Managing Remote Teams Effectively (part2)

Read part 1 first

Last month we wrote about strong communication and effective execution as being instrumental in working successfully with teams remotely. In this month’s issue we will look at performance management and team cohesion and how you need to influence them to be more successful in outsourcing or offshoring.

Performance management as defined by Wikipedia, is the process of assessing progress toward achieving predetermined goals. Performance management is building on that process, adding the relevant communication and action on the progress achieved against these predetermined goal… Simply put, performance management helps organizations achieve their strategic goals So lets review the various aspects of performance management
Measuring performance: Has your business set goals for the year, and do your objectives align with them? Furthermore, your individual team members should be working on projects/tasks that can be measured and align to your organizations objectives
Confronting performance issues:
When you have a team member that is not performing, do you have the right processes to help them get back on track? If you are managing a 3rd party team, you should have contracts in place that ensures that your service provider will quickly replace or improve under-performing resources.
Giving feedback:
– Situational: It is clear on where and when with specific facts
– Customised: Message is tailored for individual and goes in line with their work and communication
– Meaningful: 2 or 3 examples so team member completely understands scenario
– Actionable: Specific measurable goals than everyone can follow up on
When there’s no direct management influence: You may feel that you have little control over resources within the outsourcer. In reality you can have a great deal of influence. Build strong relationships with senior managers for escalation purposes, and through leadership a strong foundation of trust with resources doing the daily execution.

Team cohesion really refers to your daily operating rhythm:
– Team building, one on one meetings, when possible face to face kick offs / work outs
– Invest time in building relationships, not just supervising task execution
– Special focus on milestone events: Kickoff, delivery, closure
– Develop a culture of consensual decision-making, with the leader arbitrating differences of opinion
– Hold regular video-conferences at different levels
– Build a team identity across your internal and outsourced resources
– Make your team a marketing engine for attracting and retaining top talent within the outsourcer

In summary, as highlighted in the June newsletter we have looked at how you can influence and increase the number of successful deliveries leveraging an IT outsourced and offshore model through improved team cohesion, implementing clear guidelines for performance management, having regular and open communication, and a developing a culture focused on execution and delivery. These tools & methods are no longer nice-to-haves for the 21st century manager but a necessity for any successful leader who wants to execute successfully with an outsourcer.