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Four Tips to Successfully Manage Remote Project Teams

by | Holistic Leadership

Competent leaders should be adept at managing team projects. They should know how to motivate people and must be skilled in giving clear instructions. Yet since it is already challenging to oversee a project when the whole team is physically working together, you may consider it an almost impossible undertaking for a remote workforce. However, as the work-from-home setup becomes more common, managing a remote team is one of the most important skills that modern leaders must-have. If you have some worries about leading virtually, the following tips can help:

Make guidelines and instructions as detailed as possible

Effective communication becomes more important than ever when working remotely. Leaders should make an extra effort to ensure that everyone in the team understands what the project is about, its purpose, and the steps needed to successfully accomplish it. Along with a virtual meeting to discuss the project, it is also important that everything is put into writing.

This way, team members who are not present during the meeting will not be lost as to what is going on. A written document detailing everything about the project should be available for the whole team whenever needed.  Make it as detailed as possible by listing every needed step as well as the list of tasks expected for each member. It should also inform who to contact if they have areas they want to clarify.

Allot a realistic time frame

You are managing a team working in different places so it is possible for each one to encounter a circumstance that can delay a task. Thus, while stressing the importance of getting things done on time, it would be fair to make allowances for unavoidable situations. It can be done by setting a deadline that would give your team an ample amount of time to finish a task without the need to rush or cram. You can also minimize the effect of delays by giving clear instructions as to what to do and who to contact in case someone cannot deliver a task on time.  

Take advantage of online tools

Make use of online tools that would make it easy for your team to collaborate effectively. Ideally, you want this software to be accessible to any device and will allow users to interact in real time. Moreover, it would be more helpful if the tool will show the progress of each one on the task they are working on.

No matter how detailed the instructions, it is likely that team members would have areas they want to clarify. To properly and quickly address any questions and concerns, it is important that everyone knows about each other’s availability.

Reiterate trust and confidence

It is not a very good idea to micromanage your staff even in a regular work setup, and it is futile to think you can do it remotely. This makes it important to trust the capabilities and discipline of the people in your team. Make your team aware that you are expecting each and everyone to do their job conscientiously. Likewise, provide them with tools, support, and feedback that will help them do their duties well with minimum supervision.

It takes a lot to be a good leader but out of all the characteristics and skills out there, one of the most important ones to have is the ability to adjust to every situation. This trait will enable you and your team to handle any challenge, whether in a physical setting or virtually.

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