Things to keep in mind when managing a remote team.
With more and more teams working remotely, it's important for project managers to adapt their management styles to ensure the success of their projects. Managing a remote project team comes with its own unique set of challenges, but with the right approach, you can keep your team on track and achieve your project goals.
Here are some dos and dont's when managing a remote team as a project manager:
DO set clear expectations: Communication is key when working remotely, so it's important to set clear expectations for your team. This includes goals, timelines, tasks and responsibilities. Make sure everyone is on the same page and understands what is expected of them. Project management software can greatly contribute to success.
DON'T micromanage: While it's important to set clear expectations, it's also important to trust your team to do their jobs. Micromanaging can lead to resentment and lower productivity. Instead, focus on providing support and guidance when needed.
DO use collaboration tools: There are many collaboration and project management tools available to help remote teams stay connected and organized. Use tools like project management software, Zoom, and instant messaging to keep your team in sync.
DON'T rely solely on email: While email is a useful communication tool, it's not always the best choice for remote teams. It can be easy for messages to get lost or for miscommunication to occur. It often becomes messy and chaotic quickly. Use a variety of communication channels to ensure everyone is informed and up-to-date.
DO schedule regular check-ins: Regular check-ins can help keep your team on track and address any issues before they become major problems. Schedule regular meetings (but don't overdo this!) to touch base with your team and discuss any concerns. Instead of scheduling to many meetings, use collaboration software so your team can stay up-to-date without the need for constant meetings.
DON'T ignore time zones: When managing a remote team, it's important to be mindful of time zones. Be flexible with meeting times and make sure everyone has access to important information, regardless of their location.
DO provide feedback: Feedback is essential for improving performance and ensuring your team is meeting expectations. Provide constructive feedback to your team members and encourage them to do the same for each other. It's probably best to set a fixed date (eg. once a month) for a 1-on-1 feedback session.
DON'T forget to celebrate successes: Celebrating successes, no matter how small, can help keep your team motivated and engaged. Take the time to acknowledge and appreciate your team's hard work and achievements. This will boost productivity and happiness overtime.
Managing a remote team requires a different approach than managing an in-person team. By setting clear expectations, using collaboration tools, scheduling regular check-ins, and providing feedback, you can keep your team on track and achieve your project goals. Avoid micromanaging, relying solely on email, ignoring time zones, and forgetting to celebrate successes, and you'll be well on your way to success with your remote project team.