20 Tools to Help You Manage Your Outsourcing Partners
Offshore outsourcing Outsourcing Strategy

20 Tools to Help You Manage Your Outsourcing Partners

By Mainak Biswas December 21, 2016 - 13,614 views

Businesses reap diverse benefits through outsourcing. However, managing multiple outsourcing teams can become a challenge for many companies.  When working with outsourcing teams, businesses face challenges in communication, collaboration and information sharing. To engage outsourcing teams personally is another challenge that hinders business productivity.  

Even if necessary technology and skills are in place, it is important to use the right set of tools to manage teams to keep a hold over project’s progress and track your teams’ tasks. Use the following popular tools to effectively manage your outsourcing teams and virtual workforce to get the best out of them.

  1. Basecamp

Managing your business with email chains, file attachments and meetings becomes chaotic. Basecamp counters this issue by organizing your projects, teams and company-wide communication. For instance, if there is a marketing project going on, everybody who is involved with the project sees the same thing on screen. It uses a message board to post updates and feedbacks thereby making everything in order in the form of a story so that it’s easy to get back to it.  In to-do section, assign work and see what’s done and what’s not done without reminding team members about status update time and again. Schedule section shows date and time while docs & files is used to upload images, assets and files making it easy for everyone to find files easily. Campfire is an open chat room to post queries.  Similarly, you can use same set of tools for various other projects.

2. Redbooth

Redbooth helps to keep a track of projects and day-to-day tasks of your teams. Connect your chat, email and storage apps in one place.  Streamline your team’s workflow by using checklists and templates. Create productivity reports and Gantt charts at a single click.It has a user-friendly design that keeps a tab on to-do lists and check things off when they are done.  Track task owners, status and deadlines. Use a multiple assignment feature when a task is shared by more than one person. Redbooth can be used by management teams, marketing & creative teams, project managers, IT and remote teams.

3. Process Street

Process Street is a powerful tool to manage recurring tasks of your teams. Create process templates and run multiple instances of the template as checklists.  Track progress and collaborate with your team.  User activity can be tracked from your dashboard and you are notified when the task is done. Its simple interface allows you to create structured documents. Intuitive keyboard shortcuts make it a user-friendly tool. Process Street offers a Zapier integration that integrates with over 500 applications to automate tasks. Automatic scheduling, workflow assignment, employee on-boarding are just some of the tasks companies are using Process Street for.

4. Asana

Asana empowers team mates to work in proper flow and collaboration. It enables you to track your team’s projects and tasks. Track the progress without scheduling a status meeting or sending reminder emails.  A smarter inbox gets only the needed team updates and no flurry of unwanted messages.Have conversations about your work and turn them into actionable tasks to get expected results. It all can be managed in one place. Asana makes work fun for team members and they are empowered to accomplish the most ambitious goals of the project.

5. Teamwork Projects

Teamwork is a great tool to streamline your processes; connect with your customers and collaborate with your team simultaneously. Use Teamwork Projects to collaborate with your team and clients. Your team knows what, when and who needs to do it. Your clients and team know exactly where to look for and store their files. Information is easily accessible through the cloud. Teamwork Desk makes it easy for your team to handle any customer support queries that come their way.  Teamwork Chat ensures better communication by allowing users to be in constant contact through real-time messaging.

6. Liquid Planner

Liquid Planner is a predictive project management software for modern business. It takes care of project organization and scheduling so that the teams stay focused and drive the business forward. Using one of its kind predictive planning technology, the scheduling engine estimates how long each task will take, arrange them in priority order. And Liquid Planner will predict when the project will be completed. With advanced workload intelligence and analytics, get a crystal clear view of your team’s work. Your stakeholders get accurate project reporting.  Accessible through the web/ mobile, team members have ready access to documents, comments and reports for seamless collaboration and project execution.

7. Azendoo

Azendoo makes teamwork easier and frees from glitches of email collaboration. It is available through a web browser/ mobile app. Create subgroups to share and organize your teamwork. Share information and documents with specific group members.  It integrates with Google Drive, Dropbox and Box to make file sharing easy. See your team’s existing tasks, progress and create new tasks.  Azendoo offers a calendar view of tasks and projects. Use analytics to have a view of the team’s reporting on a particular subject. Track, schedule and even send direct messages to your collaborators.

8. Worksection

The workstation offers a lot of features. Manage your business through a single interface. Get an overview of activities and task overdue, tasks due soon, event journals and project lists. Get project overviews in an active and informative format including project timelines, progress and expenses. Manage all tasks, subtasks and comments using a convenient tool. Add custom filter to view customized detail on screen. Worksection further allows you to reassign tasks, change priorities and deadlines. View images, create and share documents on the go. It lists key dates for active projects, birthdays and synchronizes with Google Calendar.

