3 Common Solutions for Remote Team Management Problems

Companies globally have vigorously adopted Remote Teams as a strategy to reduce costs, access a larger talent pool and be as close to their customers as possible.

Remote Teams do offer a lot of strategic benefits to stay competitive and profitable in a highly tech-world where quick response and faster resolution times are the norms of the day.

Customers want it no less. They want to have high accessibility and availability of your support teams.

And hiring remote workers does help meet customer demands to a great extent and also helps make your business equally local.

But when your remote teams grow big over time and spread across geographies, ensuring quality & timely output becomes a huge challenge.

And keeping the troops motivated, engaged and focused on the deliverables are other aspects that must be dealt with rigour.

According to a recent study,

  • 63 percent of companies now have remote workers, yet 57 percent of companies have no remote work policies.
  • 6 times more hiring managers believe agile team structures will become the norm.

(Source: inc.com)

  • 70% of People Globally Work Remotely at Least Once a Week
  • Remote Workers Can Save $7,000 a Year and Employers up to $11,000
  • Remote Workers Report 82% Reduced Stress

(Source: tecla.io/blog/2019-remote-it-workers-stats-companies-should-know)

Let’s have a quick look at the advantages of working with remote professionals,

Remote-Work-Advantages

Here is a quick overview of the 3 most common challenges remote team management poses and how to overcome them!

1. Communication, Collaboration and Clarity

Project Communication & Collaboration, in general, is a major challenge even when you have teams locally. And it just doubles with remote teams.

It is imperative that the teams have absolute clarity around their deliverables, who does what, when and what is next.

Else, they all run into chaos ending up with bottlenecks that eat into your planned times and delay the overall project delivery. Add to it the time and efforts spent in rework, reorg and re-prioritizing.

The best way to prevent them is having a robust communication plan.

Clearly define a central place for all project information, documents, reports etc. and ensure the team members have access to it.

Next, set crisp ground rules around the frequency, mode and type of information to be updated and shared at this platform.

Set cut-off times and also make sure that this platform is your single source of truth.

An online central collaborative platform brings all your moving parts together and keeps them in sync.

I.e. no more – “nobody told me so” or “I wasn’t notified” arguments!

Moreover, when people have access to the information they need in real time, there is less anxiety and confusion.

It is a matter of discipline and time when you have a well-oiled machine in action that helps deliver results.

2. Task Assignments and Productivity

Preventing rework is critical to reduce precious waste of billable time and efforts.

It is found very late when the same task is being worked upon by different team members.

And if you just extrapolate it at an organization level where departments have similar projects running simultaneously. Imagine the cost impact overall.

As a Project Manager or Project Sponsor, you never want to be in such a state!

You must have absolute visibility of your task lists and assignees. Your project plan depends on it.

Record all tasks in central task management software with a clear task description, estimated hours, start and due dates and assignee info.

This is your live work board that is active in real time and drives your team’s day.

Once, the task list is ready, each team member has their jobs cut-out for the day.

Everyone one knows who is working on what and when is it due. Task dependencies are better handled as teams understand how their work impacts other team members.

Also, teams are highly focused on getting the work done, which also means improved collaboration.

They are willing to help each other find optimum solutions faster i.e. higher productivity levels of your team as a unit.

All of this is possible due to an all in one project management software that the team has access to – Online!

And suddenly, your remote team doesn’t look so remote after all!

3. Monitoring Project Team Performance:

Resources are the largest cost contributors of organizations the world over, irrespective of their industries.

Optimum utilization of resources, tracking their performance and monitoring results need a lot of effort.

Whether you have time and material, fixed bid or dedicated deployment business model keeping costs to the minimum is the first go to measure to ensure profitability.

Add to it the consistent pressure or expectation to deliver more with less makes things complex.

Performance monitoring is a numbers game.

There is no beating around the bush. You need concrete project metrics to measure and optimize.

Depending on the nature of your project, your metrics can be around turnaround times, resolution times, response times, billable hours or milestones delivered.

In all cases, you need robust time tracking and resource management reports to see how your teams are spending their time.

  • Are the assigned tasks being delivered within the planned hours?
  • Are there reworks or duplicity of efforts?
  • Is the non-billable hour spending too high for your tasks?
  • Which non-billable tasks can be prevented or entirely excluded?
  • Are we invoicing the right amount of billable hours?

Unless you have answers to the above, you cannot control them!

Hence, make sure the teams have clear actionable instructions and well-defined task timelines from the word go.

Along with it, give them a platform for time tracking and properly categorizing their time spent.

Having online task management and time tracking software provides transparency and the teams can monitor their performance in real time.

This gives them a clear picture of their performance with the other team members and acts as a motivator to contribute more with quality and on-time!

In the end, you stand to gain as a project manager, as an individual team player, and as a business owner.

There are no more blind spots for anyone!

Wrapping it up!

All in all, the key is to ensure the team is provided with

  • Proper work breakdown
  • Expected task duration and due timelines
  • Transparent task allocation
  • Visibility to individual performance
  • Alignment of tasks and resources to the overarching project goal

Whether local or remote, things will fall through the cracks if adequate measures as outlined above aren’t put in place.

We are always faced with common pitfalls in terms of –

  • Not having access to the right info at the right time
  • Not sharing the right info with the relevant stakeholders
  • Lack of clarity around the business goals
  • Teams not knowing their roles and responsibilities
  • Mis-management of stakeholder (customers, sponsor, project team, project manager, PMO, ISP & Vendors) expectations

And we cannot prevent them unless we bring each one involved on a single online work management platform.

Today’s tech advancements have flooded the market with numerous such platforms that offer project management, task management, time tracking, resource management, comprehensive reports dashboard, agile project management, etc.

Start by picking one! Click here to find all the solutions for your problems related to project management.

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