Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Your Offshore Teams


Me at the Taj Mahal on a very cloudy day
I recently made a trip to India to visit our teams performing business operations, development, and support activities. It's a trip I like to do at least annually to get a sense of how teams are performing and where to make both improvements and investments.

Below are some of the areas I explore when visiting offshore teams:
  1. Learn the culture - Who are the culture drivers? What motivates them? Who do they speak to with your onshore teams? What is the working environment? Do they understand your industry, brand, products, and customers?
  2. Meet teams and individuals to learn strengths - Do they understand the business impact of their tasks? Do they have a clear understanding of their priorities? Who do they escalate questions to and do they get strong responses? Who is technically strong? How are newer team members trained and mentored?
  3. Discover better ways to collaborate - Are they leveraging all the available tools? When are meetings? Are meetings useful? Is the communication equipment adequate?
  4. Learn new capabilities and brainstorm - What new capabilities do your teams and partners want to demonstrate? What improvements areas can they recommend? What bothers them about opportunities or issues that you are not prioritizing or addressing?
  5. Learn about your internal teams - Who are they meeting with, on what topics, and what frequency? Who do they need to talk to more frequently? Who isn't responsive? Who truly collaborates?
  6. See a different working environment - Is the physical space, computing equipment, and other environmental conditions conducive to high productivity and collaboration? Is the environment secure? Does this look like a place you would consider working?
  7. Communicate priorities and business status - What are the business and operational priorities? Where is there opportunity for new business? What are some of the business challenges?
  8. Understand the local environment and how it affects your teams - Where is the office? What kind of commute do people have to get to the office? How does your partner help with commuting? What holidays are important to your team?
  9. Find the issues that no one is talking about - Are issues being escalated outside of defined processes? Are there issues inhibiting productivity? Are people spending too much time on the wrong priorities or are they solving the wrong problems?
  10. Look for global opportunities - Are there opportunities for your business in the country/region you are visiting?
Take lots of notes. Capture follow up activities. Immerse yourself in the culture and make sure to schedule some time for site seeing!

2 comments:

  1. Very true. Clients should always take the time to visit their offshore outsourcing partners since it helps foster solidarity and strengthens the business partnership.

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  2. With regard to this offshore outsourcing business, A true leader always set his time to meet with his/her subordinates.

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