Outstaffed teams are a strategic solution in today’s fast-paced IT landscape, tackling the priority trilemma commonly faced in software development: speed, quality, and cost. Even industry giants like Google, Apple, and Microsoft have successfully harnessed the power of outstaffing, paving the way for other organizations to follow suit.
Managing outstaffed teams successfully allows you to: adjust output to match scalability requirements, etain vetted candidates with specific skills-set, and optimize workflow and enhance software development lifecycle.
So, if you’re eyeing to partner with an outstaffed team, how do you get the most out of it while enhancing the experience of both parties? Your best bet is to employ an effective outstaffed team management strategy that drives productivity and steers the organization towards its overarching goals. That said, start with these outstaffed team management tips.
Provide adequate training and resources
Outstaffed team members may need additional training and resources, depending on the nature of the project at hand, as well as their capabilities. While there are many training areas that you can focus on, you'll effectively manage the remote staff if you begin with the following:
Provide an orientation session during onboarding to teach the new employees your organization’s culture, values, and goals. Moreover, you can use the moment to introduce key figures and an overview of the brand’s digital solution to help new staff feel more connected to the company.
Help your team learn new skills to complete the project efficiently and on time. Prepare a technical training course that covers all the tools, software, and technology that will be used to speed up the project or automate redundant tasks.
Grant access to resources
Set up roles, access, and permissions guiding how remote employees should use company resources to fulfill their roles. It will help if the augmented staff uses the same resources as the in-house team for consistency.
Soft skills training
93% of employers acknowledge that soft skills are essential when making hiring decisions as they foster strong relationships and promote teamwork. Spend time training your new staff on in-demand soft skills like communication, leadership, management, and problem-solving.
Building strong team dynamics is key
Team dynamics refers to the behavioral relationships between members of your remote engagement model. It is a broader term that encompasses how the outstaffed team communicates, interacts, and shares objectives. Building strong team dynamics translates to seamless collaboration, transparent communication, and positive synergies for setting future goals and working toward them.
Moreover, desirable team dynamics are integral in fostering a prime environment for creativity and innovation, ensuring that remote employees best serve the needs and goals of your organization. In the long haul, you get to work with a fully engaged team that steers everyone in the same direction.
While dealing with human behaviors can sometimes push you into an awkward position, you can always influence positive dynamics right from the onset when onboarding the new team. To do this, you can:
• Promote participative leadership instead of undermining the group’s sense of ownership, trust, and confidence.
• Encourage consensus decision-making processes to harness the creative power of multiple minds and avoid peer-driven decisions.
• Create an environment of trust and openness to inculcate a culture of honesty and transparency.
• Establish a shared purpose and ensure everyone is on board • Embrace diversity and inclusion to tap into different thoughts and ideas for a cross-functional team with a more creative and innovative mindset
• Lead by example—show the willingness to accept and rectify mistakes or change course to seize opportunities and learn from poor decisions
Maintain regular check-ins and feedback
Like your in-house employees, remote augmented staff members could benefit from regular check-ins and constructive feedback to improve and realign their approaches with project requirements and business expectations. Although you can achieve this through regular meetings with everyone onboard, you’ll hardly get desirable results if you treat it like a mere formality.
So, how do you go about it? Here are some outstaffed team management tips for regular check-ins and constructive feedback:
Add social elements to the meetings
Kick off daily meetings with an engaging online activity or quick icebreaker to create an atmosphere for social interaction. This will prompt members to openly discuss how they are doing through personal stories or updates.
Keep the attendance list exclusive
The fewer the number of attendees in the meeting, the more time everyone gets to participate and present the status of their tasks. According to the Scrum Guide, an effective check-in meeting should have at most nine attendees.
Create time for feedback
It will help if you make time for feedback at the end of every meeting. Alternatively, you can use various collaboration tools, such as Rate The Meeting, Google Forms, or Hypercontext, to collect feedback afterward, especially when many people are in attendance.
Leverage a template for daily meetings
Use a visual template that highlights every meeting’s agenda for team members to fall back on whenever presenting their achievements, questions, or concerns. This makes it easy to follow up on the matters at the end of the meeting.
Foster a positive culture
While 13% of HR leaders believe that employees strongly share an organization's work culture, it’s fair to acknowledge that the situation gets a bit tricky with outstaffed teams. This can be due to many reasons, including limited control if the members are spread in multiple geographical locations, poor integration or feeling of isolation, and divergent objectives or priorities.
And while it’s true that CTOs may not have the time to personally interact with everyone on the outstaffed team, it is the responsibility of key decision-makers to foster inclusive behavior and cohesive work culture at all organization touchpoints. According to Gartner VP and analyst Suzanne Adnams, fostering positive workplace behaviors can help organizations establish consistent and strategy-aligned values for all-around success.
