September 28 & 29, 2020 | Virtual
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Why is the difference from starting it when you are at office? Perhaps I am asking this because in my last 25 years I am working remote in this type of things. That´s the key question to ask.
But it will defiantly have more challenges than working from office where at least key team members (if it is a matrix org.) are known to you to start with.
But if the whole team is working remotely and if people working on it do not each other, than building a team and keep up the motivation, handling conflicts, ensuring the commitment will be more challenging than from office.
So my query is to get feedbacks, LLs to know more positive or negative side of such an arrangement and this may help others who participate in this discussion by knowing or getting some different views and dimensions of these learning.
As with everything, it will depend on the project. I work with design centers and suppliers who are all over the country if not the world, so on some projects, particularly smaller ones, things don't change much other than we might have a small core team who can meet in person.
On large projects with a full-time dedicated team, the team building does require more effort. We take things for granted like the hallway conversations, team lunches for recognition or just getting to know each other, and replicating the type of social interaction that occurs may need to be more intentional and less organic.
If your team members are not already familiar with each other, you probably want to change some of the emphasis from at least your early meetings like the kick-off, from introducing the project, to introducing the people. It is easier to get to know people when you can see their faces than just a name on the participants list. Video may help if it's available (some places it's not allowed) but if not, at least having people talk a bit about who they are and their interests can help make connections to the names on the list.
Finding time to meet with everyone can be difficult too. When working remotely, it's often necessary to schedule time, rather than impromptu meetings at a desk or office. It may help to schedule "office time". Block off some time on your calendar for the un-planned planning. This way you can reserve time for conversations, brainstorming, checking in with your team, etc. without trying to confine it to random 30 minute intervals between other meetings, when most of the people you want to speak with may not be available regardless.
I am also working on project where some key stakeholders are in different part of the world and most of the time we do not meet due various constraints.
But now the situation is bit more difficult where organizations are trying to reduce costs in every possible ways. This will also have impact on peoples mindset and work. So I was looking for new ideas where I can bring more possibilities to keep the team motivated and also collaborating well, if they are even not knowing each others.
There is a very good online course by PMI, one of the free courses offered during the lockdown - Business continuity, which I recommend to everyone, especially now with the remote work is becoming more popular. There, you can find very good tips about managing remote teams, motivating them, dealing with conflicts, etc.
I do not agree with statements that managing remote teams is the same and requires the same amount of effort as managing onsite teams. First, prepare your presentation, agenda very well, think carefully about your wording be precise, short, and avoid statements which may be understand differently from different cultures - do your homework before that, if there are any cultural specifics to take into account. Avoid jokes at the beginning, as they can be understood differently, later on, once the team is onboarded and people get to know each other is different story.
Try to talk and reach out two three times (at least! er week with people working remotely, so they do not feel isolated. Do your homework - mark time differences to the locations of the members and local holidays, when planning, or scheduling meetings, or tasks.
When having a meeting, especially the first ones, make sure you ask all people on the call for opinion - call them by name.
This is what comes to my mind at the moment.
Thank you for your feedback and time. I will look for the PMI course as you mentioned. I agree with you that managing remote teams can not be a one to one comparison to on-site teams.
I have also worked with stakeholders from different geographical location e.g. China, Vietnam, Austria, Budapest, Germany, US etc. so I have seen the importance of respecting cultural diversity.
Hope to see few more comments more towards the remote team building and development, which I see as new possibilities into project execution.
I will open a new line of debate here. I sustain: if you notice a difference between manage a project remotely or on site then you are "died" as project manager and you must review your project management ways of behave serouslym. It is quit impossible to survive as project manager if you do not have the ability to do that remotely. And it is not because the pandemic, it is before it from long time ago
I am also working on projects since long where I have stakeholders from different parts of world. The intention here is to talk about the best practices which make the project execution better. I have seen your previous feedback where you mentioned about the possibilities of using different tools.
So I think we are on same page, but reading different paragraphs.
Let’s see if we get some more ideas or experience share by others.
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