If you’re new to managing a remote team then you’re probably learning that there’s a lot more to it than creating milestones and assigning tasks. You know you need tools for team collaboration to succeed in your projects.
You’re probably just realizing how many fundamental elements of the in-person work environment you took completely for granted throughout your work experience.
Most of these habits are so intrinsic to the traditional work environment that they’re difficult to identify in advance of beginning a new project with remote workers.
Luckily, just as software advances have facilitated the remote work environment the right one can also help you become a more productive and successful remote manger.
That is why picking the right project management software for your particular needs is so critical.
Below is a list of three factors you must be prepared to master in order to effectively manage your remote team.
Most importantly, the greater the challenge you experience in a particular area the more important it is to pick a tool that can help you compensate for that specific shortcoming.
Team collaboration requirements
The first time you realize that you’re never going to bump into a team member while grabbing a cup of coffee you begin to understand just how much nuance needs to be paid to remote communication.
Email updates just aren’t enough anymore. Integrated chat features and social media style communication engagement (i.e. the ability to comment on any item in a project) are increasingly important.
Collaboration and communication are common in our recreational time, they should be in our professional life too.
New online task management tools create more opportunities to communicate, which leads to greater team cohesion and sense of connection to a home organization.
Setting work expectations with your team isn’t always as simple as you’d think. To begin this process, you need to define the work to be done as granular a method as possible.
The right software will allow you to create milestones, tasks, and sub-tasks and should help you delegate responsibilities with dependencies and deadlines.
Defining responsibilities through work breakdown structure, in particular, is critical to defining expectations for your team members as a group and individually.
Beyond the general collaboration effort, you’ve probably come to realize how much you miss being able to sit down next to a team member and edit a document, brainstorm over a design layout or even present a slide.
These types of activities help enhance working relationships and improve work quality.
The importance of interactivity in a remote work environment is also critical to developing a fully integrated team. Although much more different in nature than the traditional work environment, still very possible.
Software with outstanding features like an interactive whiteboard, interactive Gantt chart, and PDF markup allows team members to brainstorm over presentations and edit graphic images and PDF files in real time.
Content management applications that allow you to mark up documents like PDF files are also excellent examples of interactive tools that can help bring your team closer together.
All in all, your goal as a remote manager should be to make your team function as if everyone were sitting in the same room.
Once you’ve mastered these skills, with the right amount of savvy and the right online project management software you’ll be well on your way to mastering remote team collaboration.