How to Effectively Manage an Outsourced Development Team

It would help if you had a strategy to manage an outsourced team. It must ensure they are productive and aligned with your goals. Good management involves clear communication. It also consists of building solid partnerships, understanding cultures, and conducting regular evaluations. Here are some practical tips to help you successfully manage your outsourced web development team.

Keep in Constant Communication

Working with an outsourced team on a software project requires assigning precise tasks. You also need to track their execution and set deadlines. You must arrange online meetings while adjusting for time zone differences. Many project management software tools are available to streamline this process. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Trello is an intuitive project management tool centered around Kanban boards. It allows users to create thematic boards and tasks and track their progress by moving cards from one list to another. Project managers and team members can also add team members to boards, set due dates, attach files, and make comments.
  • Asana is another user-friendly project management software ideal for managing outsourced projects. It enables creating tasks and subtasks, tracks task execution, assigns tasks to team members, and adds needed attachments, among other features.
  • Wrike allows users to view their projects in real time and track progress. It offers spreadsheets for a big-picture view and to-do lists for planning. It has an embedded time tracker, an activity stream, dynamic Gantt charts, and other useful features for managing team members across time zones.
  • Taiga is a project management tool perfect for agile projects. It offers agile templates for creating sprints and adding user stories with tasks. Users can name a user story, add descriptions, and set the time needed for specific categories like UX, design, front-end, and back-end. They can also choose the progression level and tag the responsible person.
  • Check out our article on seven fantastic project management tools for more information about project management platforms.

Managing an outsourced development team requires constant communication to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Regular check-ins and status updates are crucial for the success of your outsource dev staff. Using the right communication tools and methods helps bridge any gaps that might arise due to geographical separation.

Building a True Partnership

Establishing a true partnership with your outsourced development team is essential for long-term success. This involves trust, transparency, and mutual respect. Treat outsourced developers as an extension of your in-house team. Involve them in critical decisions and appreciate their input. For instance, regular team-building activities can strengthen the bond and enhance collaboration. A genuine partnership can significantly impact the quality of work and the overall project outcome.

Eliminating Cultural Discrepancies

Cultural discrepancies can hinder the effectiveness of an outsourced development team. Understanding and respecting cultural differences is crucial. Provide cultural sensitivity training and encourage open dialogue about cultural norms and expectations. For example, being aware of different holiday schedules and work habits helps plan and coordinate. Addressing cultural differences proactively fosters a more inclusive and harmonious working environment.

Conducting Sprint Reviews

Regular sprint reviews are vital in managing an outsourced development team. These reviews help track progress, identify challenges, and adjust strategies. Use agile methodologies like Scrum to facilitate sprint reviews. For instance, during a sprint review, the team can showcase completed work, receive feedback, and plan the next steps. This iterative process ensures continuous improvement and alignment with project goals.

Organizing Visits and Face-to-Face Meetings

Face-to-face meetings and visits are crucial for building a solid relationship with your outsourcing team. While virtual meetings are convenient, in-person interactions create a deeper connection and trust. Schedule regular visits to the outsourcing company’s location. This lets you meet the team, understand their working environment, and foster a stronger bond.

Building a true partnership with your outsourced software company involves trust, transparency, and mutual respect. Treating the developers from the outsourced software company as an extension of your in-house team is essential. This includes involving them in key decisions and fostering a collaborative environment where their input is valued.

Keeping the Team Motivated

While communication with the team usually pertains to day-to-day tasks and individual responsibilities, contact with the manager is more focused on the bigger picture.

A call with the software delivery manager provides an opportunity to:

  • Discuss the overall outsourcing relationship
  • Share your feedback
  • Evaluate team effectiveness
  • Voice any concerns
  • Address escalated conflicts
  • Discuss business issues
  • Review team composition
  • Decide on scaling the team up or down
  • Talk about plans, including financing prospects and post-MVP development.

You may only cover some of these points in every call, but a brief meeting to confirm everything is on track is valuable. It helps ensure alignment, keeps everyone informed, and provides peace of mind that the project is going well.

To Sum Up

Even if the developers on your project are outsourced and far away, they are still vital team members. They deserve proper treatment. Follow these key recommendations to manage your outsourced team well and get great results. Treat your offshore software provider as a partner. Talk often with your outsourced programmers. Keep their motivation high. Respect and understand their culture. Use a good project management tool. Implement Agile methodology. These practices will help you manage remote teams successfully.

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