Archive for the ‘Offshoring, Outsourcing’ Category

Top 10 tips to manage an offshore project

In no order of preference, but all of these are necessary for the success of any offshore web project.

1) Create clear and detailed requirements – Make sure you outline every single detail down to the smallest error or success message language.

2) Create a plan with milestones and checkpoints every week – Do not leave a project hanging for 10 weeks only to discover that not much has been done. Create clear milestones every single week.

3) Get someone who understands the language and culture of the country or region you are offshoring to.

4) Email and chat communication is not as effective as phone communication.

5) Ask for confirmation at each step. Example: Once you’ve explained something, ask for confirmation that they have understood it clearly.

6) Start with a small project before you use them for larger projects to test the waters out.

7) Make sure your offshore team can communicate well. If not, get a different team because you will have severe problems down the line.

8) Establish clear channels of communication with your team, set regular meetings and be available to your team.
9) Recognize extraordinary individuals quickly and have them lead the project

10) Spend some time understanding the culture of the place you are offshoring to.

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Top 3 tips on effective Offshoring

There are several articles and blog posts on this topic – however I believe I have a different perspective given that I’ve been on both sides of the equation. For two years, I worked offshore on a development team before moving to the US to manage an offshore development team.

My tips on effective offshoring will give you a different perspective on the following topics you must consider for effective offshoring.

GET A GRIP ON THE CULTURE

This is the first thing you have to consider for successful offshoring. It is extremely important to understand the culture of the country or region you are offshoring your work to. For example: People in India are not very outspoken by nature and you generally have to coerce them into giving an opinion. So the way to get around this is to specifically ask for an opinion every time you need it and not expect that you will get one automatically (because chances are that you won’t). Another way to get around this is to find a partner that understands the culture better than you do to manage the offshore team. This yields splendid results in terms of bridging the culture gap.

COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE

Communication is the key to success of any offshore project.

— Repeat your most important things at-least three times – and via multiple channels. Say it on the phone, outline it in your requirements, put it in an email – whatever. But make sure you mention all your important things at least three times.

— Set clear goals and directions and make sure they are understood.

— Get a resource that understands the language of the offshore country and have that person manage the offshore team.

— Keep in touch regularly via email, phone, chat, video etc.

EXPECTATIONS

This tip is about managing your expectations. Offshore teams will not perform to the same potential as your resident team no matter how hard you try. You can get it to work great but it will never be 100%. Do not start off with this expectation and plan to get to 50% comparitive efficiency over a period of 3 months. Manage and plan for this.

That’s it for now. More coming soon.