Team Management

How to Manage an Offshore Team

Farrell Keeling
How to Manage an Offshore Team

In these uncertain times, the need for collaboration is inevitable, though should not be considered limiting for organizations looking to keep ahead of the curve. Of course, just leaving a group of unknown individuals with a list and a virtual pat on the back may be a forlorn attempt at meeting your business objectives.

With the goal of ensuring that your collaboration with an offshore team is successful, this article will explore how best to manage an offshore team remotely and achieve your ambitions.

Do You Even Need Offshore Talent?

Pandemic or no, rising talent shortages in the USA – with there being around one million unfilled IT positions –  mean that most organizations are forced to look beyond the nation’s borders for skilled professionals, either supplementing their existing team via a team extension or outsourcing a project in its entirety.

According to a report from iCIMS, it took an average of 80 days for organizations to hire key development talent in the first five months of 2019. Such gaps in talent can be quite costly, with it being reported that companies lost around $680 in revenue, per talent gap per day.

According to Alex Johnston, Group Vice President at Gartner, “Organizations are competing for skill sets that were previously unheard of but are now in extremely high demand. Simply put, it is harder today than it has ever been to plan for, find and hire the talent we need.”

Gartner Quote

In short, with the gaping chasm of talent shortages in the USA showing no sign of closing, your organization cannot afford to overlook talent overseas – something VUSE can quickly arrange with our team extension services.

We know, it looks like a pretty grim picture being painted here, but there are a number of perks attached with securing offshore talent that you may be unaware of, from a reduction in costs to expediting market deployment, which you can explore further here.

Five Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Offshore Team

Congratulations! You’ve secured an offshore team and you’re chomping at the bit to get started on your ambitious project. However, you’ve come to realize that there are perhaps a few challenges associated with managing an offshore team or team extension. For one, if they’re not directly in the office, under your watchful eye, how do you ensure that your extended team is performing according to your organization’s high standards?

Believe it or not, there are a few simple things (and several slightly more technical things) you can do to effectively manage your offshore team and guarantee a successful and profitable partnership going forward.

1) Invest in Communication

This may seem somewhat obvious a point to make but there are a few intricate details involved that are easy to miss. Firstly, it pays off in the long-run to utilize various software to ensure that, at all times, there is a constant flow of communication between your in-house team and your extended team (particularly given the Covid-enforced reality of remote working).

Slack is a particularly popular tool, which can fulfill all your messaging and file sharing needs. However, it’s critical that you don’t lose sight also of the importance of face-to-face communication, which can be substituted with video conferencing and Skype.

Though VUSE’s Macedonian team are English-proficient and can adapt quickly to your work culture, it’s important to treat them as a part of your team. A great way of doing this is by prioritizing visual communication to build relationships and ensure that your goals and objectives are clearly understood. Engage with them one-to-one – we encourage it!

2) Don’t Micromanage

You could be forgiven for thinking that this contradicts the prior point, however, what we mean by this is that, while it's important to outline your vision to your offshore team, you can fully rely on their expertise to get the job done. While our developers may be significantly cheaper than local developers, they are no less competent.

In short, treat your offshore team like your own remote workers – with trust – and empower them to succeed.

3) Build Your Vision

Once you’ve acquired the right talent for your particular project, it’s important to clearly define the goals you’d like to see accomplished; your offshore team will work best knowing exactly where they fit into your vision. However, remember that while it's necessary to empower your offshore team to be self-dependent, where possible, it's absolutely essential that you set goals that are achievable as well as clear.

4) Utilize Our Technology

We understand that it may be difficult for your organization to put it's full faith in offshore talent when you can’t manage them as directly as you might a traditional workforce. You want your offshore team to be accountable for their tasks and performing to the high standards that you’ve come to expect from your own in-house team.

Here at VUSE, not only is our hiring and setup process completely transparent, but with our client dashboard and Time Doctor integration software, you can keep track of your developers’ performances to ensure that your offshore team are on top of their tasks.

5) Prioritize Modern Leadership

To ensure a productive relationship with an offshore team, it’s important that your organization empowers leaders who believe in the need for a modern workforce – i.e. one that can effectively coordinate between the offshore and in-house teams and build a culture of collaboration that can deliver on your organization’s ambitions and software development needs.

Where transformation (both digital and cultural) is a fact of life for most organizations hoping to sharpen their competitive edge, it’s important to identify the individuals best-suited to the lead the change and act as an effective lynchpin between your in-house and offshore teams.

Are you ready to build a modern team and take advantage of the expertise of our certified developers? Get in contact with VUSE today to find out more about how a team extension could get you ahead of the competition.

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