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8 Tips for Managing Outsourced Projects

Instead of thinking about how dangerous bad communication is to a project, think about how wonderful good communication is! A project’s success is all but guaranteed when everyone is in the loop and informed on what is taking place. In an article for CIO.com, Jennifer Lonoff Schiff elaborates on manners in which to improve communication, especially for a project that is outsourced.

Tips for the Best Outsourcing

  1. Help the outsourced partner understand the business values.
  2. Provide detailed instructions.
  3. Be aware of differing time zones.
  4. Ensure all parties are working from the same files.
  5. Invest in quality project management software.
  6. Converse regularly.
  7. Have video calls.
  8. Show respect.

The first tip is the most basic: share with the outsourcer the business goal. If the outsourcer is unclear about what the business’s integral values are, then they cannot effectively align their work to reflect that. Along the same lines, it is important to keep a set of clear instructions to the step-by-step process for the project. A clear-cut plan allows for little room for debate and is conducive for creating an environment of efficient work. Be mindful that everyone may not speak the same language and take proactive steps to remedy this. Visuals can often be clearer than written communication.

Be aware that everyone is not necessarily operating in the same time zone. Ensure meetings are not at inconvenient times and actively work to schedule things that suit all parties. Time zones may even be able to work in the company’s favor. Perhaps the project was outsourced to a country ten hours ahead; the business can send work at the end of their business day, go home and sleep, and by the next morning they could see results.

It is essential that everyone is on the same page and utilizing the same information. It may even prove beneficial to work within a cloud server so that people can actively work together on something in different locations. Using effective project management software will prove invaluable and, again, keep everyone working together towards the same end.

When working with multiple parties, it is important to have conversations about progress and realign every element of the project. Sometimes, a simple once-a-week meeting can provide the medium needed to ensure all is well. Video chats may even be utilized when a face-to-face meeting is not in the cards. This will help keep everything in line and will improve the business relationship.

The final tip is simple: treat people with respect, even the outsourcers. No one is going to work to their potential if they do not feel valued. Outsourcers are fundamental to the project’s success, so prove it and treat them like a partner.

You can read the original article here: http://www.cio.com/article/2978105/project-management/8-tips-for-managing-outsourced-projects.html

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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