BY MELISSA BURNS
The world is changing rapidly. Technology is advancing at an astonishing pace. And companies are keeping up with progress. Nowadays, more and more companies are incorporating flexible time, giving digital nomads a chance to work on their projects from remote locations. For example, Mozilla and GitLab are allowing most of their workers to work from home; and this home can be located anywhere in the world.
The problem is that there are also several challenges when it comes to managing a project on which people work from various locations. Project management can become a bit difficult when teammates work remotely. However, as it was proven by various companies time and time again, completing projects using teams that work from home or remote locations is very possible. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to complete the project and prevent several problems.
5 Tips for Successful Remote Collaborations
Teammates should bond on a personal level and be able to socialize with each other. It can be quite difficult to bond the team together, as people are located in different parts of the world – and also have different cultures and religions in many cases. To overcome this issue, use instant messaging applications that allow meetings and video calling. Skype comes to mind instantly. Being able to see and hear your teammates is very important if you want the team to bond.
Resolve time zone differences and be firm. In many cases, teammates are located in different time zones. Some may work from Europe, while others probably work from the United States. To solve this problem, you need to clearly define specific time slots when online meetings and calls must take place. Team members must understand that joining the meeting is not optional.
Use adequate Document Management software. Most projects require teammates to collaborate on various documents online. This is why a comprehensive Document Management solution with integrated online editing tools, like Zoho Docs, is highly recommended for remote projects. Using such a tool, people can easily collaborate online, as well as make edits, approve changes, and create new documents as necessary.
Use Time Tracking software to make sure that everyone is doing their part. Although it rarely happens, there are times when certain team members are a tad lazy. To make sure everyone works on the project equally as hard, use a time tracking solution. For example, Time Doctor is just one of the better tools for the task.
Use a project management system, especially for larger projects. It may sound like a good idea to use email to handle everything, but it is absolutely not. Managing a virtual team needs more than email. Communications, files, documents, schematics, videos, screenshots, etc. – everything must be easy to organize and find later on. This is why a project management system like Zoho Projects or Wrike is highly recommended.
Remote Projects Work
For many organizations – and their number is on the rise – remote project management works just fine. In fact, many companies find that remote project management works better than traditional project management. Remote teams help companies save money due to lower project costs, greatly decrease travel time for team members, and improve a company’s ability to attract highly skilled and experienced workers. If done right, remote projects can be very successful, and both the company and the virtual team have a lot to gain.
However, digital project managers must be able to manage their virtual teams and the workflow correctly. This is why an adequate set of tools, as well as various techniques like the tips listed above, are very important for a remote project. In other words, the success of the project depends in large part on the tools and strategies you use.
Melissa Burns graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University. Nowadays she is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Follow her @melissaaburns or contact at firstname.lastname@example.org