As you know you can not do everything on your own. You have to pass off work that you are weak at to someone who is far better than you. If you are good at design but not copywriting, stick to design and get someone to do the writing. Stick to what you are good at. Last year I wrote a post about outsourcing and how to start.
This post will show you 4 items I consistently use to manage and keep up with my outsourcing team. It allows me to be productive without being worried about who is doing what. These 4 items I think are critical when working with an outsourced team, whether they be in the United States, down the street, or overseas in the Philippines.
First you need a Project Management Platform. This allows you to build a team in one central location. You can assign tasks, provide a timed task, write notes, create several projects, allow users to clock in and clock out, storage, everything. A project management is critical because it allows you to oversee everything you and your team is doing.
You can easily find out what tasks are late, what your next to do needs to be, and even make sure your on schedule for your next product launch. It is very important to keep everything on track and have the peace of mind that your ideas are in 1 location. There are multiple platforms from paid to open source. You have to make the decision how complicated or simple you want your management tool to be.
To communicate with my team especially with ones that are in a different time zone, I create video. I do not like to type all the time, especially if I need to explain something that is lengthy. I use Jing, a screen recorder to record my desktop. I can record my desktop, explaining what I need my team or individual to do. If it is a program or design, I can point with my mouse and describe what is wrong and what can be improved. It helps keep with having a personal relationship and making each others life easier.
It beats typing out full length text or even write things that are technical.
Wunderlist, an amazing platform! It allows me to create multiple 'Lists'. Meaning I can create a To-Do list for my blog, for Offer Snitch, affiliate marketing, etc. It keeps me on point of what I need to do soon and now. You can provide end dates, allowing you to stay on target with your goals.
One great part about Wunderlist is that you can share lists with your outsourcing team. Keeping your data on their cloud servers, you can sync each others to-dos with everyone. This allows you to see what they have listed and they can see yours. This keeps your team on sync with your ideas and what they have to do. Every time you load the application via your iPad, iPhone, Desktop, it will sync with the server and load everyone's to-do list. I find this very helpful, knowing my team is productive and being proactive.
File sharing is one critical part about my team since there is a lot of design, programming, html pages, docs, and programs which we share. DropBox is the file storage system which I recommend to everyone! It is one of the easiest platform to use when it comes to sharing files with your outsourcing team. I literally create 1 dedicated folder to my team and they can interact with each other and store any docs I need to see or designs.
Dropbox allows us to stay in communication without the need to consistently email each other files. This eliminates old files, as you know the file on Dropbox will most likely be the most recent and most updated. Beats siphoning through all your email for that graphic design.
I think these are the most programs which you need to manage your team. It has helped me over the years and it has allowed me to concentrate on several other things while keeping sane with the multiple projects I handle on a day to day basis. A to do list is important, as well as keeping your team in check with a project management platform, while keeping file sharing to a simple central drive, and keeping communication with voice and visuals will keep your outsource team thriving.