Challenges are everywhere, in different forms in every project we work in. It is augmented when a part of the team is working from another part of the globe. Streamlining the process and expectations help develop understanding among the teams and to keep the projects on track.
Onsite-offshore team relationship
Care should be taken to keep and maintain a healthy relationship between the onsite and offshore teams for better productivity. The quality of an outsourced team’s production output is directly responsible for the contentment they have in accomplishing the requirements and demands of the business. It’s the responsibility of the project manager to ensure the onsite team and the offshore team are in sync with respect to time management, distribution of work load, explaining the work style and process, etc.
Following are some of the guidelines that a manager could follow to make sure of a healthy onsite-offshore team relationship:
One team: Most of the projects which have offshore delivery models have teams scattered at different locations, some working at the client’s location as an onsite team and at times there are teams working from the vendor location as an offshore team. Onsite manager’s responsibility is to take along both the teams together without causing any rift between them towards achieving the ultimate goal of delivering quality service on time. It is important for every employee to feel they are working as a single team for a common cause, even if they are divided by geographies or time zones.
Know your team: Knowing the offshore team and showing interest in their work helps develop a stronger bonding between the manager and the team. Weekly and monthly status calls can be scheduled to interact with the team regularly. It might be a tedious job to spend time with the individual members of the team. But every single step taken to know the teammates will help the team grow stronger.
Remove perception barriers: It is very important that the onsite team does not play the role of a customer. Such a role play might create a perception of difference between the onsite team and the offshore team. It is the responsibility of the manager to remove the barrier and encourage direct and clear communication between the clients and the offshore team members.
Crystal clear information: The team working from the offshore should know about the organization, the business, the clients, their requirements and updates about the company.
Hail the success: Be generous with sharing success emails and compliments. The best way to deal with compliments is to praise in public and, criticize in private.
Anticipate: The offshore team members may not bring up critical issues before it is too late. So it is wise to anticipate that they have concerns and always question them proactively. Never take the silence of the offshore team for granted and assume that they have no concerns at all.
Study the process: Each offshore team might have their own process flow. It is important to brainstorm to understand the way the work is processed and completed. Thus, the offshore will be transparent to the onsite team.
Respect the brains: Apart from the operational cost, the main reason why the offshore team is hired is because of the skills and knowledge. They can be brainstormed for tips and ideas in each phase of the project to improve the process. In case of any latency of ideas, trainings and knowledge transfer can be provided so as to be in sync with the onsite team.
Manage time: In most onsite-offshore models, it is seen that work is shared between the onsite and offshore teams, depending on the time zone so that work goes on round the clock. The manager can proactively collect the upcoming vacation dates and plan the process in advance.
A good manager always keeps the spirits of both the onsite and the offshore teams high. The bonding and relationship is well laid and maintained to deliver the project on time.