Remote project management has existed for some time, but Covid-19 has elevated it to a new level. Given the current pandemic, organizations have become more receptive to and adaptable to remote teams and project management.
Remote project management entails all of the usual challenges associated with project management, as well as the additional responsibilities of managing the entire remote team charged with project delivery.
With the project team distributed globally, resource planning, progress tracking, task management, managing stakeholder expectations, and overseeing end-to-end project delivery become more of a moving target.
Project managers face an uphill battle to bring their teams together and work toward common goals.
This challenge is here to stay, as more businesses recognize the value of having a remote team.
Consider some of the disadvantages and advantages of remote project management.
Disadvantages of Remote Project Management
1. Collaborative Teamwork
When teams are dispersed across multiple geographies and time zones, real-time collaboration suffers. It becomes difficult to schedule meetings, brainstorming sessions, and progress reviews for the entire team.
While project managers must respect their team members’ work hours and availability, they must also ensure the project progresses according to plan. Additionally, obtaining prompt responses and solutions takes time and has an effect on the project’s schedule.
2. Inadequate Communication
Sharing critical project information and details also becomes a significant hurdle, and project managers find themselves dealing with a flood of emails.
Frequently, reporting requirements are misunderstood or lost in transmission, resulting in rework. Consider the toll this takes on the overall effort and cost of the project.
Additionally, problem-solving takes longer and often results in further chaos rather than progress toward a solution.
Obtaining status updates on assigned tasks becomes significantly more manual and time-consuming. This may result in a distortion of true progress and obstruct progress.
3. Achieving Success
Maintaining steady progress on projects during normal times has always been a dream. And consider it in the context of full-fledged remote project management.
Inability of teams to sit across the table and resolve issues, identify and communicate impending concerns in a proactive manner contributes significantly to project failure.
Additionally, bringing the team and stakeholders together is critical for sustaining high levels of engagement.
It is critical to communicate the project’s vision in order to achieve the desired execution. This is always challenging when working with remote teams.
4. Leading Distributed Teams
Establishing trust and synergy among remote teams requires considerable thought and effort. With limited face time, it is critical to pick up on silent and non-verbal cues.
Understanding the work ethics and culture of team members assists in making critical decisions and task assignments.
Additionally, remote teams make it difficult to accurately assess one’s own strengths and weaknesses.
Overall task planning, assignment, and execution can suffer if there are insufficient checks and balances in place. However, this can also be counter-productive at times.
Advantages of Remote Project Management
1. Global Talent Pool
The ability to leverage a more diverse global talent pool attracts organizations to remote teams.
Remote talent is frequently employed on a contract or part-time basis, which allows the organization’s workforce to remain nimble. Additionally, the associated costs are lower than those associated with full-time in-house employees.
Additionally, in times of crisis, one can quickly access required skills from an open, boundary-free talent pool.
Thus, maintaining a healthy skill-to-project pipeline ratio does not require significant investment in terms of training and upskilling budgets.
2. Develop a Personal Relationship with Your Customers
Numerous industries necessitate close customer interaction. Having remote teams is an excellent way to establish your presence and increase your proximity to your clients.
Remote teams contribute to the strengthening of your customer service capabilities and the enhancement of your market presence.
This undoubtedly gives you a competitive edge and also helps drive business.
You have a greater chance of rapidly expanding your services into new geographies based on market demand and a more aggressive go-to-market strategy.
3. A Greater Sense of Responsibility and Ownership
When teams work remotely, they have more control over their work hours and can achieve a better work-life balance.
Improved work-life balance reduces stress, increases focus on the task at hand and results in higher-quality deliverables.
Teams are motivated by a sense of responsibility and a commitment to completing tasks on time and to a high standard, ensuring that dependent activities are not delayed or team members are not inconvenienced.
Additionally, they are willing to contribute more to the project’s success and step up to assist team members during times of difficulty.
4. Exceptional Team Availability
Online collaboration tools have enabled teams to be accessible both during and after business hours.
When teams work remotely, they must be prepared to work on short notice. This approach is advantageous for high-priority project assignments.
Additionally, high availability does not mean working overtime, but rather flex-timing to accommodate project requirements.
By making the team available for critical discussions and strategic meetings, you can send the right message to both the customers and the rest of the project team.
With well-planned resource availability, task management becomes easier and progress can be shared more quickly.
A Continuing Trend
Remote project management is a trend that will continue. Not only is there a perceived revenue upside and increased safety, but employees also prefer it to office environments.
Teams are implementing a variety of strategies to facilitate robust remote project management, including online collaboration and task management tools.
Teams are becoming more aware of the remote work norm. Team members invest in creating their own private work zones and home offices in order to devote their full attention to work.
In summary, it is all about conducting project management in the same manner as in the pre-covid-19 era, but with increased efficacy.
The Litcom Approach
Litcom provides project management expertise and skilled resources to assist our clients in a variety of project management capacities. For more information on how Litcom can help you with your project management needs, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.