As remote teams become more the norm, Jennifer Bridges, PMP, relates new ways of using project management software to manage them.
Here’s a shot of the whiteboard for your reference!
In Review: 3 New Tips for Managing Remote Teams
First, Jennifer noted the variety of distributed teams that can be working together on a project from different locations. There are:
- Vendor partners
- Sales teams
- Product development teams
That’s just three, but each project could have more or less, so it’s crucial that you have a strategy to that ensures everyone is working together.
Next, she outlined some potential issues when teams are working remotely:
- Not feeling part of the team
- Not contributing
- Waiting for instructions
- Feel work is directive
- Don’t have buy-in
While nothing replaces face-to-face dialogue, Jennifer offered these three ways to resolve the inherent problems of remote teams:
- Video conferencing with whiteboard
- Two-way collaboration and input
Allocate budget/time for some in-person summits
The talent pool has expanded, and you can now tap expertise from all over the globe, so it’s worth the extra-effort to learn remote managing skills.
Pro-Tip: Before you manage your remote team, you need to hire them. This is really the first phase of your management strategy. You want to employee team members who have experience working remotely and have proved themselves disciplined to complete tasks with autonomy.
Thanks for watching!
Today, we’re talking about three new tips to manage remote teams. Well, the truth is remote teams have been around for a long time, but we’re constantly looking for new ways to manage those teams more effectively. Let’s take a look at what some off the remote teams may look like.
So you, as a project manager, may be on-site with a few team members but you may also have some of your vendor partners on different locations. You may have your sales teams on planes, trains, or automobiles. You may have a product development team co-located together, or even in different areas.
And then you may have people on-site. You know, this is a construction site or, you know, wherever they are. So, as you can see, with the distribution of those team members, you wanna think of ways to have them collaborate more effectively.
There are some potential issues that happen with remote team members. Sometimes it could be, just due to the set-up, that some of the team members don’t feel part of the team because, maybe, the meetings, we may be having calls, or doing things by email, and so it makes people feel disengaged.
And with that, they pull back some and they don’t contribute. And when they don’t contribute, they sit there and they wait for the project manager or other team members to provide instructions on what to do.
And then, therefore, they feel like their work is being directive and then at that point they don’t buy in. So the net of that is that you’re missing valuable insights from those team members and, more importantly, their input.
So the three new tips are…the old adage goes, “that nothing can replace face-to-face,” and that’s true for projects as well. So we literally wanna go back to the drawing board with something as simple as a whiteboard.
So if you use whiteboards and then add in the videoconferencing, that’s so easy to do today with tools like Zoom or GoToWebinar. There are other tools that allow that as well, but we wanna move from the one-way communication or directives to more of a two-way collaboration.
So by being able to add the face-to-face component in, really helps people to feel more engaged and give them the safety and security to contribute.
We also wanna force in some in-person summits. And so some people say, “Well, we can’t do that, because we don’t have the money,” or “We don’t have the time.”
So, as the project manager, that’s one important part that you have to incorporate into not only your budget, but into your schedule, block off certain times not just in the planning phase, but all throughout the project.
And then that way, again, it gets back to providing the opportunity for the other team members to feel a part, to contribute, so you can get their insights and their input.
So, if you need a tool that can help you manage your remote teams, then sign up for our software now at projectmanager.com.