Development projects themselves are challenging enough. Throw in hundreds or even thousands of miles between you and your team of experts and there is bound to be something that goes wrong.
Outsourcing is the process of finding, hiring, and working with a third party service provider. Managers are understandably concerned with productivity of employees they cannot see. Managing an outsourced workforce requires balance and needs strong communication and trust.
When you’re managing a remote team of outsourced workers, no matter the industry, staying connected and communicating efficiently is key. Here are 3 tips to successfully managing an outsourced workforce.
Communicate Clear Expectations
Your outsourced team can only work with what has been provided to them. By giving detailed expectations of the project and what will be conducted, you can ensure everyone is working from the same plan. Include goals, timelines, and how the deliverables that outsourced workforce will be responsible for.
Make sure to clearly communicate any developments within the project, changes to staff or in the overall strategy. The passing of frequent communication back and forth between you and your team ensures a successful project outcome. It is important that directives and expectations are repeated and confirmed to avoid misunderstanding.
As a manager, make sure you are including outsourced team members in all project and collaboration meetings. They need to feel like they are part of the team also. Having meetings with all your staff, both internal and outsourced, makes it easy for everyone to stay on the same page and keep on task. With outsourced workforce in different time zones, it can be easy to forget to add them to a meeting invite or make them feel like they are outsiders.
Meetings with only on-site team members creates a path of miscommunication and can set you up for failure. When you don’t include outsourced team members, you sacrifice the opportunity to receive necessary feedback and can impact teamwork.
Using an intranet or project management system allows you to stay easily connected in real-time. Instead of sending project requests or changes by email, try using face-to-face technology like Zoom or Teams.
Ensure Outsourced Workforce Understands Your Company Goals
Outsourced team members should not only understand how they contribute to a project, but also their role in furthering the company’s goals and objectives. Having an understanding of the “big picture” makes your outsourced workforce better equipped to successfully carry out a project. Numerous training sessions don’t mean anything if you have not communicated your company goals with your new outsourced workforce. The more information you share about your business, the more you can ensure outsourced staff is aligned with you and can provide concrete value to both your project and your team.
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