Global Team Management Checklist
Social distance is the biggest challenge when it comes to managing global teams, according to the Harvard Business Review. Social distance is created by the physical separation between team members in global teams. Yet, overcoming this and other challenges opens up businesses to the many advantages of global team models, including:
- accessing big new markets
- diversity of perspectives
- expanding the talent pool available to the business
Global Team Management Starts With Successful Virtual Teams
To be successful in global team management, you need to make sure you have the right team on board. A good IT outsourcing team will involve experts in software development, design, and other support services that move your project forward. In hiring these experts, you have some options such as:
- Doing a search, yourself, in a geographic area e.g. Ukraine, Eastern Europe, or India
- Procuring the services of a corporate recruiter
- Advertising your need for a global team and inviting requests for proposal (RFPs).
Advantages of Offshoring/Dedicated Team Model
If you want to save up to 60% in comparison with outsourcing, you should consider the offshoring/dedicated team model. Whereas outsourcing locally can help you work more efficiently, global team management with a dedicated team brings even more advantages, including:
- Save money on labor costs
- Access world class talent that can bring you skills unavailable in your local area
- Adopt a global team culture that helps you when creating products for global markets
- Conduct your operations closer to markets, if your product is tailored to customers around the globe
According to Forbes, the list of large businesses that have turned to outsourcing continues to grow, and now encompasses the following companies as well.
- WalMart – the retail company is expanding around the world, recruiting new employees in offices globally
- General Electric – electric company now has a majority of its employees in overseas locations
- Caterpillar – the heavy equipment manufacturer has vastly added to its man count in offshore offices
In order to get the most from outsourcing services, you need to make use of the best strategies for managing virtual teams. Below, we give you a checklist of global project management practices used by successful virtual teams.
How to Build a Winning Global Team: A Hiring Guide
Building any team from the ground up is challenging – it’s even more so for the global ones Despite the fact that a geographically dispersed staff is a way to access new perspectives and points of view, the success of the project heavily relies on the experience and skill of each professional.
To know how to collaborate effectively if your team is remote, follow these tips for building global teams.
- Prioritize attitude over skill. It’s common for managers to chase a skilled developer that is not passionate about the offer or the project. When hired, such professionals get in a way of healthy teamwork, quickly lose the motivation to work, and are condescending to peers. That’s why you need to put attitude first. Every developer you hire should know how to work with a remote team effectively, be willing to learn, and is ready to listen to advice and learn. If all of these are present – improved skills and impressive progress will follow.
- Look for professionals to fit specific job roles. Publishing vague openings and not having a team structure in mind is common for startups. To know how to make remote team collaboration work, be aware of how every new hire will contribute to the team. While there’s no fixed rule of the roles or the number of people in a project team, make sure you have a structure to adhere to when hiring.
- Choose self-starters. There are employees that thrive in well-structured environments and produce impressive results, if guided. Others, on the other hand, set goals and find tasks to handle on their own – that is the type of people you want on a global team. It’s challenging to know how to manage remote developers on your team since you don’t get to oversee the team for eight hours every day. Working with self-starters is a way to get the most out of a global team. Make sure a dedicated team has enough experience in devising plans and strategies and can contribute to the product without managers’ assistance and oversight from the main office.
- Encourage employees to talk. During most job interviews, the manager is the one to choose talking points and ask questions. The downside is, team leads have a poor understanding of the talent they have to work with. To know how to build a remote team connections system, encourage talking and asking questions. Most importantly, listen, to what your potential employee has to say. Does the team aim for continuous education, maintaining a work-life balance, or other collaboration perks? Try your best to take these needs into considerations – in the long run, all of your efforts will pay off in higher employee retention.
- Focus on communication skills. The difference in communication approaches is often discussed when choosing between insourcing vs outsourcing IT management activities. Since the members of a global team don’t share a room and a close physical contact, every member’s communication proficiency is essential. Thinking about how to improve communication with a remote team, make sure developers are comfortable speaking the company’s official language. Also, it’s crucial for professionals to eloquently express ideas in writing, be brief and to-the-point on conference calls.
- Don’t be desperate when hiring. It’s tempting to fall into the trap of thinking that a candidate is the only right one for the project. Nonetheless, keep in mind that your values and vision are, ultimately, more important than hiring a dream team. Rather than compromising the corporate culture to make a team member comfortable, keep looking for professionals who will fit right into the system you’ve built.
- Efficient time management is crucial. A strong respect for deadlines is a must-have for managers who want to know how to set up a remote distributed team. You need to ensure every professional you hire is capable of accurately estimating the amount of time needed to complete the project and adhere to the timeline. Otherwise, chaos will ensue within the team and the project will stall.
- The team needs to be adaptable. If your company is a global startup, a team will have to get used to wearing multiple hats at once. As businesses scale and grow, the fluidity between roles decreases – in the beginning stages, however, you will benefit from having an interchangeable team.
Checklist For How to Manage Virtual Teams Effectively
- Select the best tools for managing a virtual team – You should use online collaboration tools that facilitate digital work with distributed teams. According to ratings by Capterra, Atlassian and Basecamp lead the market for project management.
- Use analytics tools to measure return on investment – To make sure you are getting the most bang for buck, you should track the results of the outsourcing services you use.
- Benchmark virtual management against global leaders – Are you more or less effective than global organizations that lead your industry? Benchmarking can help you spot room for improvement.
- Invest in opportunities for growth – Don’t be late to invest in growth opportunities. For example, with big data becoming a source of growth for many businesses, now is a good time to incorporate it into your strategy.
- Partner with reputable outsourcing organizations – When sourcing resources globally, partner with the highest quality organizations you can find. The results you get will be much better than if you always choose the lowest cost provider.
- Create two-way communication between central and remote offices – Have regular interface meetings between management and remote workers so they can share their ideas with you.
- Involve management at the grassroots –Ideally, your top decision makers can take time off to visit your remote teams and make sure they are aware of issues or challenges confronting your teams.
- Adopt meritocratic team management practices – To improve efficiency of resource allocation, take a meritocratic management approach. Playing favorites can worsen the challenges of managing virtual teams.
- Move fast and break things – Mark Zuckerberg’s famous mantra for making progress on software can help you get projects completed faster. Keep distractions and process to a minimum so work can get completed.
- Take care of customer care and product quality – Always in your outsourcing, keep the end user of your products in mind. Enforce strong quality control so your global teams can produce work that meets standards.
- Forge productive competition between teams – Competition, in the right quantities, can spur your organization to accomplish more.
- Seek constructive criticism from your team – Tesla CEO Elon Musk advocates seeking constructive criticism to improve the leader’s quality of ideas.
- Be transparent with the team – Hedge fund manager Ray Dalio is famous for adopting a standard of radical transparency with his team. His team is noted for exceptional results.
- Set clear objectives – Unless you make clear what your global team should aim for, chances are, they won’t hit the target. Give them clear targets and objectives.
- Give incentives for your team to excel – Motivate your remote teams to do their best work with incentives such as bonuses for the top performing team.
Mobilunity Can Improve Your Development At Lower Cost
Located in Ukraine and with customers all around the world, Mobilunity is a leading provider of I.T. outsourcing services. Mobilunity is highly skilled in implementing critical projects globally. If you need a software development team, along with design and data analytics, Mobilunity can help. The company has dedicated teams and experts with experience in ecommerce, open source, app development and other areas.