As a project manager, you perform activities such as project planning, team coordination, and cost estimation to accomplish the project within the given time, budget and resources. While doing this, you may encounter a hailstorm of challenges, but most of them are not new and manageable. But Covid pandemic has thrown a new set of challenges for project managers; managing team and project remotely. It is easy to gather everything and fix the issues when the team is on the floor, but when your team is distributed, it is a tricky job. You have to manage a team and project that is not in your vicinity; it is easy to miss out on errors, and the project can be doomed over the lack of project visibility. However, you can avoid these risks by making a few adjustments to your project management strategies and upgrading your techniques.
- Lack of transparency
- Miscommunication with the team/stakeholders/client
- Lack of clarity on project timelines
- Task tracking and prioritization
- Higher risks of a security breach
Project management software is undoubtedly the best tool that aids project managers in achieving their project goals. It is equally effective for remote teams in managing tasks and tracking project details. You can perform myriads of activities, from scheduling tasks for team members to hosting daily review status meetings. The best project management system allows you to gain complete control over the project. It also supports third-party tool integration, and you can take advantage of the features that are not provided in the standalone software. In a remote work environment, project management software helps in eliminating the team coordination challenges and establishes complete transparency. Let us break down this further;
- Clarity on project work and roles: As a project manager, you must have clarity on the project deliverables and address the same to the team members working remotely. Each team member should know what their role in the project is and the deadlines to meet. You should choose the best approach to get the work done on time and within budget. You can use project management software to outline the project tasks and view all the tasks in one place. Project management tool allows easy assigning of tasks to the team members along with the deadline of the project. You can also see who’s responsible for which tasks and even track the status ( open, resolved, in-progress) of the issues encountered by the team members. Most project management software supports the Kanban board, which makes it easy to track the issue status.
- Providing ample resources: Remote workers may or may not have the required tools to achieve the project goals; therefore, you need to ensure that all your team members have the resources available for the project execution. A resource management software can be a valuable tool in allocating company resources or assets to the team as per the project requirements. It provides real-time visibility over the resources and allows you to assign the resources for their optimum use. Further, if there is any software or hardware issue, you should provide enough support online and offline to resolve the problems.
- Make documentation a priority: Documentation is an integral part of project management, especially when the project is managed remotely. By documenting every information regarding the project, you can assure that the project is heading as per the plan. It provides you a clear picture of the mistakes made in the project and helps to analyze the reasons behind them. A proper documentation that can be accessed and assessed in real-time can keep your team members on track, and they can be used as a reference for future projects as well. Project management system facilitates the recording of various documents associated with the project. You can version control your project documents and restore the previous version at any time. It supports files in various formats such as video clips, graphics, reports, spreadsheets, etc. The documents are centrally stored, and with the powerful search feature, the software allows users to locate documents quickly. Every team member working on the project gets informed about the changes in real-time and ensures that everyone is working on the latest version.
- Centralized data storage: Remote workers are mostly involved in sharing daily reports, worksheets, and other documents. Therefore, it is necessary that you have a centralized data storage facility that can be easily shared with other team members. Project management software can act as a centralized data storage system and solves the issue around managing the project documents. It makes the project management process quicker and efficient. If your organization operates on a smaller scale, then you can use free and open source project management software solutions.
- Streamline idea review process: One thing project managers miss out on working remotely is exchanging new ideas and gathering feedback from team members and stakeholders. However, some project management software solutions don’t let you feel scant over ideas and offer the feature to collect, organize and prioritize the ideas. Through project management software, you can quickly review each idea and document key details related to the idea, such as financial projection, implementation chances, customer response, future consideration, etc. You can even assess the values of those ideas by votes and rate them as per their impact score. A step forward, you can automate the idea workflow process right from submission to its approval, all while working remotely.
- Security: Security can be a key concern for you while managing projects remotely. Sometimes employees working remotely unknowingly expose an organization’s confidential data or assets to malicious people. For the successful completion of the project, you should share the security protocol with the employees to protect the company’s confidential data or assets. Employees should be clear about the guidelines for using the organization’s resources, data, technologies, and external devices. Organizations can also share an advisory about how to use the organization’s resources to avoid security threats.
As a project manager, you are witnessing a wave of transformation in your working patterns, especially after the Covid-19 breakout. You are managing projects and teams remotely more than ever. The virtualization of work has put you in a different role than usual. Since there is no direct interaction with the clients, stakeholders, and team members, the risk of deviating from the project remains high. With these uncertainties, you have to see that the remote work does not hamper the project deliverable and employees’ efficiency. In order to maintain consistency, you have to hone the skills in managing the work remotely by leveraging the top-class project management software. Project management software weaves every piece of remote work and allows you to get a better grip on the entire project.
Jimmy Johnson is a senior content writer at GoodFirms’ and writes on various technology topics. He often addresses the technology solutions that do value propositions and helps end-users to resolve some core issues. He writes on project development strategies, software solutions, latest technology trends, and scouts on many exciting technologies that empower businesses beyond expectation.