Project Management

Distributed PM: Intentional Interaction

Bart has been in ecommerce for over 20 years, and can't imagine a better job to have. He is interested in all things agile, or anything new to learn.

Over the past year, companies have accelerated the move to distributed project teams; every member of the team is separated from each other either by a few miles, a few hours or perhaps located across the globe. This is a very different situation than managing a remote project, where the project manager is in one place, and the team is in another. In a remote situation, the team is typically accustomed to working with each other, and they are being guided by a project manager who is located somewhere else. While remote project management certainly contains its own difficulties, distributed project management represents a new challenge that needs new ways of working. One of these novel problems is managing communication in a project where the team members are separated by distance, time zones, working hours, and possibly have never met each other at all.

Every project with more than two team members requires a communication plan. This is just as true when the project team is located close to each other within the same building, as it is when they are scattered across offices, organizations, or parts of the world. Ensuring that key information gets to the people who need it in a timely manner, in an understandable format, and in a way that helps the team members feel included, is one of the keys to project success. Sometimes a team can make up for a poor communication plan by …


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"Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die."

- Mel Brooks