How to Manage Your Offshore Teams

Globally, companies are increasingly relying on outsourcing their IT services to hit targets and meet growing customer expectations. By outsourcing complex development projects to expert offshore teams,, businesses can make better use of their internal resources and improve their overall agility.

While there is a lot to be said about the benefits of bringing in offshore teams, there are a few challenges that a manager might expect to run into in the process. By anticipating these challenges ahead of time, it’s possible to prevent them from getting out of hand.

Offshore Teams


Why Hire an Offshore Team?


Using offshore teams might seem like a complicated endeavour, but it’s still very worthwhile. For one thing, outsourcing a large-scale project to a team with plenty of experience will be far more time-efficient than training staff in-house. When you are relying on people who know what they’re doing and have previously completed similar work, your project can only benefit and the odds of success increase. It’s also worth mentioning that by outsourcing to an offshore team, you are likely to decrease expenses as you won’t have to hire full-time employees to do the job for you; saving on salaries and employee benefits.

To ensure the team you hire is of the highest quality, start narrowing down your search sooner rather than later. You can do so by looking into outsourcing organisations in countries such as Vietnam where the IT outsourcing industry is going from strength to strength.


7 Top Tips to Manage Your Offshore Team Effectively


Working with an offshore team isn’t like working with in-house employees and there are several factors you’ll need to consider if you want to make outsourcing work at its very best. Here are our seven top tips to help you make that happen.


1. Get Everyone on the Same Page


Offshore Teams

It doesn’t matter where the team is based, who they are, or what the project is. Unless everyone is on the same page from the jump, your offshore team is unlikely to get the results you’re expecting from them. So, from the get-go, you must share your vision and long-term goals for the project in the clearest possible terms.

You can do this through a conference call, a presentation, or a project charter, but whatever your approach, remember to be specific. Without clear communication, how can you expect your offshore team to apply themselves to their responsibilities in the right way or achieve the results you want them to achieve?


2. Account for Time Differences


Offshore Teams

When you hire a team from Vietnam or another global outsourcing powerhouse, it’s important to keep time zones in mind. There will be times in your working day where your contractors are off the clock and vice versa. It’s best to ensure there are always at least a few hours of overlap each day and make it clear that people from both sides should be available during that period.

There are also likely to be development meetings and brainstorming sessions that your offshore team will need to be involved in. If you plan accordingly and communicate well, you make it far more likely that there will be full participation in every session.


3. Create a Solid Project Strategy


Offshore Teams

This one might sound obvious, but with the right project strategy, the delivery of your outsourced projects is far more likely to be successful. So, break your strategy down into stages, giving an indication of the timeframe each stage should be completed within before allocating resources and delegating responsibility for every stage of the project.

You may need to hold a meeting with your in-house and offshore teams to figure out the best strategy for each step.


4. Appoint a Project Manager


Offshore Teams

When you have a lot on your plate already, managing an offshore team yourself is likely to pull you away from other pressing responsibilities. It might, therefore, be worth hiring or allocating an in-house project manager. This person should be responsible for overseeing the delivery of the project and the hands-on management of the team.

If your offshore team is going to be working with you for the foreseeable future and on a variety of projects, then a local team leader might be more appropriate in the long term. To decide what is right for you, think about how much more responsibility you can afford to shoulder and ask yourself whether someone else might be better placed to directly lead a team of offshore staff.


5. Understand Your Team’s Work Culture


Offshore Teams

Your offshore team will probably have a different work culture from yours. As such, you should take the time to understand the overall working culture of the country they are from and speak to each team you are considering to determine their attitudes towards work. Just as when you are hiring a new in-house employee, it’s important to make sure your offshore team is a good fit.

Similarly, the team needs to learn about your company’s culture too, including the values it adheres to and its overall mission. Doing so will help to align both in-house and offshore workers and make for more successful end results.

6. Touch Base Regularly


Offshore Teams

Communication is key when working with offshore teams. From start to finish, you need to communicate objectives and keep your offshore workers up-to-date with strategy and goal-related changes. Progress should also be discussed frequently, ideally during regular catch-up sessions via Zoom, Skype, or a similar teleconferencing tool.

Sometimes, language barriers can get in the way of effective communication. But, if you keep your use of language simple and avoid analogies that don’t translate well, there is far less

chance of a miscommunication occurring. And, if you want to be sure your points have been understood, ask the team to explain them back to you.


7. Keep Your Team Motivated


Offshore Teams

Motivation is essential if you want to get good results. If you don’t give your workers an incentive to do well, they probably won’t work to the best of their ability regardless of whether they are in-house or offshore. Thankfully, with these seven top tips, you’ll find that you have plenty of opportunities to motivate and inspire your offshore teams.


The Key to Managing Offshore Teams Successfully


There is no one single thing you need to do to manage offshore teams successfully. There are, however, several approaches and best practices you’ll need to implement if you want to work efficiently across borders.

From practical considerations such as making time differences work to more personal concerns surrounding mutual understanding, managing an offshore team effectively hinges on the power of simple actions.


To learn more about Offshore teams, contact our friendly team today!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can managers effectively assess the cultural fit of potential offshore teams to ensure alignment with their company’s work culture and values?

Managers can effectively assess the cultural fit of potential offshore teams by conducting thorough interviews and discussions with team members from different cultural backgrounds. This process should involve probing questions about work habits, communication styles, and attitudes towards collaboration. Additionally, managers can request references from previous clients or employers to gain insights into how well the offshore team integrates with diverse work cultures. By prioritising cultural alignment during the selection process, managers can ensure a smoother integration of the offshore team with their company’s values and work culture.

2. What strategies can be implemented to maintain high levels of motivation and engagement among offshore team members, particularly considering the challenges of remote communication and cultural differences?

To maintain high levels of motivation and engagement among offshore team members, managers can implement several strategies. Firstly, they can establish clear goals and expectations, providing a sense of purpose and direction for the team. Regular communication, including virtual meetings and updates, helps to foster a sense of connection and belonging, despite physical distance. Recognising and rewarding achievements, whether through verbal praise, bonuses, or other incentives, reinforces positive behaviors and encourages continued effort. Moreover, creating opportunities for professional development and growth demonstrates a commitment to the team’s long-term success, motivating team members to invest in their work and contribute to the project’s success.

3. In what ways can businesses adapt their project management strategies to accommodate the unique dynamics of offshore teams, such as coordinating across different time zones and ensuring effective communication channels?

Businesses can adapt their project management strategies to accommodate the unique dynamics of offshore teams by implementing several key practices. Firstly, they should establish a robust communication plan that accounts for time zone differences and ensures regular interaction between onshore and offshore team members. This may involve scheduling overlapping working hours, utilising asynchronous communication tools, and setting clear expectations for response times. Additionally, adopting agile project management methodologies, such as Scrum or Kanban, allows for greater flexibility and adaptability in response to changing priorities or requirements. Finally, appointing a dedicated project manager or team leader who can serve as a liaison between the onshore and offshore teams helps to facilitate coordination, resolve issues, and maintain alignment with project goals.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Scroll to Top