Establishing sound Virtual PMO practices becomes indispensable in the current day corporate scenario as businesses both small and big have employees from different locations collaborate on one or more projects. Here are some ideas the project managers can use to handle their virtual team better for higher productivity and efficiency.
- Slow down and evaluate: The first step for a virtual project manager is to set expectations and processes for smooth work flow in all the sites. The manager will have to gauge the challenges and obstacles that each site may present beforehand, so they can better allocate resource and tools to manage any inadequacies.
- Communication is key: Communication is one place where you are probably going to feel the crunch while managing a virtual team. Do not resort to just email communication channels even if the team is relatively small. There are a host of project management tools that you can use to communicate, share multimedia files, share screens and organize your communications.
- Flexible and accountable system: Flexible working hours is a given when you have team members working from remote locations. While this is not a bad thing, make sure there is a system implemented so they are accountable for their work.
- Track productivity: Productivity is another tricky subject in virtual teams, but it becomes crucial in situations where the employees are being paid based on the number of hours that they are working. There are numerous productivity software solutions that help keep a tab on the number of hours that are being utilized for work versus those spent on breaks and social media platforms.
- Unite your team: While working with a virtual team, it often happens that employees work as more of Lone Rangers, and less of team players. It is important that you keep them updated on the progress of the project/ company, the future vision and such, so they feel like they are contributing to the bigger picture as a team. Have everyone collaborate during important discussions to foster the same feelings.
- Effective meetings: Statistics report that billions of dollars are lost from poor productivity each year, as team meetings are not up to the mark. Make sure you run meetings effectively using only concise wording in short sentences. Ensure that everyone follows what you are saying, and follow it up with questions if you have to.
The right Virtual PMO ideas can make all the difference in turning around a sloppy team into a productive one!