How to enhance role and responsibilities of managers

in Head Office despite their projects being offshored to the Offshore Center



By Vimal Kumar Khanna

New Delhi, India



A large number of global companies are running Offshore Centers in distant countries. These companies have augmented their project teams in their global Head Office (HO) with the Offshore Center teams. The projects are distributed across the Offshore Center and HO, with the Offshore Center managers and HO managers leading the project teams to deliver on the project objectives.

In the absence of an Offshore Center, the managers in HO manage large projects with large directly reporting team sizes in the HO. However, as the company starts its Offshore Center, it offshores some of these projects. As time progresses, more projects with larger team sizes are offshored because of the advantage of lower cost of executing projects in the Offshore Center.

Initially, the managers in HO directly control the Offshore Center project teams working on their globally distributed projects. As the project size and project team size increases, the Offshore Center components of these distributed projects are managed by local managers in the Offshore Center. Over a period of time, the Offshore Center teams and managers gain in expertise and experience in executing projects. The company then decides that some of its projects will be executed totally within the Offshore Center and will be independently managed by local managers in the Offshore Center.

However, giving more responsibilities to the Offshore Center managers may possibly dilute the authority and responsibilities of the HO managers. The HO managers end up managing much smaller teams in the HO. These HO managers feel that their authority and span of control over the teams has been significantly reduced. They start feeling insecure about slowly losing all their projects and all their authority to the Offshore Center management.

We suggest that these insecurities of the HO managers should be addressed by assigning them new and additional offshoring-related role and responsibilities. The suggested techniques can not only prevent dilution of the authority and responsibilities of the HO managers but can also make their role more critical to the company and can significantly enhance their contributions, even compared to the earlier role being played by them in the absence of the projects being offshored to the Offshore Center.

Let us consider the case of a global product development company with an Offshore Center. The product features are decided by the company’s Product Management team. The product management team interfaces with the key customers of the company to understand their pain-points and requirements, to decide the right set of features for the product. Since most of the key customers of the product are typically based in the country of the HO, the product management team is also based in the HO of the company.

Some components of the product are developed by executing independent projects in the Offshore Center that are managed totally by local managers. Although the Offshore Center manager of an independent project will have the management expertise and experience to deliver on it, it should be noted that the company’s product management team and key customers are still based in the HO.



To read entire article, click here


How to cite this article: Khanna, V.K. (2019).  How to enhance role and responsibilities of managers in Head Office despite their projects being offshored to the Offshore Center, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue IX, October. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/pmwj86-Oct2019-Khanna-how-to-enhance-role-and-responsibilities-of-head-office.pdf



About the Author

Vimal Kumar Khanna

New Delhi, India




Vimal Kumar Khanna is the Founder and Managing Director of mCalibre Technologies. He has more than 34 years of industry experience. He has won multiple international honors for his contributions to the management and technology domains – being listed in Marquis Who’s Who in the World and being Honorary Editor of IEEE Communications. He is the author of Amazon #1 Best Seller Book “Leading and Motivating Global Teams: Integrating Offshore Centers and the Head Office” published by CRC Press – USA (Taylor & Francis group). His sole-authored papers have been published in leading global refereed journals, magazines, and conferences. He is a frequent speaker at Project Management Institute (PMI) Global Congresses―North America, EMEA, and APAC. He is a frequent contributor to multiple PMI official global publications – PM Network and PMI E-Link.