Managing Offshore Engineering teams is another important aspect of many start-ups. If you have been given the job or if you would like to explore using an offshore engineering team you should consider yourself lucky. Expanding your Engineering presence overseas usually means that you are starting to scale the production of your systems, and that usually is a good thing. If this is your first time managing an offshore engineering team know that there are no guarantees of success and that things will go wrong. Managing remote teams is hard enough when you are communicating across town. Now think about a group of people live in a different time zone, speak a different language and have different values than you do.
The key to managing offshore engineering teams is to depend on your ability to develop strong team relationship. People are your company’s greatest asset, not technology. Value and respect you offshore team members, and they will follow suit. Motivation is also vital. Motivation drives your team to perform at their highest level. Though it may not be visible, the qualities of your outsourced team’s project accomplishment or output is proportional to their satisfaction. Make them understand that they are an integral part of your company’s success. Because they are.
Managing Offshore Engineering Teams: Engagement Tips
Provide your team with a clear idea of the mission, vision, and values of your company. Explain how the work they are doing rolls up to support the overall direction and success of the business. Make sure that the offshore engineering team clearly understands the goals and objectives. This will promote accountability. It also allows them to support their professional goals with the success of the project and the company itself.
Communicate the project requirements in a transparent and seamless manner. Never assume that the offshore team will be able to complete the project just by giving them a requirement document. There are times when both parties end up frustrated. This is due to the failure of providing explicit instruction right from the beginning of the project. Ensure that you’ve exhausted all possible channels of communication. Make sure that the requirements, designs, and objectives are also clearly interpreted or communicated. This will eliminate further hassles and problems when managing an offshore engineering team.
Keep the team involved. Equip the team with webcams; it is better to have a face-to-face conversation. If you are using Scrum, include the offshore team into your daily stand-ups.
Make room for significant learning curves. When you are managing offshore engineering teams, make sure to over communicate the past lessons learned by you in the business so they can avoid the previous pitfalls. This will also help them understand the personalities of your existing management team and feel connected. Remember it may be a lot easier for an offshore engineering team member to understand the business processes than it is to comprehend and adapt to your corporate culture.
Managing offshore engineering teams require you to be flexible on when you communicate. Respect their time and culture. Your time zone may be different from theirs. They may be working when you are asleep and vice versa. Similarly, their culture is likely far different from yours. It pays to learn and comprehend what things are important to them. This can be social culture as well as professional culture.
Always remember to recognize their achievements. Even small victories call for a celebration. Usually, the outsource team invests blood, sweat, and tears into their products. Showing your appreciation of their talents will likely encourage them to do better the next time around. This will make managing an offshore engineering team a breeze.
Listen. Observe. Adapt. You should always bear these three important words in mind if you want to develop a strong offshore team that can help your business thrive.
Probably the best tip when it comes to managing offshore engineering teams is to take the time to visit your team in their offices and have a real face–to-face meeting and when you do not go empty handed. Bring Shirts with the company logo, Pens, Hats, Mugs, whatever you have.
Lastly, If you can swing it, bring some stock options with you or some bonus checks. Embrace the team as part of your own because they are.