As the name suggests, remote project management involves running a project smoothly and making sure it is completed on time and within the budget, everything remotely. Without physical involvement, the most common challenges will include communication and motivation, which are critical for project management.
There are advantages and disadvantages to remote project management. Benefits include increased productivity and reduced turnover, all the while lowering the cost and accessing top talent. The disadvantages include ineffective team communications, scheduling becomes askew, and a lack of company culture as there is a lack of physical interaction.
Here are some strategies you can utilise for effective remote project management:
1. Going for the right methodology
For some projects, you need to be careful with the methodology you choose. Only some of these management methodologies work better for remote projects. If you want to effectively manage your project remotely, you go to more methodologies like agile methodology, which is highly flexible. The agile method is very adaptable where the processes constantly change and adapt to the changing situations. Using the agile method, you will be responding to circumstances quickly and managing the project in the fast lane. Another methodology is Scrum. Here too, there’s a high focus on producing and updating deliverables constantly. Scrum is more flexible and does not rely on leadership, thereby enabling a team to self-organise. In Kanban methodology, you visualise your team’s workload. The workload is divided into columns, and each column represents a stage in the team’s workflow. This methodology leans more towards structured project management.
2. Deciding on which tools to use:
When choosing tools for your remote project management, make sure those tools have all the features you need. Before looking for the tools, create a list of features that you absolutely need for your project management and will be beneficial while managing remotely. Also, make sure that these tools can be customised to suit your workflow. Instead of forcing your team to adapt to the tools, you should look for tools that your team can adapt to seamlessly and can be used without a learning curve. And it is essential to ensure that these tools are easy to use and fits right in your budget.
3. Detailed documentation:
You should have a project specification document with all the details about your project. It should have the details like the scope of your project, the deliverables, and what you will be achieving at the end of the project, and most importantly, the deadline. Your project specification document should be answering three specific questions:
– What is the project about?
– What are we doing, and how will we be completing the project?
– What is the deadline?
It is crucial to have complete details in a project specification document when working with a remote team. Since communication is challenging when working with remote teams, it essential that the specification document is made accessible and easy for the peers.
A remote team can work effectively when they write everything down. Process documents work likes how-to guides for your peers. Keep these guides in a place that is easily accessible for your team. So, whenever one has a question about the project, they can get the answers directly from the document instead of waiting for a manager to answer the query. Creating process documents helps with transparency and ensures everyone on the team has access to company information. These documentations keep the entire team on the same page. When documenting a process, make sure you are defining the process scope. It should include answers to what the process includes and what it excludes. Excellent documentation will have all the relevant information without cluttering the document with unnecessary information. Also, make sure you include the steps to complete the process and name the stakeholders involved with the project.
5. Checking with your team regularly:
When you are managing a remote team, it is essential to conduct regular check-ins to maintain clear communications at all times. If you are not putting in the effort to connect with the team, then you are not working as a team. Conducting regular check-ins offers opportunities to team members to discuss issues and answer questions. This minor communication touch helps a project manager to keep track of the entire project’s trajectory. One-on-one meetings with team members will help you monitor the progress, solve issues faced by your peers and make changes to progress to accommodate changes.
When you are a project manager handling a remote project, you must be loaded with all the relevant information that will aid your project management. These five remote project management tips can significantly help you with your progress. With the right tools and knowledge and some training from the right consultants, you will be ready to face and challenge any remote project management.