Gone are the days when outsourcing was viewed as just a quick fix or cost-cutting strategy. To thrive in an ever-evolving and competitive business landscape, start-ups and big companies alike must leverage an outsourced team that can help them boost their agility and profitability, expand their markets, and enhance their capabilities and strengths.
Outsourcing, however, comes with its unique set of challenges and responsibilities, especially when it comes to tracking the performance of the outsourced team. For example, how do you know if the partnership is a good fit? How can you assess and measure the progress of outsourced projects when you are not there in person to monitor the team full-time?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to making sure that your outsourcing investment delivers on its promise. But there are concrete steps you can take to manage your outsourced team better, mitigate risks, and ensure that the project is on track.
Here are some tips to help you measure the productivity and efficiency of your outsourcing team and make the most out of your partnerships.
- Be Clear About Goals, Expectations, Policies, and Procedures
From the get-go, you and your outsourcing provider must be on the same page when it comes to the goals and objectives, key results, expectations, and methods for measuring performance and success. It is crucial to ensure that all outsourcing goals are in line with the overall goals of your business and that results are clearly defined and properly prioritized.
See to it that the contract or written record of the outsourcing engagement is complete, accurate, and clearl details the responsibilities of the outsourced team. With greater transparency, you and your outsourced team can minimize understandings, resolve disputes properly, and keep the relationship efficient and strong.
Build transparency with your outsourced team by setting quality standards and creating a policy that lays out how you will measure their productivity.
- Define Metrics and Performance Indicators
Want to find out if your outsourced team can quickly get up to speed and drive results that will propel your business to success? Make it a habit to track the total time it takes for them to ramp up and complete an item or project. Use online time tracking software to measure your outsourced team’s productivity and analyze accurate data on how much time they are spending on the project.
It’s also best practice to monitor key performance indicators for each project, item, or function against set goals and track progress using a shareable spreadsheet. KPIs may include the time it takes for the outsourced team to detect and correct errors, the total number of errors and issues at a given time, whether or not the results are delivered on time and within quality standards and the like.
- Set the Right Milestones
A surefire way to help you assess your outsourced team’s working style and whether or not they are reliable is to establish realistic deadlines and appropriate milestones. Breaking down a big project into several milestones will help you evaluate the volume and quality of the team’s output.
Create milestones for each task or project you assign and collect the data you need to find out whether the outsourced team is performing efficiently and well.
- Promote Effective Communication and Collaboration
Trust and transparency are keys to building strong and sustainable outsourcing partnerships, and what better way to improve the teamwork and keep the members motivated than to foster a healthy and collaborative environment. Effective and regular communication will not only lead to better management of the project but will also ensure your back office support’s success.
Be transparent, consistent, and specific with your needs and expectations while still considering the limitations, resources, and preferences of the outsourced team. Set up daily or weekly meetings and video conferences to align tasks and workloads, share progress, and discuss ways to help each other.
Investing in collaborative, digital tools like DropBox, Google Drive, MS Teams, Zoom, Slack, Telegram, Viber, Messenger, and other online platforms will help you and the outsourced team save time and achieve fully optimized results.
- Leverage Project Management Tools
Get organized and have a clearer picture of all the deliverables by maximizing cloud-based project management software and other software tools. These digital tools will help you track results consistently, which will give you a great overview of the project development and status. Use the data to gain valuable insights into the productivity and efficiency of your outsourced team.
Be on the Same Page
Thoroughly assessing the performance of your outsourced team and whether or not their working style matches your company’s culture and goals is critical to ensuring that your investment does not go to waste. With these tips in mind, you can forge a genuine and strong partnership with a high-performing outsourcing provider and achieve results that benefit both organizations.