Project management can be daunting for in-house teams. It is never easy to juggle between different personalities, project deadlines, priorities and more. It calls for effective communication and team collaboration to manage and complete projects successfully. Picture that in a remote setup where communication and getting teams together is always a challenge.
Managing projects for remote teams is even more difficult, not forgetting that distance makes relationship building harder, which impedes collaboration and teamwork. However, this is not to say that it can't be done successfully. Project managers in remote teams can manage projects successfully if only they employ the right processes and tools. Here are 5 tips for remote project managers.
Have important information where it can be seen
Clarity and transparency in communication is key to successful project management. For remote teams, it is more important since getting everyone together can be a challenge due to the different time zones. You should aim to ensure that every team member can easily access all information regarding the project at any given time. This eliminates the need to wait up for clarifications and answers, which is crucial for completing tasks online.
Make available a detailed project specification document. This details the project scope, deliverables, timelines and end results. Additionally, document all the processes clearly. Keep in mind that these documents should be easy to read and realistic. It is also important to translate the documents for foreign remote teams to enhance understability. If you are in Houston, partnering with a reliable translation company can ensure that you benefit from the best Houston translation services.
You can also find applications that has a notes or wiki section that you can create notes for you team. That way, the team knows exactly where all the important information is.
In the above example, a team has used Workast to create all their Human Resources policies in a space. Each team member can access the policies when required ensuring they have important information at hand.
Make use of technology
Project management software simplifies remote projects management by centralizing everything in one platform. Good remote project management software should allow for easier project tracking to ensure that milestones and deadlines are being met. It should also allow you to assign tasks to employees and streamline processes.
For teams that use Slack, Workast can assist project managers in creating tasks in a Slack channel. They can assign the task to a team member so that the deadline is not missed.
The same platform should also give access to the information mentioned above so that the team can have all they need to complete tasks in one place. Most importantly, it should integrate with your communication tool to ensure seamless communication across the team, and that all communication is visible to the whole team.
There are many options for project management apps to suit the team's need.
Provide and collect feedback
Projects move faster if you are able to provide regular and honest feedback. This way, employees can stay in the know on how the project is fairing. Take advantage of your remote project software’s features such as sticky notes, notepads, mentions, drawing tools and more to comment and share ideas on different tasks while tagging the specific people involved.
Encourage the team to share their ideas on the same for enhanced collaboration. In addition, set time for personalized feedback, especially where the feedback is negative. Keeping it private to only the people concerned prevents having a negative effect on morale.
Remote teams thrive on regular communication. This makes them feel as part of the team. Create time when everyone can come together to discuss the project and brainstorm ideas. In addition, have time for one-on-one meetings with individual members. This ensures that individual team members who wouldn’t be comfortable sharing in public get a chance to share their progress, ask questions and make suggestions. This can unlock insights on the challenges that they are facing, enabling you to be more proactive in giving support where needed.
Give your team space to be productive
When managing remote teams, it can be easy to mistrust and doubt their commitment to the project. If you are not careful, you can find yourself micromanaging and overstepping in their space. Unfortunately, this can impact their morale negatively. Once you communicate the team’s goals and objectives clearly, step back and allow the space they need to work and accomplish their tasks.
Trust them to know their most productive time to work as well as their effective way of working. This way, you don’t have to panic when their work pattern doesn’t match your ideal pattern. This also saves you a lot of stress, which is paramount for a healthy mind. Check out the OnlinebizBooster business blog for more similar tips.
Managing projects for remote teams comes with a plethora of challenges taking into account the distance and different time zones. However, with a good strategy, it is possible to overcome these challenges and achieve success. Your strategy should include giving your team space to work independently, checking in regularly, giving regular feedback, providing clear information and using reliable project management software.