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Topics: Leadership, Lessons Learned, Organizational Culture
Leading Virtually. Personnel Competence or Proof of Organizational Maturity
As we enter into week 3 working from home. I cant help but ponder on the challenges i face leading a diverse, multinational team of individuals virtually and having to structure a project team activities.
What are your thoughts on leading virtual teams and what competencies are required to drive performance under these circumstances?
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Dear Obiajulu
Interesting your question
Thanks for sharing

I believe that we have no answers and there are no "treaties" on this topic

I am convinced that we are treading a new path

And the path is made by walking
My contribution

I am convinced that:
1- The purpose and objectives of the projects in which people are involved must be sufficiently mobilizing
2- The principles and values underlying work and its individual and / or team performance must be clarified
3- People's involvement and participation in the exchange of ideas and in the fostered decision-making process
4- Collaborative tools used

Great question and I think many currently ask this. It is the responsibility of every leader to adapt to it.

I have worked the last 20 years in remote or virtual environments and it can be done, and even run better than with co-location.

There are many concepts and techniques you may follow, some here, some on LinkedIn, HBR or in books.
For example:

You have to start with yourself, how you look at your team members. Be interested in their well being, listen, have 1:1 video chats, show trust.
It may be a mindset change from managing tasks to caring about people.

Second you have to establish structure, agree on rules, followup, have standard ways to communicate.

Third do something to make sure the team feels connected, have a vision, rites, make sure they know each other, and support each other. Build a network, not hub and spoke.

There is so much more. It depends on your situation what works. But change something, because the world is changing.
I am doing that from more than 20 years ago. Including it people that I never met face-to-face and people that are working in multiple activities and I have to convince them to work in my project/program too. Is not a matter of leadership. Is a matter to facilitate the work life of everybody. That´s the key.
Personal competence allows the individual to manage projects and resources virtually i.e. you have the required skills to be able to achieve this.

But nobody can be efficient in doing it if the company does not support it i.e. the organizational maturity lacks and resources are not trusted to be able to self manage/organize. In these cases, you find companies implementing stupid and ridiculous measures to keep an eye on employees to try and ensure that they are sitting behind the keyboard between 8 am and 5 pm.

So for it to be successful you need both.
Hi Obiajulum,
WFH as a concept was always in place, now with almost entire personnel WFH could be a new thing. With this, the competencies required from people, policies, governance that will be required to be up in the game by constantly iterating, retrospection and learning from other companies will be at play. Most importantly – being adaptable would be a key competency.
When evaluating a project, or running Retrospective session, I provide feedback on three P's:
* Product
* People
* Processes (methodology, tools)

Your processes, methodology & tools must be adjusted to remote work.
Your people (team members) must be properly onboarded in the use of remote tools, processes, and methodology. (Teaching how to work on a new tool is easy, teaching a new methodology - hard)
Product - you have to know if you can deliver the product via remote work, i.e. can you build a house remotely?

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