Utilize E-Tools for Better Communication
Encourage the extensive use of e-collaboration tools and technologies among team members. Electronic communications cost little and serve as a great way to keep all team members informed. With the emergence of offshoring, they have become valuable tools for connecting teams on different continents.
More communication, however, is not necessarily better. Succinct communications repeated several times are best. Further, successful global businesses don't rely on frequent global travel; catching a plane to solve a problem or review a project in person is not cost-effective. In fact, it breeds knowledge experts whose experience is difficult to teach, and it invariably leads to higher attrition rates with little knowledge transfer.
Given the rapid improvement in voice over IP (VoIP) and other infrastructure capabilities, instant messenger service, email, and organized video sessions between onshore and offshore teams are powerful ways to compensate for less face time. Flexibility with communication times and vehicles is required from both parties involved in the outsourcing project.
Of course, some key members of the transition team should visit to get to know the vendor's (or captive center's) project leaders, key players, and infrastructure. Thereafter, companies outsourcing should think of those employees as an extension of their team.
Key activities involved in practical and effective communication include the following:
- Setting up a regular call schedule
- Taking advantage of instant messaging, email, and chat sessions
- Instituting periodic project reviews
- Providing face-to-face feedback, rewards, and recognition