Most of the entrepreneurs start by being the only employee of their company. The smart ones know how to build up a productive team. Delegating one or more tasks to an offshore development team has several benefits.
First, it frees up the work on your shoulders and gives you access to specialized professionals having years of experience. More and more startups are now realizing the importance of IT outsourcing. Therefore, nowadays startups prefer working with remote teams, irrespective of their location.
Working with an offshore team gives you an opportunity to work with top-class professionals while reducing the overhead cost & workload.
The aim is to foster teamwork and collaborate with individuals having different skills-set, to accomplish the company’s objective effectively.
However, the management of a remote team is different than taking care of an in-house team. You need to be creative in order to manage them efficiently. In case you are planning to work with an offshore development team, this post is for you!
6 Common Mistakes to Avoid while Working with Offshore Team:
1. Preferential Treatment to In-House Employees
Do you want to set up an offshore development center? That’s great. However, while working with a hybrid team (where you have in-house & virtual employees), you have to make sure that you are not being partial with your in-house employees.
There are a few obvious ways some managers can do this. If you give development seminars or training to your in-house employees, give the same opportunity to your remote team as well.
If you are throwing a party for the in-house team, don’t forget to offer a gift card or a food voucher to your offshore developers. Whenever your offshore development team achieves a milestone, take out some time to mail and acknowledge them.
Taking these small steps will help gain the trust & loyalty of the offshore developers.
2. Time Zone Consideration
One of the biggest benefits of collaborating with an offshore software development company is that you can hire experts from any country. That being said, if your remote team members are in a different country, you have to be cognizant of the timezone.
Your 9-5 workday might not be the same across different countries across the world. Only because a 5 pm meeting is suitable according to your schedule, it doesn’t mean it will also work for your offshore developers.
Fix a time schedule that is flexible to your in-house as well as the offshore team and regularly communicate with both your teams via voice or video calls.
3. Not Validating The Skills Of The Team
Sometimes you keep interacting with the sales executive or the manager but never get a chance to discuss issues with your offshore development team. The sales execute often exaggerate and oversell the skills of their team.
While the sales team may be impressive, it is not necessary that your offshore team also understand your business objectives and strive to fulfill them.
Imagine investing thousands of dollars in a project and getting disappointed with the final product because it turns out to be substandard. This is such a waste of time, money, and effort.
Thus, it is important to cross-check the skills of your remote developers and not just the portfolio. Before handing over a full-fledged project, let them work on a few small tasks. It will give you an idea about the quality of work they deliver.
You can also ask them to create a pilot project to gauge their skills. This is a safe option for product development and will also set an example of whether you are able to work in sync or not.
4. Lack of Required Technology
Sometimes it becomes challenging to deliver quality work without the help of appropriate tools. Therefore, ensure that your offshore team is well equipped with the technology stack required to get the job done & become productive.
Discuss with your outsourcing team about their preferred work schedule, communication style, processes, and work methodologies.
There are numerous tools that can help you manage your remote team. Such as Slack for instant messaging, Dropbox for easy sharing of files, Skype, Zoom, or Loom for video communication. You can also use a regular email exchange for sharing a document, or other tools for project management.
5. Don’t Act As If They Are Robots
It is very easy to get into the groove of assuming that developers you have hired are work-producing machines. Especially when they are constantly delivering on-time as per the specifications. It takes some effort to maintain a connection when you do not see individuals in person on a daily basis.
Well, this lack of interaction deprives you of the remote team’s full potential. In that case, you can expect our team to do a good amount of work, but they will not contribute to the ideas or take any initiative. This will further lead to a decline in productivity.
You may sometimes feel that you are a proactive communicator with your colleagues, but it is important to step back and think if that’s true.
Do you only talk about projects and deadlines?
Have a discussion about their interest and passion and what they bring to the table for your company. So, make it a point to have a one-on-one call whenever it is possible for you to do so.
Discuss the ongoing project progress. Note their contributions as well as praise and applaud them.
6. Stop Micromanaging
You may want to control your offshore team and try hard to make sure everything turns out to be perfect, under your own notion of perfection. This is something unfair towards your virtual team.
If the offshore development team is hesitant to ask questions or request any type of help, there is a possibility that problems may remain unaddressed.
By the time the issue reaches you, things may have already snowballed into a crisis. Avoid recurring fire drills by micromanaging.
No individual can be perfect with a gun against their head. Unfortunately, constantly checking the updates will not only frustrate your remote developers but it will also lead to stress.
The micromanaged team feels constrained and in the danger of always being criticized. This negative vibe certainly affects their productivity.
Another major disadvantage of micromanaging is you will end up losing the trust of the offshore developers because most of the relationships are based on the principle of reciprocity. When someone feels you don’t trust them, you also start losing trust in you. Keep track of how often do you check-in and, most importantly, why?
Ask your team to track their own progress & share timesheets. Tracking progress is one of the best practices for your remote team management without affecting their productivity.
The importance of team management is as evident as ever. The longer your relationship, the fruitful it will be. If you are able to keep the team happy, they will stick with you for years to come.
And this will keep you from having to deal with turnover as it provides consistency in work!