To achieve this, it will help if you look beyond the traditional ways of inculcating company culture. For instance, you can follow these steps:
• Share consistent, core organization values: objectively evaluate your daily behavior and decisions and model them to embody broader organization goals and desired culture.
• Comprehend and influence employee mindsets: take the “open source” approach to foster a safe environment where remote employees can share their mindset and inculcate inclusive culture.
• Align tools, practices, and processes with company values: implement this tactical cultural awareness hack to break the cycle of unwanted behavior and reinforce desired routines.
Address cultural differences effectively
Managing outstaffed teams successfully extends to understanding that remote employees come from diverse cultural backgrounds. Unless you address this disparity effectively, the collaboration may result in frequent conflicts or misunderstandings and, ultimately, total failure. For instance, employees who come from cultures that take a more egalitarian approach towards authority may not highly value their superiors as expected.
Similarly, different cultures have varying styles of communication, which can create collaboration bottlenecks. Also, team members with varying levels of fluency in s shared language will likely misunderstand each other, resulting in communication breakdowns.
While it can be tempting to influence the employees with your culture, that is not always a prudent approach. Instead, take the following measures to address the cultural differences effectively:
• Be caring and open-minded about cultural practices regardless of nationality or geolocation—play this to your advantage and build a truly diverse and inclusive team.
• Demonstrate a sensitive mindset towards religious consciousness and respect it—even better, you can ingrain it into the product philosophy if it's consistent with brand values.
• Always try to match the social standards of the region you’re hiring from in terms of compensation—for instance, you include employer benefits if it's the norm in their countries.
• Be mindful of cultural days and national holidays to show your team that you value their culture and nationality—alternatively, issue special rates for those who wish to work during their holidays.
Manage the time zone difference
Working from different time zones can take a toll on your collaboration with outstaffed teams in many ways. While you might offer the best development tools and resources, the time zone difference can undermine tight coordination or hinder effective communication. In the long haul, the team will hardly sync or become cohesive to drive mutual goals.
To avoid this, you can employ the following strategies:
• Take a smart hiring approach: recruit candidates in overlapping time zones and set them to work in flexible shifts. This will not only enhance their experience but also power your project around the clock for faster time to market.
• Leverage an agreed-upon online calendar tool: online calendar tools, such as Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook, can help project managers coordinate online meetings effectively while factoring in time zone differences.
• Specify and emphasize requirements as much as possible: take an agile approach to avoid the risks of excessive upfront analysis—this ensures that individual team members can execute their tasks as independently as possible.
• List down all public holidays: understanding the public holidays of your outstaffed team members paves the way for careful planning beforehand to avoid interruptions and ensure that deadlines are met regardless of time differences.
Leverage project management tools
Hands-on project management is critical in overseeing remote augmented teams and enhancing project success. In fact, the Project Management Institute (PMI) notes that up to 67% of projects fail, especially in organizations that underestimate the essence of project management as a key driver for change. To avoid such a fate, you can leverage project management software to make plans, allocate tasks, and issue deadlines.
Typically, a go-to project management software should have robust functionalities, a user-friendly interface, customizable tools, and a flexible payment plan. Innovative tools such as Trello and Asana offer a centralized communication channel for creating project timelines and delegating tasks in real time—in the interest of productivity, coherency, and company revenue.
Other tools that you might want to consider for diverse project management needs include:
• Monday.com: offers a visual board for grouping and assigning tasks. The tool also comes with custom column options and allows users to create updates and issue real-time feedback.
• Airtable: a handy collaboration tool for organizing and tracking project plan events and inventory. It features multiple database functionalities, allowing all team members to collaborate and edit in real-time.
• Jira: a tracking tool for managing agile outstaffed teams with a free option and customizable plans for enterprise users. It offers real-time visual data and integrates with third-party business applications to foster consistency.
Get it right the first time
Are you ready to unlock the full potential of outstaffed teams and maximize the benefits for your organization? Get in touch with us to learn more about our top-notch outstaffing services and explore how our unique and effective outstaffed team management strategies can help you manage software development projects effectively.
By partnering with us, you'll benefit from:
• Tailored solutions: We carefully select and onboard the right remote IT professionals to meet your specific business needs.
• Seamless collaboration: Our team ensures strong communication and collaboration, bridging cultural and time zone differences for a unified working environment.
• Goal-oriented approach: We set clear expectations, goals, and performance metrics to guarantee the success of your outstaffed team.
• Progress monitoring: We provide tools and techniques for tracking progress, maintaining productivity, and promoting a positive work environment.
Don't hesitate – take the first step toward a more agile and competitive organization today!