Outsourcing projects to smaller companies or other collaborators is a very common practice among large corporations and organizations. Outsourcing is done whenever there are not sufficient resources or enough employees to complete a project, or if external expertise is needed. However, outsourcing projects is not as easy as it sounds; because you still need to have control over the project that you’re managing. Therefore, here are some useful tips to manage outsourced projects:
- Having the same goals
Make sure you choose collaborators that share the same goals, the same work ethic and the same business principles; otherwise, you might end up going in different paths when it comes to the outcome of the project. It’s best to work with collaborators from the same industry, as they have a better understanding of what you want to deliver to the final client.
- Create a project guide
When your staff and external collaborator need to work together, it might be difficult for them to be on the same page in terms of procedures. The project manager should create a project guide, together with the team, regarding the requirements, procedures and other useful information for all the team, such as background information for the current project.
- Consider time zones
If your collaborators work on different time zones, be considerate and schedule online meetings at times convenient for all parties. You can’t expect your collaborators to be at your service in the middle of the night, just like you need to respect your own schedule and make it clear when you’re available for discussions, questions or requests.
- Invest in an efficient document management software
For collaborative work, file versioning is essential. It’s important that all the persons involved in a project have the same version of a document, complete with modifications added on the way. Document management software enables file storing, indexing, retrieving and sharing, while keeping different versions of the same document. Each version contains ulterior modifications, records of the user who made them, as well as the time and date. Having all distinct versions of the same document makes it easier to spot errors that might occur during the project workflow.
- Keep in touch
With all the technology available these days, it’s easy to keep in touch throughout the day, to exchange ideas, opinions, to check work done or for any other concerns. You can use various programs or applications that allow you to communicate, to send files or to have videoconferences whenever needed. In an era where smart phones and tablets are already common devices, there’s no excuse to not have proper communication.
- Treat all your team members equally
Even if some of your current team members are just collaborators, you should still take the time to get to know them. After all, you’re working together, you share the same goals and you have the same purpose. It’s only natural to treat your external collaborators the same way you treat your team members.
In conclusion, outsourcing your projects is not as scary as it might seem at the first glance. You just have to remember to select carefully your collaborators, to be organized and to make the best out of your resources. One of the most important aspects of outsourcing is to use a document management system that supports collaborative work, with high security levels to ensure confidentiality, perfect for external collaborators. VENDOM is one of the most complex and easy to use document management systems, best suitable for large corporations or organizations. Don’t hesitate to contact us to receive a personalized offer.