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4 Ways to Effectively Work with Offshore Teams

By Barb Brandon 01.27.22
Reading time: 3 minutes

One of the main features of Salesforce is its ability to break down silos and bring teams and information together towards a greater goal. This mentality of coming together as one is exactly what Silverliners around the world do every day.  

Silverline has offices across the globe. In addition to the headquarters in New York City, we have locations in Omaha, Toronto, El Salvador, and Bangalore, and each office is an integral part of our organization. 

As we’ve grown, we’ve had to answer two big questions: What are the best ways to engage with offshore teams for success? How do we make everyone feel part of the team? 

4 ways Silverline brings international teams together

While working from home and many miles away from each other can have its challenges, Silverline has found some keys to success in collaborating with its offshore teams. We’ve seen these pay big dividends in our employees’ productivity, happiness, and accomplishments.

1. Engage the teams on the bigger picture 

While a large portion of the offshore teams are mostly seeing their smaller pieces of work, understanding and watching the bigger picture unfold is inspiring! We find sharing the victories with the client during sprint demos to be very beneficial. It allows the teams to get excited and engaged throughout every sprint. Thanking everyone at the end of each sprint demo is also important to continue momentum through what are sometimes very long projects. 12 sprints later, the team needs to stay engaged and continue to be excited!

2. Operate as a single team

Operating as one cohesive unit can create great synergy and also increase momentum. We have found that when we move from being order takers to thoughtful and inquisitive designers of the solution, everything comes out even better. There is no single person that creates a robust and highly functioning solution alone. When the whole team questions and re-imagines together, the results are boundless.

3. Embrace individual cultures and learn 

We have so much to learn from each other. Our daily lives are very different. Our cultures are very different. Our attitudes can be very different. As we approach holidays, we can learn about each other. Sharing a beautiful Diwali rangoli carefully crafted by a teammate or night lights for the festival can create a feeling of gratitude and awe of talents. This brings people together!

4. Pay attention to process 

Managing standups with onshore and offshore teams together helps to bring them in alignment. We see better questioning and solutioning in those calls when the teams are invested together, and it allows for quick turnaround when there are clarifications needed. Documenting clear design notes that are approved by the Solution Architect or Technical Architect prior to build further ensures a more positive outcome when development is complete.

Starting with real Acceptance Criteria (AC) that the Product Owner physically approves is a must. It puts the ownership on the client, allows us to manage scope, and gives the entire team the guardrails by which build happens. Testing with the guidance of good AC gives a clear definition of bugs, enhancements, or missed requirements during user acceptance testing, and it gives both onshore and offshore teams the clarity needed to deliver efficiently.

Don’t forget to engage the full team in retrospectives! We have found that the most profound thoughts come when everyone is included and we provide continuous course correction. If we are willing to listen, gather the facts, and actually do something about it, the engagement and input flows.

Join Silverline’s global team

Making everyone feel part of the entire team creates the synergy and energy needed for larger project deliveries. When teams are really engaged and invested together, even time zones don’t present a problem. The teams want to be flexible and work towards the best result possible for the success of the project and client.

At Silverline, our purpose is to create rewarding experiences for our team wherever they are in the world. We believe that people should work wherever they’re happiest and most productive, whether that’s from your home or a standing desk in our office.

Want to join our team? Check out available positions on our Careers page.

Ready to see real results? We can help.

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