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In today’s era, effective project management is a crucial aspect that aids in building a booming business.
However, not every organization has all the resources necessary to execute projects at any given time. For this reason, they reach out to find the best project managers who can not only handle their work but also deliver it in a timely manner.
Although hiring offshore project managers is a herculean task as you have to find the potential candidate out of the global pool, outsourcing to India can be a viable option.
As a project manager, it may come as no surprise to you that the the IT outsourcing market is set to grow from $92.5 million in 2019 to $132.9 in 2020. And the top rated outsourcing country is India, which has maintained its top position since past many years.
Source: Deloitte Global Outsourcing Survey 2016
India has been rendering many types of outsourcing services across sectors namely IT-BPO, media, energy, travel and transport, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications. In fact, about 30% of the US companies are outsourcing at least one part of their business to some other country.
Some of the most commonly cited reasons for outsourcing a project to India include:
- Corporate restructuring up to 57%
- Reallocation of Intellectual Capital up to 28%
- Solves capacity and time problems up to 47%
Why Outsource to India?
There can be several reasons why a business chooses to outsource, some of them include:
Low levels of Staffing: Some businesses do not possess adequate staff required for proper management of different projects. Such businesses need support to effectively manage their projects and deliver them to the clients in the stipulated time frame.
Lack of Experienced staff: There can be several reasons like an under-trained staff, shortage of experience etc. that pave the way to this need of hiring a professional and experienced project manager who is specialized to handle projects from scratch.
Budget insufficiency: Sometimes, companies face a hard time in business expansion and end up struggling without any good profit generation. During such times, opting for project managers that take up work per project basis is a good way to stabilize business finances. Outsourcing can save money and you can get your project managed .
Effective Business modeling: Each company has a different process. Some companies work only on a project basis and their whole work-structure is based on outsourcing the projects. This is a cost-effective way to expend your resources in a useful manner.
The Advantages of Offshore Project Management
Lesser cost: It is imperative to note that a large sum of money can be saved when working with offshore teams. In fact, this is the number one reason why companies outsource their business operations.
Access to bigger talent zone: Working with clients from around the world gives a broader horizon for searching experienced project managers. You can also find technical project managers to manage even some really technology-centered projects.
Promotion of flexibility and efficiency: While managing offshore projects, a greater level of flexibility and efficiency is imparted as the work is accomplished consistently at a decent cost.
Quicker project completion: IT outsourcing allows a greater degree of on-time delivery of projects which gives a boost to the business.
Compact size of the team: A company can use outsourcing to operate a smaller team size at a budget-friendly cost which will optimize the business processes.
The Challenges of Offshore Project Management
Given the geographic distance between your on-site and offshore teams, project management can be tricky. The most commonly cited challenges in offshore project manager include:
Cost risks: Outsource your project to a team that provides services with no hidden maintenance or training costs. IP protection is another issue with outsourcing.
Communication barriers: Work with a team that encourages direct communication with those responsible for your project.
Ineffective knowledge transfer: Productivity will be strongest when work documents and materials can be easily shared between your on-site and offshore teams.
Missed deadlines: Outsource your software or mobile app development, or any other project, to a team that can punctually adhere to timelines outlined at the onset of the project.
Lack of experience: Thoroughly vet any offshore team prior to outsourcing your project. Does this team have experience in providing offshore services? If so, can this team provide references?
Tips to Successful Offshore Project Management
Here are five tips to help you successfully outsource your project in part or full to India:
1. Treat Your On-Site and Offshore Team as a Whole
It is important that both the on-site and offshore development team members are tied into the main objectives of your project. Many project managers make the mistake of treating the offshore part of the team as hired help – which is poor for morale, and it can discredit the value that both teams bring to the project.
2. Foster a Culture of Success, Teamwork & Synergy
There are many tips for project managers but when outsourcing to India, this is one of the most effective tips. Taking an interest in Indian culture can go a long way to fostering positive morale on your offshore team. Whenever you communicate with your team members, be generous with compliments and make sure every person involved with your project knows his or her importance to its outcome.
3. State the Obvious & Don’t Assume Anything
Language barriers can make communication difficult, and variances in culture may discourage offshore team members from vocalizing their concerns. When it comes to successfully completing your project, make your expectations clear, state them often, and probe for feedback frequently.
4. Make Information Easily Accessible
Both your onsite and off-shore teams will need regular access to information and project files – oftentimes, they will need access to the exact same materials and documents. Ensure that you have a system in place through which your global teams can easily have access to view and modify information as necessary.
5. Make Communication a Priority
While all successful project managers make time for meetings and regular communication, this is especially important if your team is divided by significant geographic distance. Schedule regular teams meetings by taking advantage of overlapping time zones. Further, leverage technology to get as much face-to-face time with your team as possible.
Working with Offshore Teams
There are numerous things to be considered while getting involved in working with offshore teams:
Sharing common vision: It is necessary to have the same vision and clear concepts that will help in working with the teams in an efficient manner.
Follow the same work pattern: If both the offshore teams and the onshore teams follow a structured workflow, the project will surely be delivered at its right time and in the right way.
Treat the offshore workers as a part of a team: It is essential to treat the offshore workers as part of the integral team and given equal respect.
Hire only the reliable people: Hiring the people who would understand work ethics and you can rely on them for delivery at a given time is quite useful in the long run.
Engage in regular feedback: The offshore project management team must be involved in a two-way channel that is open for feedback and amendments as and when necessary.
Things To Consider Before Outsourcing
- A complete background check of the offshore team
- Organize everything in a perfect order
- Always slow start and don’t follow a fixed cost model
- Make sure your expectations are correct and realistic
Outsourcing to India can mean a massive return on investment, but certainly a challenge.
Although there are a number of project managers who work offshore to handle projects internationally, however, finding the best one will depend upon the project size, nature, and duration of the project.
Keeping these vital points in mind will surely benefit your choice and help you in creating a successful outsourcing in India.
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Originally Published On 15th February 2015; Updated On 10th October 2018