Outsource: communications



What is the common thread that runs through every successfully outsourced project, whether a new website outsourced to the designer you met at Starbucks, your payroll to a recommended company on the other coast or a new product to an overseas development team?

Crystal clear communications — which aren’t all that common.

Joseph Priestley said, “The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.”

Russell Hoban warns, “After all, when you come right down to it, how many people speak the same language even when they speak the same language?”

Good communications are what sustains all human interactions (the result of every interaction is a form of relationship) and this is especially true when you reach outside your employee framework to get something done. Good communication with employees needs to come from the heart.


image credit: here

Your own people have experience deciphering what you really mean, even when you aren’t as clear as you should be.

Outsiders lack that experience, so it is your responsibility, not theirs, to make sure you are understood.

It’s your responsibility to make sure everyone is on the same page, whether it is a large project involving remote teams doing product development or a small one outsourced to an individual.

And while managers in established companies can afford to hire project managers, it is more typically DIY for startup founders.

My company, NTR Lab, provides remote software development teams for both startups and scaling companies. Nick (our president) says that poor and/or incomplete information has wasted more time than any other action, even pivoting.

My friend Miki, who writes for startups, vented her frustration with them by writing 5 Rules for Interacting with Contractors and Other Non Employees; she sends the link and insists they read it before they start working together.

If you need still more motivation keep reminding yourself that if you can’t/don’t/won’t make the effort to fully communicate from the start, and over time, then you don’t get to complain when the results aren’t what you wanted.

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