Making offshore collaboration happen

(comment from a past post)

So much of my experience (six weeks) in India was to do with processes and understanding where the gaps are between my firm and the Indian firm.

Technology really didn’t enter into the picture for the most part.

Partly – because (in my opinion) of the legacy systems we are often tied to here in the US and that developing countries don’t contend with … for example …

I didn’t see any telephone poles in India. Power lines – sure … but telephone lines – nope! And the few times I tried to use a landline phone was the most frustrating experience – because I could never get a connection. Wireless and fiberoptic cable underground was the way to go.

So, over there … high speed wireless and fiber is par for the course … but our systems at home are just so tied to our current telco infrastructure … in some ways, we are behind the curve when it comes to adopting the best tech for communication and collaboration.

Using other collaboration tech (like wikis and such) is just not even on my firm’s radar.

For the most part we are stuck with conference calls and email.

Yet collaboration with our offshore partners is much more than the tech we can use … it involves a shift in mindset on our part … and what I refer to as “The Three Ps” … Patience, Planning and Perspective.

  • Given that my team mates and I have over 150 collective years experience designing training for our client, it is totally unrealistic to assume that our offshore partner (who only began developing training last year) would come anywhere near our level of understanding

 

  • We’d never unleash a junior designer (or a new team member) to lead a design project without close supervision and lots of coaching and oversight … so … the same would be true of our offshore team. Think of them as ‘junior designers’

 

  • (Just like the real estate mantra of ‘location-location-location) Our mantra must be ‘plan-plan-plan’ … The more time and energy we spend in planning up front, the less rework and frustrations during the project itself.

I’m sure that there’ll be more stuff I’ll talk about

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About Rory

I make my home in the central part of the Garden State along with my family. When I'm not working as an Instructional Designer (focusing mostly on Web-Based learning ... and other eLearning technologies) or researching something, I'm found at home playing computer or video games. Among other things, I volunteer as a choir member and catechist for 8th graders at my parish.
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One Response to Making offshore collaboration happen

  1. Wilton says:

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