A Guide to Ensuring the Success of Your Offshore Projects

Companies nowadays turn to offshoring in the Philippines to maximize the use of their business dollars, and why not? You know that your product and services are only as good as the people who create them. And more often, the best talents can be found outside your home country.

There are many advantages to hiring professionals outside your home country. Aside from widening your search for the top talents with the perfect skill sets, you’re also allowing your business to be more flexible in terms of manpower and budget while yielding high-quality results. In fact, Deloitte’s 2016 Global Outsourcing Survey found that 78% of companies all over the world feel positive about their relationship with their outsourcing company or offshore team.

However, even if you’re utilizing the most innovative software and communication technology, every project you assign to your offshore team has its own challenges. Therefore, you need to consider the crucial factors and take the necessary steps before asking your recruitment firm to find an offshore team for your business.

Here’s a comprehensive guide that will help you ensure the success of your offshore projects.

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Factors to Consider

Most businesses, primarily offshore business functions, to save on costs and allow their onshore team members to focus on their core business functions instead of being distracted or preoccupied with tasks outside their expertise.

However, a lot of businesses fail to realize the success of their projects simply because they didn’t consider important factors before they recruited or hired an offshore team. There are some things you need to consider when it comes to offshoring crucial business tasks, whether that’s marketing, customer service, manufacturing, data processing, or other business functions.

Consider the offshore company’s size so that you can determine and assess whether they’re capable of handling projects of the same scale as yours. Some offshore teams give the impression that they are capable of the delivering the requirements despite not having the right amount of people who are skilled in that niche.

As a result, deliverables are delayed, or the quality of work is subpar. Check their portfolio or past projects if they’ve worked with a similar client or project in the past.

More importantly, find out about their price and the associated costs or hidden fees to make sure that the offshore team you’re partnering up with offers the best deal.

 

Tips for Onshore Teams to Ensure a Successful Offshore Project

Remote working is on the rise—with the collaboration and productivity tools and software abound. They make it easier for businesses to work with offshore teams smoothly and seamlessly. Despite the availability of video conferencing, collaborating with people who aren’t in the same office as you isn’t as easy as you may think.

Remember, you’re working with people who didn’t grow up in the same city or country as you and your onshore team did. Chances are, they hold different values, culture, beliefs. They have a different communication style, so there may be information and instructions lost in translation.

Assigning a point person from the onshore and offshore team will help ensure effective communication. The lines need to be strong and open between each point person to ensure that directions are properly received and interpreted, problems are resolved, and responsibility is appropriately delegated.

 

What Onshore Teams Should Do

To prevent any problems and ensure success, make sure that your recruitment firm understands what kind of project you’re offshoring and what kind of expertise you need for it. This strategy helps you find the top talents with the right skills and professional background.

Make time and plan for a mutual understanding of the work and its requirements. This can be done even before contracts are signed, or a particular offshore team is chosen. Set up meetings or conference calls to ensure that everybody is on the same page. In most instances, it doesn’t just take one meeting, but a series of meetings where each party raises concerns and questions.

Define the overall purpose of the project and how it fits into your organization’s goals and vision. Then, break down the project into smaller, simpler tasks for a much clearer demarcation of roles and responsibilities.

Determine the specific software, hardware, tools, and resources needed for each task. Audit what’s available and outline what still needs to be acquired or sourced out. Productivity software, communication systems, data processing tools, and the like may or may not be readily available for either party.

Document everything during these meetings to ensure that agreements are all in black and white. When workflows, costs, fees, and roles have been properly delineated, draw up a contract or SLA to ensure that both parties have a clear understanding of the project requirements and expectations.

One of the chief concerns of businesses when offshoring is the lack of visibility into the progress of the offshore team. So, it’s also important to determine the metrics and tracking systems to allow the onshore team to visualize what’s being completed.

Implement a strong communication protocol that will allow you to align your project tasks and goals regularly. Some companies have weekly meetings or video conferences with their offshore team to ensure that everybody stays on track and is delivering what’s expected from them. This will also help prevent miscommunication and misunderstandings.

 

It’s important for businesses to recognize that projects assigned to offshore teams are different from those with team members and resources that are co-located. Note that offshore projects need to be managed differently. If your project is managed appropriately, you can maximize the productivity and growth opportunities that an offshore team offers.

If done right, using an offshore team for some or most of your business functions can allow your business to grow and expand at a quicker pace, and at a fraction of the cost of hiring an in-house team.

Ron Cullimore