With the increase in cloud-based platforms and web-enabled devices such as smartphones and laptops, remote collaboration has become more than just an option. Both freelancers and corporate teams collaborate on a plethora of projects and daily work-related activities constantly. According to Business 2 Community, 93% of organizations report using standardized, traditional project management practices, while management software adoption remains at low 22%, with 55% of organizations lacking any form of real-time tracking or KPIs.
A lack of modern remote project management solutions can prove detrimental for coworker productivity, end-product quality, and company reputation as a whole. With that said, let’s take a look at the “why” and “how” behind remote project management technology and some of the essential elements to consider adding into your workflow going forward.
Benefits of Remote Project Management
Before we get into the guidelines of global project management in a remote work environment, let’s talk about the benefits of the technology as a whole and the concept behind it. In short, remote collaboration platforms allow teams of likeminded individuals to work together and deliver actionable results no matter where they are in the world.
According to Medium, 77% of high-performing project teams have utilized project management software to achieve their goals, while last year, nearly 70% of projects managed through remote platforms met their original goals based on original budget and deadlines. Coupled with writing platforms such as Evernote and Pick Writers, you as a project manager would be able to brief your team in greater detail and more quickly as a result of a centralized, cloud-based work environment you all share regardless of current location.
The addition of such a tool to your business model, whether you are a small-scale enterprise or a large international company, can be highly beneficial to your bottom line as a result of workflow flexibility and less stressful work conditions. While project management tools allow for increased freedom, they require self-discipline and motivation far more than traditional office-based collaborative environment.
Global Project Management Guidelines
Start with Coworker Individualization
The greatest challenge of remote project management is to keep everyone motivated and to facilitate their contributions to the team. As such, your first priority as project manager should be to individualize each member of your team on the remote work platform. Individualization elements such as custom nicknames, photos, and color-coded icons are only some of the things you can add to the equation.
This will allow each member of your remote management software team to feel unique among their coworkers. It will also ensure that everyone feels equal and important to the team, enabling them to stand out each time they write a comment, interact with the team, or contribute to the work at hand.
Resource & Duty Assignment
Once your team is gathered on the platform and set up in regards to their profiles, you should allocate project resources and duties accordingly. It’s good practice to ask your team members, if they don’t know each other already, to list their skills and specializations for everyone else to see. This will allow everyone to assess who’s who quickly and for them to be able to manage duty and resource delegation even if you’re offline.
Job delegation should always be done democratically and collaboratively, with everyone allowed to pitch in, comment, and feedback on your decisions as a project manager. Remember, remote work technology will only be as useful to your team as they are willing to work with one another to finish the project – collaborate as equals, and your work will be that much easier.
Collaboration in Remote Environment
Even though the technology allows for 24/7 remote work to be done individually, your team members should still be encouraged to collaborate. You can assign coworkers into pairs or create KPIs which support collaborative efforts instead of individual contributions to the project.
This will help your team feel like a whole rather than a group of individuals who so happen to work on the same project at once. Most importantly, it will raise the retention rate, productivity, and motivation of your team members due to constant cooperation, chatting, learning, and time spent together on the remote work platform.
Scheduled Check-Ins Matter
Once your project is underway, you should consider scheduling check-ins and meetings with the whole team periodically. Even if your team is scattered across the globe, the technology will allow you to find a timetable that works for everyone and doesn’t disrupt the flow of the project.
This initiative will enable everyone to present their progress so far and allow you to coach or feedback any one member in a live video chat. Don’t let your project to continue autonomously without your supervision or scheduled meetings at least once a week to avoid taking the end-product in the wrong direction.
Keep an Eye on Analytics
Lastly, elements such as ongoing project performance analytics, KPI tracking, resource management, and other activities should be taken into serious consideration. As a project manager, your task is not only to monitor your team and their wellbeing but also the resources, data, and workflow they are engaged with.
As such, you can refer to advanced analytics tools in remote management software to compare past and present performance, resource expenditure, and other factors relevant to your project. Active tracking will allow you to quickly react to sudden changes in team behavior, product quality, or workflow management without losing track of deadlines or KPIs in doing so. Make the analytics reports available across the team to gain further trust from your coworkers and allow them to pitch in with their thoughts and suggestions regarding future progress.
Depending on your level of expertise as a team manager, it might be daunting to manage a global project without access to your coworkers during work hours. Make sure to find meaningful ways to introduce a remote project management platform into your workflow without doing so for the sake of trends or word of mouth. Once the platform is set up, and you and your team are familiar with its purpose, everyone will quickly grow accustomed to its features and functionality.