Managing Locally Remote Talent

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Historically when project managers have been asked to manage remote resources, it has been part of the team who were in a different office, city or country. Frequently, there were groups who were collocated among themselves but separated from the rest of the team, requiring some creative communication skills from the project manager.

This could often be exacerbated by language or time zone barriers that needed to be overcome for effective management to occur. There are a number of ways that PMs can manage those situations, and as they have become more common, so the risk involved has diminished. This has led to wider utilization of such models as organizations have recognized the advantages far outweigh the risks as long as the environment is managed appropriately.

However, there is now a new type of remote management necessary, the management of what I think of as locally remote resources. These are people who are based out of the same location as the project manager but are not regularly physically present during normal business hours. That could be as a result of a flexible working arrangement—working from home, working a split shift or an irregular hours shift, etc.

Increasingly, it is the result of modern working practices. More and more organizations are embracing the idea of non-traditional office spaces and undefined hours—allowing their employees …

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