9. Proofhub

Proofhub is project management software to plan, collaborate, and organize projects of all sizes. It offers a centralized workspace for task lists, workflows, discussions, gantt charts, documents and calendars.  You can approve files and documents. Every manager is enabled to get an eagle’s eye view of the project. Proofhub runs in the cloud and connects with popular apps like file storage, accounting, invoicing software etc. Store all your articles, meetings notes in one place and add collaborators to get their inputs on these notes.

10. Pivotal Tracker

Pivot Tracker is a project management tool for software development teams. It provides a single view of your team so that you can manage better and keep a track of your team from start to end. It is built to customize business priorities for you and your team. Even if priorities change, information visibility stays open and transparent.  You and your team can see who’s doing what, what task will be completed soon and the exact status of each milestone.  Tracker is predictive and informs you based on your team’s past performance if your milestones are realistic or not.

 11. Jira

Jira is a software development tool built specifically for agile teams. It allows you to plan, track and release and report software.  It brings your team together so that everyone can move towards a common goal. You can create stories and tasks from any screen in the software.  Organize them into backlogs and prioritize them. It integrates with development software you already use and incorporates changes, builds and deploys.  Its real-time reporting ability and various charts like burndown, velocity chart to monitor your team’s activities makes it a preferred tool for development managers.

12. Yammer

Yammer is a collaboration tool owned by Microsoft. It enables you to connect with people and teams across the organization to make better decisions.  Yammer Groups help to stay in the loop with the on-going work across your team. The whole team can be engaged to solve problems and identify the best ideas. All information is within your reach right when you need it. Conversations in Yammer enable you to share information on a topic, engage the team through active discussions and decide on the way forward. You can start both private and public groups.

13. GitHub

GitHub is a great place for software collaboration. It is a renowned platform for developers/ businesses to host and manage open-source code.  You are free to keep your work private or share it with the world.  It simplifies the process of development and building software. GitHub encourages software outsourcing partner to adopt a workflow that involves communication and feedback. And work together in open or private repositories. It integrates with a large number of apps. It helps to maintain transparency in your projects through a single platform and facilitating the team to work with better insights and data from monitoring dashboards.

14. Flow

Flow offers simple tools to take projects forward with a crystal-clear view into the progress of the project. It enables you to delegate tasks and prioritize to-dos. Create and organize tasks quickly and streamline workflow. Seamless communication and discussions push the project ahead. The Catch-up dashboard shows you only what you need to see. Create multiple unique teams and keep their work completely separate. Bring in your team or invite collaborators to join in specific projects. Moreover, members-only see what you want them to see.

15. Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects is a perfect tool to manage and collaborate with your team. It assists in online planning and task management. Tasks and milestones help you plan your work easily. Check your team’s progress. Feeds keep you aware of the on-going discussions. Tasks, comments and documents uploaded on your project are visible on a single screen. Your team can import files, sync tasks, embed gadgets and co-ordinate on day-to-day activities.

16. Active Collab

This powerful yet simple project management tool helps you to manage tasks, collaborate with your team, track time and issue invoices. Manage multiple projects separately with separate task lists, files and records. Everyone has a unique dashboard that shows information only specific to them. You can filter tasks based on people, due dates or labels. Create new tasks, attach files, leave comments and stay updated. Arrange your tasks in a Gantt-like timeline.  Active collab offers all-in-calendar to stay on top of all deadlines. Use @mentions to start discussions and get instant answers.

17. Wrike

Robust features offered by Wrike include a timeline with the critical path (Gantt charts), resource and workload management, cross-team collaboration, custom status and workflows, real-time status updates and visual dashboards & reporting. It helps project managers to set priorities and align the team to work faster. It offers flexibility to manage multiple projects and teams in one tool. It further helps you get accurate info to meet project deadlines. Customization, collaboration and email integration saves a lot of time.

18. Podio

Podio is a comprehensive and customizable project management tool. With conversation and structured content, Podio makes sure that your team is synchronized.  It helps you to create clearly defined roles to improve delivery times and relationships. Granular admin capabilities let you control workspace access and make adjustments. Clients, freelancers, and other external parties can be easily invited into the Podio workspace for free. Tailor your processes based on your team’s requirements.

19. Freedcamp

Freedcamp is designed for both personal and business use. However, business users get many advanced features. With an issue tracker, you get saved searches, unique issue IDs, bulk actions and extra statuses to quickly resolve issues. Create feature-rich documents with multiple versions and in-depth discussions. Turn projects into templates and create new projects based on them. Invoices can be generated easily and they can integrate with the time tracking app.

20. G Suite by Google Cloud

G Suite is a package of Gmail, Docs, Drive, and Calendar for business.  This all-in-one suite allows you to communicate, store, collaborate and manage. It makes teamwork easy by allowing a team member to create a document, share it with teammates and edit it in real-time. All documents are automatically synchronized to Drive. Admin feature allows you to add users, manage devices and configure security to ensure data safety. Conduct productive meetings by scheduling events in the calendar. Get meeting reminders to your Gmail and start a video meeting through Hangouts.

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