Every business owner wants to maintain control of his or her company and to run it efficiently. All company resources should be utilized with maximum productivity and minimum idle time. IT specialists should be assigned projects according to their skills and experience, and given a sufficient workload with clear and efficient work procedures.
These goals can be achieved with relative ease for employees working in the local office. Outsourcing, however, is often viewed by the client as a black box with mysterious rules and internal processes. Naturally, this makes him or her apprehensive.
This concern is mitigated by integrating the remote vendor’s team into the client’s team as tightly as possible. Modern communication and collaboration platforms allow businesses to achieve precisely such a high level of integration. The widely used Agile methodologies enhance communication and interaction between the teams, and new team members can be easily added to an Agile team, regardless of where they are located.
As the COVID pandemic enters its second year, remote work is no longer a barrier. Working with the remote vendor’s team can feel just like working with your local employees who connect from home, with the same level of control and supervision. All management and supervision practices that apply to one’s employees working from home are applicable to the remote vendor’s staff, also.
Depending on the vendor’s team size and structure, it can be beneficial to assign a dedicated team lead or manager on the vendor’s side. This will optimize communication between the teams and speed up the resolution of many work issues that may arise.
It is important that the vendor’s team track and report its work time and get client approval regularly. This prevents potential misunderstandings in the future. The easiest and the most straightforward way to do that is for the vendor’s team to use the client’s time reporting tool.
Also worth mentioning here is a fixed-price project execution model that doesn't require a high level of integration between the teams. In this business model, the relations between the client and the vendor are strictly defined by the project requirements and the contract, so lack of control is not a concern.
At Solead, we have introduced the following practices to address client concerns relating to control over the remote team and its work:
In our upcoming post #3, we will address another important concern — loss of product and technology knowledge. Come back to us soon.