By: Jenna Tziatis, Marketing Specialist, McMaster University Continuing Education
Managing projects can be challenging in any industry. With many businesses moving employees to work remotely, this transition creates an added layer of complexity for project managers to navigate.
If you are managing projects remotely and working with a virtual team, here are three tips to keep your projects running smoothly. They include keeping your workspace organized, leveraging the right project management technology and trying to maintain a human element in your communications to keep the project on-track and the team engaged. Let’s look at each one of these more closely.
1. Organize your workspace
Start by creating a space in your home that you can designate as your office to keep all your work files and items centrally, for easy access and convenience.
Set up your desk space in a way that allows you to be productive. Think about including dual monitors, a desk lamp, wireless keyboard, and mouse. Install a whiteboard to help you visualize project timelines and dates. You can also want to hang a bulletin board to pin up frequently referenced documents and post reminders. While everyone’s space will be different, make sure that you organize your space in a way that works for you.
2. Utilize technology
As a virtual project manager, technology can be your best friend. There are plenty of project management software solutions available in the marketplace to help you stay organized. Here are some things for you to consider:
- The technology must work effectively for everyone. It’s important to remember that the technology solution is not just for your benefit. Everyone should be able to track project timelines, budget and scope easily.
- Use a technology platform that centralizes your communications. Using a singular communications solution, like Microsoft Teams, allows all team members access to the same communications so messages are clear and do not get missed or lost in translation.
3. Keep it Human
One of the biggest challenges that remote project managers face is “keeping it human”. Getting to know your team and treating them as individuals will make them feel appreciated and connected to the project. Not only will this give you more insight into the types of personalities you’re working with, but it also gives your team a level of comfort to be more open in their communications when giving feedback and input.
One way to foster these relationships is by using video conferencing. These face-to-face interactions are great ways to connect and boost team morale which should translate into an increase in overall performance.
While working remotely comes with many conveniences, it also comes with its challenges. By ensuring that you create an organized workspace, utilize the right technology solutions for your project and maintain a human element in your communications, you’ll be on your way to managing your project more effectively.