How to Lead the Projects From Remote Location?

Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) are becoming more popular now, and companies are now witnessing the importance of this approach. Whenever the crisis such as Covid-19 and other such pandemic occurs working from one location for all teammates are impossible. Hence in the challenging times like this, remote work is becoming the need of the hour. Resource management has become more vital now. 

With improved technology, increasing transportation cost, and time, the potential virus spread compelling us to work from remote places. So, let us look at how to lead the project effectively from a distant place. The below five things are essential to run a project smoothly.

  • Coordination across time Zones

If you are leading a team with different time zones, it is more challenging to coordinate the entire team. But the fact is occupying the same physical location allows team members to communicate and collaborate spontaneously. But talking with all at the same time requires proper planning and thoughtful project scheduling. 

In the USA alone there are six time zones are there. To interact with all team members at the same time, it requires proper resource management techniques. To achieve this, you need to have the complete details of every team member where they are living and maintain their time zones. Then schedule a meeting where many of the members can quickly attend. Usually, a few members have to work in odd hours.

  • Build Community Mindset

For the success of any project, resource management is necessary. The same way cultivating the community mindset is vital. While working from one site easily allows you to communicate and get along with each other. The occasional team outings, birthday parties, and many things will make this happen. 

To build the same sense from a remote place, you need to create dedicated digital spaces for celebrating special days of employees. Virtually creating team building activities like virtual games or book clubs etc. will help.

  • Face to Face Communication

The remote working means more and more relying on written communication rather than direct ones. It sometimes leads to miss -communication. Hence to overcome this problem, you need to increase direct communications.

It is important to schedule one to one meeting with employees regularly and make sure it is a video-enabled call. When conducting the team meeting, also schedule video conference calls. It will allow teammates to feel more like the regular team meeting that used to happen in a conference room. 

  • Use tech to collaborate.

The collaboration within the team is the best way of resource management. Using technology for communicating is an essential thing. We cannot rely solely on email communication for everything. But many companies use multiple communication tools, and it often overlaps with another way of communication.

You need to determine which type of tools will most suit as per the situation. For urgent things, you need to use video or voice calls, but for less formal and less critical things, you can use the chat. And using email is required for official communication. 

  • Resource Management by Hiring Remote Ready Employees

For the smooth operation of the project, you need to hire more and more employees who are ready to work from remote locations. Because even your normal activities from an office location, this kind of situation does occur occasionally, so be prepared for such conditions are essential. And hiring those kinds of employees is necessary.

Featured Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

How to keep up the employees or make progress during this pandemic?

It’s a big unknown whether we need to move forward in planning our work or cancel the events which are already planned. It’s just not billing the client or making progress or keeping up the staff busy. There are many things which are involved where we can help each other if you are working in an organization or vice versa. Employees and employer are very sensitive for the ongoing pandemic and being impacted by unknown ghost during these unprecedented times. Thinking and making critical changes or quantifying the risk factors involved for each task or event by itself can help us out.

There are 8 best ways where we can make the progress in a right way –

  • Our first priority is our stake holder or the client who we are doing the work for. Ask and revisit your specification for more details on such pandemic type and take necessary action in sending a written documentation. Stakeholder will love to know all the information which is going on the project and definitely we can sit down and make corrective action in favor to both of us with the ongoing trending news.
  • Scanning your WBS (work breakdown structure) and critical path activities can lead us a long way or this is the right way of approaching to the stake holder for more clarification on planned events. Even we can plan on distributing the future work where people can start working from home and make an efficient progress in billing the client for a positive outcome.
  • Visit the business model or schedule to work on low priority items which can be avoided the massive crowds or a group of people. Scatter the people as much as needed for the best productive results and keep them safe would be the highest priority in the coming days. Work should be planned with social distancing by Project controls team or project management team need to come up with various scheduling options or revisit the WBS (work breakdown structure) to see if they can modify or massage the schedule for the overall project without changing the end date.
  • If you make the changes with your WBS obviously check with your suppliers or vendors or partners or sub-contractors whether they can supply the material or do work in this crisis. Taking notes and coming up with a log from procurement department would be the best way to tackle this kind of situation and can be easily explained to the owners/Stakeholders.
  • Communication is the key point in doing all these or put everything to work. Many employees would like to prefer work from home and communication would rather be very difficult in these type of situations. Try to connect with video calling or phone conference meeting to come up with a plan and make everyone satisfied in your performance.
  • Sharing is always caring in each project and many employees are looking to work in these COVID-19 times for the performance and job security. So try to engage as many people as possible. Employees will love to take that next step in making the changes and accomplishing the tasks for managers. Always come up and give chance for various ideas in the room or in a meeting. Mainly people who are way involved in the projects need to have priority and one idea can change the scenario in planning, execution, quality and close out.
  • Documentation is the key and after one year from now people can only remember the pandemic but not the insights of each particular job. Try to keep each and every single record of the job for any change management or risk management teams to get involved in the coming months. Employees or employer doesn’t know when this pandemic is going to last and need to be having a good control on the job would be better documentation structure.
  • Our best suggestion to all project managers and project teams to track the work before the pandemic started and update the date to the closet date the pandemic started effectively in each region. This will help the stakeholder to analyses the previous performance and compare to take relevant decision.

We would strongly believe these are challenging times for each personnel on the job and taking care of each other by having a cool mindset, flexible communication and help where ever or look after for each other would be the best way to earn your paycheck and keep the employer happy.

Featured Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

How does the project work continue after reopening America?

The project management is becoming critical with the pandemic attack. The Coronavirus is increasing its death rate day by day. As a result, many countries have imposed lock down throughout the country. The deadliest disease caused significant havoc in America. So, the government is compelled to shut down all the public gatherings and other activities. 

As a generation, we have not experienced this situation until now. But this situation has taught many things. Hence, we can see many changes in the coming days. So, let us look at how things will change after reopening in America in the project work space.

  • Remote Work management

The project work will think about continuing on remote work. There are several situations where remote work is not possible. But the actions of some of the employees can be made from home. Many tasks like developing, coding, testing, and many works can be done from remote places. 

Many companies are thinking of making a specific mandatory day of work from home. And it seems the world will move towards more work from home in the future than working in workplaces. 

  • Team Collaboration management

The success or failure of any project mainly depends on how effective its project management. An efficient project manager knows how to collaborate and work as a team. Post pandemic companies will try to increase the collaboration level while working remotely. 

Effective teamwork can able to achieve any of the difficult tasks. The manager must train and motivate the teammates to work as a team for successful collaboration. When the employees start to work as a team rather than giving importance to individual brilliance, the things will change.

Much importance to effective project management

Covid-19 has taught us many lessons. And one of the major ones is to be prepared for any contingency. Effective project management will give importance to risk management. The companies who already taken proper measures are working rather smoothly even in this crisis. 

After the reopening, project work will start to prepare to be ready for any of the future crises. They will begin assessing the problem they might get in the future crises and will work on how to counter them. The plans such as not depending on one source or one location and many more will come into play. It will help to get the inputs if one source fails. 

Investing in the technical infrastructure

You may notice the companies that are equipped well in technical infrastructure are doing well even now. They contain the work remotely without significant problems. Project management will have to think more about providing essential tools for the employees.

Now we are seeing a huge demand for many industrial products that connect the people virtually. The corporates will work towards this by proving each or at least some employees all the infrastructures to communicate from remote places. Procuring laptops, providing a reliable internet source are some examples of this.

Certainly, Covid -19 has changed many things. Now it all depends on companies to work on its project management to overcome these kinds of issues in the future. 

Featured Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst Photo by Mitul Shah from Burst