Tuesday, 26 March 2024 16:14

How to Adapt Distributed Project Management Strategy to Your Business

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The concept of a team in business has evolved with the popularization of the internet, globalization, and shifts in political and cultural landscapes. While traditionally, a team was defined as a group of individuals working together towards a common goal in one physical location, the modern understanding has expanded to include remote collaboration. This shift has opened up opportunities for businesses to get into a global pool of talent but has also introduced challenges, particularly in project management where distributed teams can hinder the achievement of shared objectives.


In the article we discuss the key risks related to working with remote teams and reveal the significance of having a local Project Manager working with the remote team.

Key Risks Factors of Outsourcing and Staff Augmentation

Today, outsourcing and staff augmentation are no longer alien concepts but rather integral parts of business operations, especially in industries like IT. Although modern trends have encouraged businesses to embrace remote teams, it has also led to a sense of anxiety regarding the inherent risks associated with distributed project management.

Distributed projects present various risk factors, including cultural disparities, differences in task comprehension, knowledge management issues, trust deficits, and language barriers. Cultural nuances influence individuals' perceptions of roles, time, power dynamics, communication norms, and feedback reception.

  1. Misaligned expectations often lead to team disintegration unless there's effective distributed team management in place.
  2. Geographical distances and time zone variations hinder immediate task clarification, making task comprehension crucial.
  3. Knowledge distribution and fostering a holistic understanding of the project can be challenging, potentially dampening team morale and motivation.
  4. Building trust becomes arduous when face-to-face interactions are limited, exacerbating communication barriers and increasing the risk of insider threats.
  5. Language, despite being a common medium for business communication, poses challenges due to subtle connotations and implied meanings, leading to misunderstandings.

At Agiliway, we've observed these risk factors jeopardize otherwise promising projects. However, we've also recognized the effectiveness of mitigating these risks by appointing local Project Managers with expertise in distributed project management and risk mitigation. It's our standard practice to assign such a Project Manager to every offshore team we provide, whether for staff augmentation contracts or project outsourcing, regardless of the client's awareness of the necessity.

The Role of Qualified Project Managers

A local PM plays a pivotal role in ensuring the success of distributed projects by:

  • Establishing clear task-setting processes and tracking progress.
  • Clarifying tasks, roles, and responsibilities for the offshore team.
  • Leveraging time zone differences for efficient workflow.
  • Bridging cultural gaps by facilitating understanding between parties.
  • Facilitating communication among the offshore team, client, and onshore team.
  • Monitoring offshore team satisfaction and addressing concerns, especially those not directly communicated due to language or cultural barriers.
  • Instilling a sense of the project's "big picture" to enhance team engagement.
  • Ensuring the availability and proper utilization of communication and task tracking tools.

Hence, to gain maximum benefits from distributed team, hiring a devoted and qualified manager is crucial for future success.

Contrary to the belief that IT outsourcing is risk-free, overlooking these risks due to lack of experience can lead to project failures. However, instead of sailing away from outsourcing, businesses should focus on implementing robust project risk management strategies. Quality IT services at competitive prices can be obtained through outsourcing, making it a viable option despite the associated risks.

If you're unsure about IT outsourcing or the necessity of a local Project Manager, don't hesitate to reach out to our experts for advice or consultation.