Project Management

Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere and Virtual Collaboration - The Future of Work

From the The Future of PM Work Blog
What will the future be like for project managers? How will our teams change? Will robots displace human beings? Will we be able to have an edge in the age of AI? This blog will focus on our future of work—including current trends and future trends that we will experience in our workplace. Learn how project managers can leverage these trends to amplify value for customers, stakeholders, teams, the organization as a whole—and themselves. It’s all about proactively managing the transition to the future!

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Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere and Virtual Collaboration - The Future of Work



“A virtual team working together as one >> side by side separated by waters bought together by technology.” Virtual Team Intelligence

Imagine you are 7,847 km away at home, presenting your first keynote presentation. Exciting isn’t it? More exciting when you see the audience 400 + eagerly waiting to listen to you. Even more exciting when you know you have a dedicated team of volunteers supporting you for this.

Yes, you guessed it right, we are referring to a virtual conference presentation. With the outbreak of the corona virus, I could not be present in-person for the PMI Sweden’s “Passion for Projects” #passionForProjects conference, but never the less the team behind the scene did ensure that the presentation went on smooth and sound. This is an exemplary example of the power of virtual collaboration.

According to research in late 2019

Companies allowing remote work have 25% lower employee turnover those that don’t.

People who work remotely at least once a month are 24% more likely to be happy and productive.

By 2028, 73% of all departments will have remote workers.

Does this mean that in the future of work #futureofWork virtual collaboration will be on the rise?

Will it become a critical aspect of #futureofPMWork ? Let us see why

Collective Intelligence: To encourage Diversity of thoughts, build innovative products and improve agility to proactively transition to the future, collective intelligence would take the center stage. Teams would swarm to brainstorm, collaborate and innovate, and once done they would move on.

Distributed teams: With the rise of the gigs teams would become more and more distributed. Teams would extend beyond the 4 walls of the organization, across multiple locations, geographies and continents.

Connected projects: As projects become more and more connected exchanging information in the ecosystem, our teams would not be confined to one organization, but extended across our customers, co-players, partners and suppliers.

I have been working with virtual teams for many years now, in fact I lead the Agile Community of Practice within my organization which is a 100% virtual collaboration platform spanning across 40 countries with 546 members. It has been 5 years now. So what worked for me all these years?

Team working agreements: When teams work separately, it is easy for teams to get disconnected especially if they are in different time zones. Shared team working agreements like communication protocols, regular meeting rhythms and virtual coffee time connects have been instrumental in improving team cohesion.

Frequent communication: When team do not interact face to face, there is a risk of losing touch. This can lead to missing out on critical information like unexpected emergencies, time demand and priorities. Frequent communication, avoiding lengthy silences are key to removing these impediments. I have leveraged social media, instant messaging, whatsapp, Skype video calls for frequent communication.

Playing games: To keep the engagement on, I have leveraged online virtual, team contests and games. These games encourage members to do what’s best for the team. Leaders emerge and sometimes leaders step down for the greater good of the team. This helps to encourage an atmosphere of collaboration to work towards a team goal.

How do you think the #futureofPMWork looks like in terms of virtual collaboration?

Do you have any other tips to improve virtual collaborations in the #futureofPMWork? I would love to know.

Posted on: March 15, 2020 12:41 PM | Permalink

Comments (20)

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Great post Priya. Virtual collaboration is becoming more and more of a norm in doing meetings, team building and so on.

Very insightful post Priya. Thanks for sharing it.

@Rami Thank you for your comments.

@Gaurav, Thank you

Thanks for your post Priya. I am so glad you felt the connection with the audience despite the distance :-) Thanks for being brave and accepted to do this with very short notice. Great work!
The trend is definitely going towards more virtual collaborations which is great in many aspects but also put a lot of responsibility on the leader to get the collaboration going with everybody on the team.

Dear Priya
Interesting this reflection on the theme: "Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere and Virtual Collaboration - The Future of Work"

Thanks for sharing

Was your intervention online (in real time) or deferred (pre-recorded)?

What support technology was used to present your intervention?

Were you a guest speaker or did you have to submit your speech in advance?

We agree with the points you mentioned as being critical aspect of #futureofPMWork

Is it possible to go further?

Create a thematic channel (with production 24 hours a day) about projects and project management?

Based on the Conferences of the Local Chapters, the Conferences Organized by PMI, the Conferences Organized by and the competence network (Strategy, Leadership, Project Management Techniques and Technology) spread across this world and with direct or indirect connection PMI, would be a good starting point for the creation of a thematic channel (Project * and Projects **)

* Project = Thematic Channel on Project Management

* Projects (each content produced)

Hi Luis, Thank you for your comments.
1. My intervention - presentation was live not recorded
2. We used GoTo meeting for the live presentation
3. I did submit a speaker proposal prior to the conference
4. Your ideas on the thematic channel are brilliant, may be we should explore that opportunity.
Again thank you for your inputs.

Dear Priya
I heard now that a radio announcer was producing his program from home

I was surprised to learn that a radio program was being produced in these circumstances

Therefore, in this channel project, time can be allocated per week for the chapters to produce their own content.

@Stina, Thank you for your comments. I simply loved collaborating virtually you and the PMI Sweden team. You are true Corona Virus busters !

@Luis, great ideas. We can have a channel on project where every chapter contributes webinars,learning, best practices etc.
It will indeed be a awesome virtual collaboration medium

Hi Priya - Great post and topic.

A couple of my teams have set up 'team time'. An open timebox of 1-2 hours to engage and speak on whatever topic the team would like to discuss, and on video. Outside of that, the team is using video to ensure the cohesion of the team is not lost.

@Andrew - Awesome :)

very good items and discusstions

very good items and discusstions

very good items and discusstions

A very nice post on virtual team management and being prepared to deliver collaborative solutions. Thanks much for sharing!

Your post is really nice and thought provocative. Future is going to be very different with advent of collaborations, innovations and virtual technologies. It will be a paradigm shift in the way we will do our work collaboration- as you rightly say any body, any time, anywhere ....!!!

#futureofWork will have impact our work life recursively. Looking forward for posts discussing impact of virtual collaboration on the data privacy, talent development, personal life ... and so on.


Thanks for sharing this post Priya!!
It sounds amazing, how you have successfully managed your virtual conference presentation. I would also like to share my views about working in virtual teams. I am a student of project Management Graduate Certificate Program, Fleming College, Peterborough, Ontario. Because of the current Covid-19 situation my classes are going in a virtual online format, and you may not believe, these classes are going even better than then the physical classes I have attended before. We are attending our all classes on laptops/computers mostly on Microsoft teams, even the students are doing group activities together in the seminars and it is working fabulous. Here I want to point out one concern, that people have around building relationships and collaboration in team while working virtually, and I dont think it could be a problem. It all depends on your skills to manage and build relationship, frequent communications as you already motioned in your post is a key. We, the students of my class have created our own online communication group, where we have chat about the things not going well, and that makes us connected, collaborative and helpful for each other. I am very happy to have this experience in my life. As you said by 2028, 73% of all departments will have remote workers, so I am glad we are already going to be prepared for our future and I think as a Project Management professional working virtually not only gives us opportunity to work on the projects in distant Geographic locations and Project experts, but also provides us an opportunity to save some of our precious time out of our busy schedule. Along with saving the time that we need to spend for travelling, working virtually also saves us money, that we otherwise have to spend for our travel, and all the Project Management experts are pretty aware that time and money are the very crucial resources of a project. So, lets begin managing the project of our life by saving our precious time and some money by working virtually.

Komalpreet Kaur

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