You might think that a nearshoring team management is the same as dealing with an offshoring team. Not all remote teams are the same, each one comes with its own set of challenges that a project manager has to deal with in order to have a timely and successful product. to
Nearshoring comes with many benefits from similar cultural and educational backgrounds, to better data security and higher language skills. The challenges come from the distance, not being physically present at the work location and finally from different work ethics. This article will tackle some of the most common challenges in managing nearshoring team, offering the solutions that have proven to be the most effective.
Forming good inter-team relations
Because a nearshoring team is located in another country there often tends to be an ‘us’ and ‘them’ division. This is one of the major mistakes that most project managers make. For a nearshoring team to be successful it needs to be treated as a part of the company. Communication is key.
Opening good communication channels is the first step. Increasing the face time and bringing the team over to the company headquarters are also great ways of establishing a high quality level of communication. The team is ‘us’, and a project manager should always address them with ‘we’. The spatial and temporal proximity of nearshoring allows a real-time communication channel which can be highly beneficial for the success of the entire team.
Appointing a local team leader
A nearshoring team will encounter more organizational issues than an in-house one. So apart from using agile development as an option for IT task distribution and management, it is equally important to set a hierarchy within the nearshoring team itself. By naming a lead within the team the project manager is able to have a single point of contact which can increase the productivity level.
The role of a team leader is to help the team organize the task distribution, keep the team focused on the task at hand and help the project manager when it comes to correcting the course of the project development. Additionally, a team leader takes on the responsibility for the overall performance of the nearshoring team, having the authority to access and improve each individual team member. This way a project manager can have a more general role and can focus more on the success of the project itself.
Smarter work distribution
One of the major issues that a project manager of a nearshoring team faces is deciding on the right work distribution. More often than not the decision is based on the location not the ability of a certain team, and herein lies the mistake. By focusing your nearshoring team on doing just one component of the project, you are limiting their abilities and with it the fresh flow of ideas.
Each team working on a project, in-house or not, should be equally involved in the whole creation process, so that they know what is the final product. This way a project manager gets an input from more sides, offering different solutions and all working together towards a common goal. By having more solutions and options it is much easier to choose the most effective and beneficial one for the ongoing project.
More and more companies are opting for nearshoring teams. For Western Europe its Eastern Europe, for the US its Mexico. Having a good project management and task distribution software is not enough, a project manager needs to be actively involved in the product realization process. Any effective nearshoring team needs to have a good communication channel with the company headquarters, a capable team leader and an insight into all project development aspects.