How to avoid communication gap in outsourced projects?

This question is related to software projects outsourcing. How communication gap due to timezone, distance, language etc.. between outsourcing company and outsourced company can be avoided?


1) Choose a company that understands your language. If you know English, make sure that you are working with folks that are good at it.
2) Do your paperwork. Document everything. Create separate email threads for different things.
3) Use a project management system like Basecamp. It will help you create tasks and threads that will avoid confusion.
4) Whether you are ahead in time zone or behind, there will be time slots that will be good for both. If not, ask your partner how they will figure out the timezone. If they look helpless, just make sure that everything from your end reaches them before they begin work.
5) Meet the core team at least once to minimize the distance element. Fly to their office or invite them over to yours. Trust me, it will make a world of difference.

You will figure out whether the guys you are dealing with are professionals or not during the initial communication only. If their replies take too long and aren't comprehensive, give them a skip.

Also look at work case studies. This is super important. This is how case studies look like,

I hope this helps.

Answered 5 years ago

Communication is strategic, so you got to "speak" the language of those you deal with because they are your main stakeholders.
Be clear and have brevity while repeating your message/requests in a slow and deliberate manner and then verify with other party that they understood you.
I specialize in strategic communication and i tell you it is the most important feature of your business practice, whether with your employees or clients or outsourcing venues

Answered 5 years ago

Great question! These issues come up a lot when outsourcing. Without knowing more specifics, here are a few general tips. 1. Hire direct if possible- When going through an agency or a third party company, details can get lost and the person doing the work will likely not be as dedicated as someone you hire directly (has been my experience multiple times). Even if it's a short term project, there are many people looking for part-time or short term work. 2. Screen share videos- These are gold! The more you can document the process the better what you receive back will be and then you will have it for the next person! 3. Make sure you have some basic quiz in place as part of your hiring process to know the level of English the person your dealing with has, as well as any other required skills. 4. The time difference issue can generally be worked around, in the countries where the vast majority of outsourcing happens, people are more than happy to work the clients hours. I have this as a requirement for new employees and have never had anyone refuse an offer because of it.

Hope that helps, I'd love to chat to discuss further. Best of luck!

Answered 5 years ago

Communication is a key factor for success in the outsourced project, more so in the software world. Communication gaps can be bridged by deploying multiple communication channels. Some of the best practices of my clients who outsourced projects are
a) Overlap between key SMEs and project delivery team (when they are spread across timezones)
b) Given the strengths of digital communication, video conferences and meetings can work as face to face interaction in more than 80% of the cases
c) Centralized logging of conversations of the project team and the stakeholders
d) Use of Instant messaging apps (Skype, messenger, etc) as One agenda meeting or questions and decision
Like this there are other means to bridge communication gaps. Feel free to discuss

Answered 5 years ago

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