Outsourcing: management tips

Outsourcing: management tips
Why choose outsourcing?
With globalization and new means of communication, outsourcing and freelancing are riding a wave of popularityRobert M. Monczka, fromthe University of Michigan called outsourcing the main factor in the growth of the US and Japanese economies; European companies are also increasingly attracting external teams.

Outsourcing allows clients to reduce costs, find the best specialists from all over the world, and grow  fast and efficiently. Potential risks include loss of control and a chaotic work style. As you can see, the risks lie in the field of team building and management processes, so they can be neutralized with the help of competent management.
Remote command management is different from a similar command located on-site. In addition to the physical separation and greater dependence on written communication, the remote team often speaks several languages, has a different mentality.
We have collected the main secrets of outsourcing management so that you can build your own dream team .

Choosing the right employees

To be successful in the outsourcing market, an employee must fit two key categories: be a "doer" as a worker and be independent . The largest companies in London, Singapore and Hong Kong select their staff according to these criteria.
Who is a “doer”? This is an expert in his specific niche, ready to work “in the field". Such a person does not always have leadership qualities, does not always understand the importance of contributing to a common cause, but will work flawlessly.
Independence implies a high level of responsibility for your part of the project. The employee raises all the potential problems in advance, prepares updates and reports on time.
Other required skills include the ability to communicate (especially in text format), friendliness, work experience (outsourcing is advised to attract strong middle developers, it is better for beginners to gain experience in the office) and the desire to grow as a professional.

The importance of corporate culture
A remote team saves resources, especially in the HR field. However, the importance of corporate culture cannot be ignored! If you hire an outsourcing team, integrate it into your team; if you are an outsourcer team leader, create and promote team building.
The advice is of practical importance: without mutual understanding, communication will be delayed, employees will not understand how the team functions and how responsibility is distributed. This will lead to time and material losses.

Online and offline meetings are key for the remote team. The most popular applications are Skype or Google Hangouts, although the best platform may depend on the size of your team (large projects are better gathered in Zoom).
Don't forget to bring feeling  into your interactions. Even emojis in chats can be useful to create a relaxed atmosphere.
If it’s possible, organize meetings offline, arrange team building trips, create interest groups, and remember to acknowledge the developers birthdays. Corporate merch is welcome, just try to make it useful  and offbeat.

Creating a virtual office
There are a number of elements that are necessary for collaboration and to maintain control. These are:
  • applications for general communication, such as messenger groups and video conference rooms
  • digital workspace where everyone sees the project as a whole and tracks their results (applications like Trello and other task trackers). 
  • common workflow, thanks to the availability of cloud storage

Setting priorities
Strategic point: both the external team and customers should clearly understand which points of the project are critical. Select them, familiarize the team with this list, and personally monitor its implementation. If the team sees the prioritization, then at a critical moment, people focus on the key goals, and the details can be adjusted over time.

Every dream, even the most fabulous, has a real prototype – “Create a social network, more convenient than Facebook”. If you are doing something unique as a class, which has no equivalent , make an associative connection. For example, we will create something that should be like McDonald's, but for developers. That is, a simple interface, for  mass users, quick and efficient. So your product is down to earth and the team sees what you want and does the job efficiently.

Clear distribution of responsibilities
Remote teams work better when everyone's role is clear. For productive work, ambiguous interpretations of the specifications are unacceptable, each task should be described as concisely and clearly as possible.

Deadlines, checkpoints, and meetings are obligatory for everyone. No exceptions. Time trackers can also help. There is no progress if a work environment is barely proactive.

Performance evaluation
Define clear criteria for evaluating employee performance and familiarize each employee with them. Whether it is how many hours worked per day, or number of completed  tasks.
Evaluate the results in public, in the presence of all colleagues. Formally, such an assessment is carried out twice per project, but the manager must monitor the progress of the team on a daily basis!

Iterative approach
A good project manager always leads the team not in a circle, but in a spiral, thanks to integration (process improvement): each cycle of the process is analyzed and optimized. On a new project, the same cycle is repeated, but it has already been processed, new tools are implemented , priorities and deadlines are set differently, the needs  of employees and the client's feedback are taken into account.

If you have not yet decided on outsourcing, the time has come! The success of your remote team will be ensured by a corporate culture, virtual office, clear specifications and KPIs, joint iterations and constant monitoring of results.
You can assemble a team using the FoxTail project. If your deadlines are tight  or an irreplaceable employee suddenly quits or you need a specialized professional – don’t hesitate to reach us. We will assemble your dream team for outsourcing / outstaffing in three days. We recruit only trusted employees with verified qualifications , satisfaction guaranteed.