Managing Project on a Global Scale
Outsourcing a complete project or an essential parts of a process to improve efficiency and reduce expenses is one of the most popular business practices in the 21st century.
Some of today's leading corporations follow a variety of outsourcing methods including both foreign and domestic contracting and off shoring to reap best benefits from international labour rates.
Since its introduction, outsourcing has proven to be a very important tool at reducing cost and maintaining high quality in a product or a service.
No matter how lucrative BPO or business process outsourcing has proven to be to an organisation, one of biggest challenges faced by global leaders in outsourcing is the effective management and monitoring of an outsources process, that is happening few thousand miles away across oceans.
International outsourcing can cause many a project leaders innumerable amount of stress they would not experience when directing internal teams and most of the challenges the main organisation face when operating a BPO is not caused by the technical incompetencies of the outsources.
According to a number of project leaders and Chief Operating Officers, who juggle numerous outsourcing teams in their daily life, one of the main crippling issues in managing a BPO is the lack of communication and the understanding of priorities between each party.
Communication of information, deadline and priorities is the glue that bind diverse organisations into a cohesive unit. While maintaining an unbroken line of communication is important to make sure that every team and their members are in the same page of the play book, communication does not necessarily translate into instant comprehension, when working with BPOs located in other countries.
When working with team members whose first language is not English it is best to supplement written requirements with diagrams and other visual aids, as use of conventional communication methods of choice like google chat and skype fail in most occasions.
Use of a flexible collaboration platform like OPPTIMO, which combines easy communication options with a secure document sharing method is ideal to iron out the misunderstandings that could arise when trying to communicate with an offshore BPO team.
Maintaining a cloud based secured repository of data and files can also make sure that everybody is working off the same file. Retaining a single authoritative file enables different teams to work on the same file at the same time from different locations with out overwriting each others work.
In addition, a BPO processes should involve a tracking mechanism for measuring the team's productivity and quality. Using a multi taking project management software for all the teams would help to keep every one updated about the movement of other teams.
A golden rule would be to manage the project exclusively through the software and never through emails, a step that would greatly increase transparency of the project. A project management software could also help to keep a track of task load each members of the team is handing at any given time and would allow a greater a synchronisation of work between teams.
For an example if there are two teams handing the product stationed at different time zones, which are eight hours apart, One team can collaborate over the task management tool to hand over the task to the other when they are signing off for the day.
Although greater are its responsibilities, outsourcing is here to stay and planning ahead, adapting quickly and using the right tools can make BPO work for you.