Working with an offshore development team has become more common than years ago based on the arrangement’s many benefits, even at the lowest cost. Having decided what team of offshore developers to use, the next step is to figure out how to manage the team. Wondering how to go about managing offshore teams? You should know that it goes beyond dishing out instructions to the team members. Managing offshore development teams requires setting clear and achievable goals, setting excellent lines of communication, ensuring proper feedback, and even motivating the team. It’s a whole long list.
5 Tips on Managing Offshore Teams
Hiring offshore development teams comes with difficulties like language barriers, time zone differences, and cultural barriers. These barriers may make dealing with offshore developers a little tasking; here is why these tips will help you in managing offshore teams effectively.
1 . Make the goal clear:
When discussing with your team of offshore developers, make it clear to them what the goal of the business is. To handle the assigned project you give them, they must understand the goal.
To make the goal clear to them, you must ensure proper communication. Be direct with instructions, and make them as straightforward as possible. To simplify your message for easy understanding, use pictures and videos, especially if they do not speak your language fluently. Also, a skeletal framework works well. If you are building a website, the webmaster must provide a framework of how the website should look. The framework should be detailed, so it is important to have every other talent working on the website on board. The UI/UX expert should know the big picture of the website’s front end; while the programmer works on the backend. The information must be cohesive, clear, and easy to understand.
2 . Supervision, not micromanagement:
One mistake you can easily make while trying to manage your team is to micromanage them in the name of supervising them. When you micromanage your team, you show them that you do not trust them to deliver just as you want, which can jeopardize things.
You are not wrong to want to see how things are going, but the approach matters. Rather than being the constant supervisor, you can select a senior developer to do that, and only ask for updates at designated periods, for example, at the end of each day. You should also ensure that you provide help on matters only when you are asked and not when you feel you are needed.
3 . Treat them as your team:
Another great point to note on how to manage offshore development teams is how you treat them. You should make sure that you treat every one of your offshore developers as a part of your team. Psychologically, people are more inclined to perform better in places where they feel the most welcomed.
Little acts like including them in the work process, meeting with them regularly, and constantly communicating with them will help motivate their spirits—which is something a team needs. Do not cease to applaud team members that perform well. Positive feedback will help the performing team member push harder; it will also help low-performing team members reach their potential.
4 . Acknowledge a well-done job:
To effectively manage offshore developers, it is essential for you to acknowledge that your team has done well. Appreciation goes a long way in improving the efforts of an individual or a group; therefore, when you applaud your team for a job well done, you boost their morale to do more jobs well.
You can go about this acknowledgment by giving appreciation speeches at the end of each week or when a significant improvement is noticed. Raises and bonuses, especially when earned, are excellent motivators.
5 . Give room for feedback:
When it comes to offshore development management, hearing from your team is paramount. There should be room for feedback from the offshore developers. Feedback lets you know what challenges they may have and what to improve. Listening to the developers has many positive effects—on you and the project.
Not only does giving room for feedback help the offshore developers feel empowered, but it also helps you understand them, their problems and, and navigate smoother work paths for them. Feedback can be given via email, filling out a form, or by meeting (virtually or physically).
In the development of a project, success goes beyond hiring the best teams. Success also involves being able to manage the team, despite the challenges associated with working with groups. Cultural barriers, communication barriers, and differences in time zones are commonly associated with working with an offshore development team, but with open-mindedness, clear goals, and an excellent work environment—mentally and physically, you can bring out the best in your offshore development team.
Managing offshore teams tests your leadership ability; however, with the right mindset and persistent drive, you will take a project and successfully move it from idea inception to project launch.
Author Bio – Mohd Zaid Mansoori is an SEO enthusiast currently managing a few technology blogs and working as a freelance outreach specialist. In his free time, he likes to read books and play games.