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Managing Remote Teams Successfully: Remote Project Management Tips & Tactics

Managing Remote Teams Successfully: Remote Project Management Tips & Tactics


[Music Intro]>>Hi, I’m Devin Deen, the Content Director
here at ProjectManager.com. In our distributed world it’s a rare luxury for us as project
managers to be managing resources, such as your project team, who are in the same place
all at the same time from the start of the project to the end of the project. The reality
is that we’re all going to have the opportunity to manage remote teams. I use some techniques
to help me better manage my remote project teams, and I’d like to share those with you
today. First off it’s about communications. Actually
it’s all about communications. There’s nothing but communications. That is the secret sauce
to getting your remote team to deliver in the same performance level that you would
a team working together. In fact in some occasions, deliver even better and have higher quality
then a project team that’s working together physically in the same room. First off you want to do a team building activity.
Now when we have project teams that are working together in the same office location, we have
the opportunity to take everyone to a team lunch or maybe do a little bit of a challenging
team building activity. When you’ve got team members that are out
there remotely in different parts of the world, New York, Los Angeles, New Zealand, Sydney
Australia, you don’t have that opportunity. But it doesn’t give you an excuse not to do
a team building activity. You might do a fun webinar. You might find another opportunity
such as doing a team game, an online multi-player game or a quiz show. Whatever it is, get creative and do some sort
of team building activity that involves every member of your team at the start of your project.
Whatever it is, leverage the technology that you have to get some sort of team building
activity together for your project team members that are in remote locations. Next, encourage and build interpersonal relationships
amongst the team. It’s the team that’s going to come together and deliver the outcome that
you’re looking for. If you’ve got a whole bunch of individuals out in little pockets,
in little isolated spaces, they’re never going to come together and actually get the synergies
that teams have. You’ve got to build that synergy yourself. Somehow encourage those
personal relationships to build. Maybe spend a few minutes on the weekly phone
call or the daily stand up to talk about people’s weekend or what their kid’s doing next week.
Perhaps start a Facebook page or some other social media outlet to encourage those personal
relationships to build. It’s important that you do that, that you
find a way to ensure that your team members are getting to know each other beyond the
scope of the project. Because it’s those relationships that are the ones that you’re going to use
when your project does get into crisis, which they all do from time to time. Next, the daily stand up. You got to do a
daily stand up, there’s no two ways about it. Get everyone together on the phone, on
the web, to do a 15 minute hey here’s where are today, this is where we’re going today,
this looks like success at the end of the day. Let’s get ready for tomorrow. You’ve
got to do those daily standups. I can’t emphasize that enough. They don’t need to be long. Fifteen minutes
is good enough to do the deed. You’ve got to have those though. If you skip out on the
daily standups, you’re going to find that your project is going to get out away from
you. And because you’re not physically there to watch it and watch what people are doing,
it has a greater tendency to do that unless you stay on top of it. Daily standups are
a must. Phone conferencing, video conferencing or
web sharing. Look, use all the technology items that you have at your disposal to get
that project to communicate and interact together. If phone conferencing is the best you can
do, hey, it’s better than nothing. Get people together on the phone at the same time. E-mailing
one another is not good enough. That doesn’t count for communication in the team because
it’s asynchronous. You need to get synchronous communication happening. Do it by a phone conferencing video or even
web sharing. What I like about web sharing is that you’ve got one team members desktop
open and the rest of them can look at it so they have that common perspective, that common
viewpoint. Video conferencing is good for that as well, but maybe you might not have
the bandwidth to enable that. You can still use phone conferencing.
The important thing is that you’re having that synchronous communication happening within
the team. Asynchronous communication is not going to do it for you. It’s not good enough
to ensure that your team’s going to deliver to their objectives when you want them to. Follow the sun. This is an old time rule for
doing software development back in the 80’s and 90’s. Always do your software development
in ways that follow the sun. For example, you might have the person who’s doing the
requirements gathering start off or do that from Los Angeles. Whereas the developers might
be in Sydney or New Zealand, who are a few hours behind the Los Angeles business and
analysts doing the requirements. The reason why that’s good is because as this
person comes up with some problems or has some business questions, the folks in later
time zones can actually work on those through the night so that when this person comes into
work the next day, they’ve got answers to the question. If you can find a way to organize your project
team so you can leverage the movements of the sun throughout the different time zones
of the world, you’ll find that you’ll have a more contiguous, less disjointed project
team delivering to the outcomes that you’re looking for. Lastly, daily summaries. It’s really important
to get your project team members in the habit of doing a quick 5 minute e-mail that sums
up what they did in the day, what some of the issues they had, what are some of the
problems they are encountering and what you can help them with. And also what they’re
looking for to do the next day. Even if that only gets read by you occasionally
it’s important that you get them in the habit of doing that to-do list. Because as I’ve
mentioned before, remote teams have a tendency of going off in their direction because they’re
not working under one roof. Get them to do the daily summaries, they can share that with
one another, and they can ensure that everyone is still keeping pace with the rest of the
project team. Managing remote teams can be both a blessing
and a curse. I’ve found it to be a blessing because I use these techniques to bring everyone
together. The important thing is as a project manager you’re a leader. So whether you’ve
got a team member in Timbuktu or just around the corner, it’s your job to get them to work
together and lead that project team. And you do it through all the various means of communication
I’ve talked about here. Good luck in bringing the world together on
your projects. For other whiteboard sessions and all your
project manager needs come see us at projectmanager.com, and try out our software free for 30 days.

Comments (17)

  1. This helped me so soooooo much. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for this brilliant presentation! πŸ™‚

  3. It sounds really brillant. However, I've gota questions regarding the daily standups and daily summries. For me it looks like it's somehow the same thing, right ? How does those two technics distinguish themselves?

  4. Good question. We'll have to refer to Devin on that one.

  5. How could I liaise with thise Trainer? immediately please.Cell, Email ?

  6. Hey Devin ! I really like your material. May I share your videos in my website about remote staffing ?

  7. Great insights. Thanks for sharing all of this.

  8. Remote working still feels new and strange to many of us, but it looks set to be the new norm as the years go on. Millennials feel very comfortable working this way, and so the percentage in the workplace is likely to increase – making it very important that you master this new management style.

    Anyways, read the below. This might help.

    http://www.namasteui.com/remote-employees-things-to-do-to-manage-them-effectively/



    Regards,

    Sourav Basak

    Namaste UI

  9. Good one☝️ a plethora of online workers are engaged online in their own pursuits . It’s good to know the tried and true for this section of remote work

  10. If anyone wants to learn more about working remotely or join a fun & active community, check out www.guavabean.com! We love helping freelancers & digital nomads find their dream jobs. πŸ’•

  11. Thanks great tips Devin.

  12. Well, I really like this "Follow the sun rule" πŸ™‚

  13. aren't daily stand-up and daily summary are redundant? do we need a daily summary when we follow Agile-Scrum model using tools like Azure DevOps or JIRA or similar?

  14. Great video and great advices! Love your channel, very practical πŸ™‚

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