Recently I read a great article in Harvard Business Review about remote teams written by Keith Ferrazzi. If you are interested you can read the whole article here.
So how remote teams become real teams which create great result? Just putting a few workers from remote parts of the world constitute a good remote team? Of course not! So as a manager who has a remote team what do you need to do to make your team successful?
Remote teams basic rules
1-You need to make the role of each worker absolutely clear to the worker and the whole team. Any ambiguity will destroy team morale and efficiency. Each worker needs a clear job definition and statement of work with clear and visible deadlines.
2-Keep the team size small. The larger a remote team is the greater chance of project failure. Even the colocated team get unruly and dysfunctional when they get big. This is much worse for remote teams.
3-Communicate and keep communicating. Remote workers need daily give and take and discussion with other team members and the project sponsor. Make sure the team has the proper tools to communicate and collaborate at will anywhere and anytime.
4-Have short daily meetings. These meetings should be at most half an hour long and the only purpose should be to get an accurate read on the project and each member’s progress.
5-Train your remote workers to communicate and collaborate properly. There are many online and offline resources for teaching teams how to communicate and collaborate, use them. Most people are at ill when it comes to collaborating with colleagues even in traditional settings. This is much worse for remote teams.
6- Use the tools that your teams use every day for communicating and collaborating with family and friends. Social media has become a great resource for instant communication. Some collaborative project management applications like Binfire incorporate social media features in their applications.
If you are a project manager who manages remote teams and interested to learn how to manage remote teams and improve the productivity of such teams read this article about managing remote workers I wrote recently.