Having an entire team that is not inside the company’s facilities might seem scary when we think about achieving excellent team-work and communication but it doesn’t have to be like that, outsourced teams can integrate with in-house teams easily if handled the right way.
**The outsourced team should always be taken into consideration.**
We shouldn’t make outsourced teams feel like they’re this individual item, they should be taken into consideration and manage the same information as the rest of the team. Them being in another location doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be aware of recent activities regarding the project they’re working on.
**Avoid falling into a bias.**
When things go wrong there’s always the need to go around pointing fingers at who did what and in a situation where there’s an outsourced team it’s pretty easy to fall into bias and look for someone to blame there but people fail to realize that them being an external team it doesn’t mean they are always going to make the mistakes. If there’s an error or a hiccup don’t rush into assuming who did it and first take the time to investigate around the issue.
**Trust the team.**
Having a team located miles away working on your project might be nervewracking as a project manager but most of the time there’s no reason to fear. The hired team more likely passed a screening test where their experience and methodologies were checked so that covers a lot of the possible worries.
Besides that, exercise trust in your team. If there aren’t any issues then let them work the way they know how, if there’s any incident then address it with them and find ways to avoid them happening again but don’t show any constant signs of untrustworthiness if there’s no need to.
**Establish communication guidelines.**
Let them know how you would like to manage communication, they need to be aware of how often you want them to check-in or send progress reports. Don’t be afraid of meeting with them on the regular for daily standups or check-in calls during the week, this will allow getting to know them some more outside of chats and emails.
**Encourage team conversations.**
Make the outsourced team feel comfortable enough to talk with the in-house team about any topic regarding work, whether they have a question about a shared project or a project one of them is in. They need to be able to relate to people who work in the same situation and environment as they do. The outsourced team should also feel encouraged to share any opinion they deem valuable for the project.
Communication should always be the priority when handling an outsourced team, they will feel welcome and you will be able to trust them with your tasks. As a project manager, you should be doing as much as possible to allow the outsourced team to integrate with the in-house team brings better collaboration practices and an overall improvement in the development experience.
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