragmented, hostile working environment. Detailing every aspect of the project as thoroughly as possible can help the offshore team to function more independently, while still having the confidence to ask questions whenever they need reassurance or guidance.
Managing an overseas team should always involve setting measurable, attainable targets for your overseas team. The goals you set should leave no room for confusion. Without a chance of misinterpretation, your remote workers will always know if they are on the right track and have a clearly defined knowledge of what is expected of them.
Learning how to manage offshore teams can be challenging but it is an essential part of long term success. Laying a strong foundation is no longer enough and time must be taken to continually manage offshore teams. With Israel IT, we can help you to set the stage for success by implementing effective communication strategies between you and your overseas team. At Israel IT, we can help you to set realistic objectives for your team and balance expectations. Taking active steps towards effective management results in improved productivity and significant cost savings, so enquire with Israel IT today to start your business outsourcing journey.