5 Rules to Live by for Remote Project Management
Project management is a tough business. Combine that with remote work and you have yourself some added challenges as well as some awesome perks. How can you ace project management while working remote? Read to find out.
1 - Make up for office interaction
You need to compensate for the fact that you are not going to be running into each other in the office. Remote work is quite different from office work. In an office, your employees can consult you on any issue right then and there. But that’s not the case with remote workers.
This is the question you need to be asking yourself — have you put in place a system that allows for easy and quick communication with your remote employees?
To do that, take advantage of the numerous messaging apps and project management software online. And while we’re at that, let’s look at organizing the levels of communication.
2 - Organizing levels of communication
When it comes to organizing different levels of communication, you can look at it this way — nothing beats video.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is worth 10,000 words. Video is the all-powerful solution to compensate for the lack of human-to-human interaction in remote project management.
When you want something urgently done, go for a video conference or video call. It is also great if you want to explain a new concept to your remote employees, or if you want to provide them with feedback on something they have already done.
Suppose you want to explain to them how they can improve upon an already completed task. Through video, you can easily show it to them by maybe taking the help of a whiteboard, etc.
Then, comes audio. If you can’t manage to have a video call, then go for audio messages, or audio calls.
After that, you have live chat. Quick and prompt, it is a good virtual replacement of audio communication in a professional setting.
Lastly, you have email. Don't opt for email if you want something done quickly, as it is by far the slowest mode of communication.
3 - Have a result-oriented approach
There are cultures around the world that promote long working hours. But you don’t need that. You don’t want to have a workspace where people are sticking around until ten o'clock to complete their tasks.
Remember, your employees need to have a life outside of work. They need to stay motivated and fresh.
You can ensure that and reap many other benefits by having a result-oriented approach. The key here is not to work hard but to work smart. With a result oriented approach you can ensure that your employees will meet the targets that have been set for them and do so in a limited time frame.
It is seen that companies that follow a result-oriented approach meet their targets more frequently, report higher employee motivation and quality of results.
And it is not surprising to see why this is the case!
Based on research, an average person only works about two to three hours a day. That makes one wonder, what's the point of wasting our lives sitting in an office then?
Luckily, with remote project management you have a lot of flexibility.
You can start by setting goals for each department to achieve by the end of the week. Don’t try to solve all problems at once. Stick with bite-sized chunks of your goals that you can manage and allot to your team.
Another characteristic that comes with being result-driven is to have a clear vision of your company’s future.
4 - Have clear-cut, well communicated goals
To achieve company goals, your team members need to be on the same page. For doing that, KPIs or key performance indicators are crucial. Just as your car’s dashboard helps you determine is you are going too fast or too slow, KPIs help you monitor your team’s performance.
Think of it as a GPS system that guides your company’s progress, and whether you’re going in the right direction. Ask your team members to give you a weekly report of where they are in achieving their targets relative to the KPIs, what they’re planning on doing next week and what obstacles they are encountering.
Overall, this will help you take the right measures and solve problems.
5 -Have frequent follow-ups
Effective interaction is incredibly important. As mentioned earlier, to make up for in-person interaction, you need to hold frequent video calls and regular check-ups on your team members. It is also essential for you to gauge their progress and provide feedback on-the-go.
In order for you to have a superb working system, you need to have exceptionally well-managed virtual teams.
Apart from having effective, prompt communication to get tasks done, you also need to produce interesting ideas.
On your own, you can only come up with a handful of great ideas. But think of it in a group setting and you can multiply that potential tenfold.
To achieve that, brainstorm ideas with your employees on chat or video call.
Keep a record of all the ideas generated by your employees.
Then, hold a session in which you pick and choose from the best ideas generated.
After that, begin working on one of the picked ideas.
Lastly, track progress frequently.
And by frequently, it means that you do so no less than twice a week. Bi-weekly check-ups should be your priority. If at times you fall short of doing that, then aim for a weekly check-up. Anything less than that is letting your team hang on a thread without you to grant them the necessary support as a project manager.
Remote work gives you tremendous flexibility. To ace remote project management, you need the right tools in place, a well-balanced approach in meeting company targets and active communication.
Above all, it requires for you to have a positive outlook. Believe in your employees, and boost your face to face interaction. Stick by these rules, and you will be a pro at remote project management.