Due to technological advancements and easy online collaboration tools, project management has evolved and is empowering Project Managers to be more efficient and effective! Being a remote project manager is a tough job. Unlike traditional teams, who have been working on-site, the remote project manager has to deal with a lot of external factors.
Here are the top 7 practices for remote project managers to adopt in their management methods:
Be well organized:
Are you expecting your teams to deliver projects under the fixed time-frame? Well, Let’s begin with you. If you expect your subordinates to take the project ahead, you should be aware of how long your initial team took to deliver their tasks and add a few buffer hours for the same. Don’t be lazy and let your team members stand in the waiting zones for a lengthy period.
Clearly define responsibilities to every team member and put them on the same page to streamline your projects. Before jumping or starting any cross-functional team conversations, make sure that you are well aware of what was discussed previously and where things got stuck. Which means, maintain documentation of everything!
Make sure you don’t end up watching and keeping everyone’s work and timelines in check; use your project management tools to measure yourself and keep an eye on your efficiency at the same time.
Explain the requirements to stakeholders:
Want to make sure that the project you are handling goes live without any hiccups or any complications in between? Explain all the requirements adequately to all the stakeholders and make sure they stay on the same page. Does your team know the importance and value of your client’s work? Let them know the depth of the relationship and value of your client, so they can understand their significance to cater best value and bring efficient quality to your organization.
Most of the time, it happens that your client makes some modification in the requirement. The changes should not be informed to the team who is working with you momentarily, but at the same time you should make everyone who is associated with the project aware about the alterations.This will help you to be rest-assured on the projects to run aligned inclusive of the changed made and will save you from embarrassment in front of your client.
Explain your expected timeline and project delivery expectations based on your priorities.. Hire teams who have the right caliber that matches your working style and your experiences in the past, which will in turn help you commit the accurate timeline.
Use of collaborative tools:
Do you know which is the most crucial part of handling projects? Communicate X 3!
There are a lot of free and paid tools available in the market, from team management to design tools. Starting from Trello to Asana and Zeplin to Jira! Make sure your team members do not get stuck in a tricky situation while working on your project. Handling multiple projects at the same time can become a troublesome task if your team is not used to managing tasks on digital platforms.
Don’t always go for “I’ve emailed you/send you an email” mentality to communicate, try to ho on a video/audio call to build a human touch. Did I mention that you also need to appreciate them for the great work they have done already?
Prepare weekly, monthly reports, collect data and prepare visual presentable report cards to show each team’s performance and effectiveness. This is project manager’s job to collaborate and communicate with all the teams with emails, data, reports and various types of working platforms.
Be available for your teams:
As a modern project manager, you have to automate your tasks and project management techniques using new technologies and tools but one should not make it a habit to use those tools for every decision making process just because it allows you to lay off from your responsibilities!
You have to stay personally connected with each and everyone in your team and look after their performances closely. Not being available for them may give them a shadow time where you are wasting your resources or maybe they are spending their time just to take your approval and suggestions to go ahead.
An automated project management tool and timelines are a good option for teams that are matured enough and would go-ahead to take conversations and more to share the updates. A newbie to remote project concept would need your help and a lot more regular communication to go ahead.
Make sure; as a project manager, you are building teams and not ruling them. Try to develop personal relations with your teams and encourage and appreciate them at times to build a rapport with them. Adrixus always encourages building personal relationships with clients, internal and external teams and partners.
Keep your work area ready:
Most of the remote project managers would be working from home or co-working shared spaces. Make sure if you have a client call, you get the cabins booked at your co-working space. If you are working from home and a position may occur where a guest suddenly arrives at your place, have a backup plan ready. Whether have a particular purpose conference calling room available or get familiar with neighboring cafes to go on such situations
Keep the client in the loop:
When you are working on the production and maintenance, your client is working on the product launch and marketing their product in the market. Make sure you do not hide anything or lie about anything from your client. Build a transparent workflow and make sure that you are keeping your client in the loop for all possible transactions.
This would not make your client’s life easy by interacting on how things are working and when the project would get completed, it would also let your client suggest you and test your ongoing project to recommend any other changes.
Do you have a disaster management team on standby?
If you don’t face the worst-case scenario in your project, you have to be ready with the risk management/project management team on standby!
Once you start planning your project, put buffer times for some kind of fluctuations in your tasks and deliveries; if any of the teams fail to deliver that even after that buffer time, make sure you are ready with a trusted source of supporters to get that thing done for you at any time. This might be a costly process to deliver the project on time, but think in this way; if you lose one supplier, that’s fine. What if you miss existing and very productive client relationships? If you have a backup, don’t ever become so stubborn and threaten someone else, you have people to take charge of these things. Never let your team lose confidence in your management and project handling skills.
Being a remote project manager is both challenging and fun. You just have to make sure that you do not deviate from your initial set of requirements and do not let any gap of miscommunication arise in your project planning and various teams you are handling.
Adrixus provides remote project management services and gives you a chance to hire a dedicated team to work on your tech projects with your custom requirements.