Working from the Alps – Managing the project from a remote location
Our generation has seen it all and done it all – teams working closely together inside an office space to a team which is completely detached from each other yet working smoothly. The advantage of being able to work from remote locations was made possible with the invention and widespread utilization of the Internet and web-based applications. The next generation of project managers will probably have a remote team which connects to each other over a mobile app! The leverage this technology gives is boundless. The biggest advantage is being able to have the best people you need for the project who can work from their comfortable place which make them yield higher than those who are forced to relocate to a common office. But managing such a team remotely involves a big risk too. The project manager needs to be well-organized first. The team has to come to terms with using a common tool for the project and have to connect with each other more often to make sure they are working in a rapport. Unless the project manager is well experienced and is able to communicate and lead the team effectively, this concept will not work out well. Over and above all these, a good application that connects the entire team and holds the central repository of the project details is essential to the success execution of remote project management.
While there are a lot of pros and cons for remote working, one of the main advantages remain constant and above every other fact – being able to work and manage the team-work even from the Alps! The workaholics benefit the most from this solution as they can still stay committed to the family and enjoy a holiday with them at some isolated location while being able to manage work without letting the team feel his or her absence. In one way, it is good for the company, but for the employee or the manager, the work continues to haunt even during the holidays!
Some of the major issues that are known to vouch against remote working are:
- Time difference – as one team member comes online in the morning, some others log off as its night for them.
- Lesser teamwork or interaction due to the time difference and less familiarity among the team members.
- The geographical and cultural differences can affect their method of thinking and when it differs drastically, it affects the entire team.
- Data access and security can be compromised with multiple users logging in from different parts of the world.
How to fix the issues of working remotely?
The best way to make sure a remotely working team is managed well and they deliver well are to concentrate on how the basic issues can be sorted out. Some of the possible solutions to curb a remote team from falling apart are to:
- Spend time in knowing your team members well in the initial stages itself. This makes sure the project manager knows what the members are capable of delivering as against what is expected of them. Once you know your team, you will have an idea of how, when and what to communicate with them over the course of the project.
- Set the targets early on so that the team will have enough sessions on clarifications. Let the instructions and milestone be as clear as mineral water as we do not want anyone working on any assumption. One issue with a remote team is that, until a member comes up with his or her work, no one else in the team will know what they are up to! So let the team not work on any assumptions.
- Communicate more often. Communication is very important, especially when the team is not together physically. So regular and frequent communication is required to follow up the work-in-progress to make sure that the team is on the right path.
- Invest in software tools that help to manage projects remotely. This kind of investments will help yield better products very fast. Making use of software like workflowmax which lets the team connect via mobile can be very effective in managing a team and the project from remote locations.
- Have access to real-time data so that none of the work is repeated or overlooked and are well aligned with each other also helps the project manager to make sure the project finishes on time.
How do you benefit from working remotely?
Being able to work remotely is the first and foremost benefit of remote project management. Other than that, it helps the project or the organization in the following ways:
- You can acquire the right talents for the project without having to set the boundaries
- Very attractive and lucrative to the staff as the working location and time are more flexible for them
- Productivity increases as the team members are working on their own
- It exhibits the trust the organization has on the individual members and the team as a whole which further makes them loyal
A well-managed work with the help of a totally remote team can help them grow as better team players and team leads. Ultimately, it weighs down to how the team and the project fare in the market.