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Scaling In Office and Outsourced Teams

Mike Grainge

Vice President Product Engineering at Adlib Software

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Problem

"Our company had grown to two platform server products. At this point we were faced with the challenge: how do we scale teams to meet new product and customer requirements without sacrificing good management techniques, team communication, and open company culture?"

Actions taken

We attacked the challenge in three ways:

  • We balanced workloads, took advantage of strengths, and captured efficiencies as we realigned our in office and offshore teams to allows us to pivot quickly to market demands. The in office teams were aligned to focus on innovation work such as creating new products, working directly with customers in our early design partnership program. While current engineering work was assigned to our offshore teams.

  • We hired employees that may not have had all the direct hard skills for the job requirement, but did have the right communication skills and were comfortable speaking up and having open discussions. These employees were able to add to our "family" culture.

  • We mandated constant and clear communication, this built a solid rapport between both locations ensuring feedback, and problems were addressed quickly. We made this communication seamless by investing in the right tools and processes, ensuring both in house and the offshore locations were able to quickly connect to the right team members from whom they can get the best response.

Lessons learned

"We learned that in order to effectively manage a growing company, we had to divide tasks into two large sectors; one to be maintained in office and the other offshore. This was logistically the best decision to allow more focus on driving strategic innovation within our platforms. Ensuring that we continue to support our collaborative, family culture in a company with this division, we had to be able to bridge the culture gap which goes past just the onboarding stage and was a learning process that resulted in continued increasing productivity for the individuals and the organization as a whole. It was also important for us to remember that in order to have an team member feel like he or she is part of the business—and accept the vision and values of the organization—we had to embrace who he or she is as an individual. Providing the right onboarding orientation/experience, constant communication, and supportive culture, we were able to make the process successful and onboard employees 30% faster."

"As for who exactly we chose to onboard and grow our company, we actively look for and hire candidates with a drive to make a difference, who are comfortable in communicating, aligned with our family culture, have a strong sense of curiosity and a voice to pressure test each other. We learned that while hard skills and experience are important, it is just as vital for employees to exhibit these soft skill qualities in order to preserve the culture and communication standards while we are quickly growing our organization."


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Mike Grainge

Vice President Product Engineering at Adlib Software


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