How To Communicate With The Outsourced Development Team?
The rising era of remote collaboration has contributed to the prevalence of outsourcing practices. However, working with an outsourced team might hold drawbacks in terms of communication.
Why effective communication with the outsourced development team is essential:
Communication in different time zones and regions is the root cause of several problems including misunderstanding and low productivity of the company and the outsourced team.
In contrast, implementing effective communication will be the firm foundation for businesses to nurture the growth and belonging sense of the outsourced team, in which divergent thinking and potential are approaches to boost productivity.
Define clear and practical business goals
Before heading to the main working processes, setting clear goals and expectations is a first and foremost requirement. Regarding the specifications of the project development and the outsourcing role, expectations and goals are set up providing a comprehensive picture of the working process. This step allows the outsourced development team to be aware of what they are working towards to meet the business demands.
Apparently, team working spirit is well facilitated to nurture the belonging sense in a huge organization and avoid a strained atmosphere. As a result, it gradually becomes a motivation for the outsourcing team to achieve results with ease.
Evaluate vendor background
Given the remote collaboration, building trust is a must to cultivate healthy collaboration by conducting research about outsourced team backgrounds. Based on its client showcases and feedback, businesses can easily learn a lot about a vendor's reputation including experience, specialist knowledge, and technical skills before making outsourcing decisions. This approach will pave the way for both the vendor and business to mutual respect and partnership that have the ability to determine the final outcome of the project.
Understand cultural differences and language barriers
Although the arrival of outsourcing has become prevalent in various industries, a large number of businesses failed to adopt it due to cultural and language obstacles. Hence, talking over the agreements in terms of working time zones and methodologies thoroughly is important before making outsourcing decision.
Apparently, adopting the same development methodologies can help both the company and outsourced team overcome cultural differences. Furthermore, to minimize language barriers, the company should set up clear goals and utilize visual presentations for everyone to easily understand.
Set preferred communication channels
The changing landscape of business has called numerous communication channels into existence, especially for remote collaboration, which are generally divided into 4 categories:
Since the outsourced team usually has multiple emails for different purposes, setting up one main email would help orderly organize the email correspondence.
Designed to plan and monitor productivity, the calendar takes the responsibility to arrange events and activities, including appointments, assessments, demonstrations, or retrospectives in chronological order.
In addition, calendar and email are in sync to ensure well-organized working operations. For instance, the email will notify any changes in schedule following the allocated time in the calendar.
Document repository provides shared storage space with different access levels of approved team members. Moreover, it also indicates a flexible search engine allowing quick access for the outsourced development team to any existing data or documents in a minute.
Project management tools
The rising outsourcing practice is full of various project management tools but not all of them are effective in tracking the working progress. Thus, it is important to list out and undergo extensive trials to get the right choices that are in accordance with business demands before outsourcing. Here are some popular management platforms that your business should take into consideration: Slack, Trello, Monday, or Google Workspace.
Foster communication frequency
After choosing suitable communication channels, both business and the outsourced team are encouraged to maintain a weekly or bi-weekly standup meeting. By sticking with this approach, it will actively facilitate the team spirit, in which every member can dig deeper into others' pinpoints and keep track of the project's progress or milestone.
Give and ask for feedback
Given the fact that communication is a two-way process, both the company and outsourced team are required to give an ear to each other, carefully collect or jot down information and be eager to adjust for effective collaboration. According to Forbes survey in 2016, 65% of employees wish to have more feedback for their performance, in which motivations will be well facilitated.
Businesses can give feedback based on the B.I.F.F models (Behaviour - Impact - Feelings - Future):
First and foremost, be specific about the events, tasks, or behaviours, in which employees are involved. Hence, the company can elaborate more on what they have observed and give out feedback or compliment thoroughly.
The next step is to explain how the consequences of the outsourced team's actions influence the company and the project. It is important for businesses to back up with data and evidence, which helps avoid dishonest feedback. This step will allow both parties to understand each other's pain points and disadvantages while collaborating.
In this stage, both the business and the outsourced team can share their real thoughts and feelings towards the given feedback. If the feelings were negative, both parties should explain more to identify the further issue that evoke this feeling and the importance of feedback.
Finally, the business is required to understand the outcome of giving feedback. By learning the importance of feedback and determining what businesses intend to adjust, reinforce or stop, this approach will pave the way for the outsourced team to foster their performance satisfying the business demands and the business to answer the aspirations and rights of all employees in the future.
Keep the outsourced team motivated
Given the long-term benefits of outsourcing, enhancing motivation is essential to boost productivity and trust between both parties. Every project contains different tough times, hence every member should be open and empathic to count on each other. Furthermore, when things get rough or lose track, talking will help shatter the tension and figure out the solutions. Thus, it paves the way for deeper interpersonal relationships and further drive growth.
Communication is a free tool that every business can utilize to reach the best outcome while working with the outsourced team. Even though communication is not as important as technical skill, there would be no success without a hardworking and trustworthy team of experts.