6 Remote Project Management Tips and Tricks

Project management is hard enough when you have your entire team in the same physical workspace. It’s exponentially more challenging when you’re fragmented across multiple locales. And it’s your approach to remote project management that will dictate your success — or lack thereof.

6 Tips to Help You Master Remote Project Management

While it’s been the result of unwanted circumstances, remote work has become the new way of life. And even after this pandemic ends and life returns to some semblance of normalcy, remote work is going to stick. We’re never going back to an office-based culture. The office now includes homes, apartments, spare bedrooms, coffee shops, and coworking spaces. And if you’re going to be an efficient project manager, you have to learn how to manage your team as they’re spread across dozens of locations. Here are some helpful tips:

1. Select the Right Tools

A remote team requires a strategic tech stack that’s designed to bring people together. This includes some combination of communication tools, project management apps, video tools, cloud storage solutions, and other custom software to fill the gaps. In addition to these essentials, ensuring effective project management and data-driven decision-making is crucial. This is where tools like Microsoft Power BI report builder can play a significant role. What is Power BI report builder – a powerful business intelligence tool that allows remote teams to analyze and visualize their project data in real-time. With its intuitive interface, teams can create insightful reports and interactive dashboards that provide valuable insights into project progress, resource allocation, and overall performance. Integrating Power BI report builder into the tech stack enhances the team’s ability to collaboratively track and optimize projects, fostering a productive and informed remote work environment.

2. Implement the Appropriate Processes

Any repeatable actions should be systematized. By creating processes, you give your team the ability to grow at scale. And while it can take some time to come up with the right systems, you’ll eventually have a library of standard operating procedures that you can use at any time, regardless of personnel.

 3. Get to Know Your Team

It’s not enough to know each team member’s name and job duties — you should get to know them on a personal level. When you know your people as individuals, you make them feel appreciated and you find it easier to accomplish specific goals.

“Ideally, you want to put yourself in a position where you understand exactly what a team member’s weaknesses may be and can leverage their relative strengths,” one entrepreneur explains. “If you know that a task will be a stretch for a team member, then you should be prepared to offer extra support.”

One way to get to know your team is to have one-on-one “virtual” lunch meetings with each member of the team. Order UberEats, have it delivered to each of your remote offices, and then spend 30 to 40 minutes getting to know each other over Zoom. (No work conversation — just fun!)

4. Streamline Communication

Smooth and efficient communication is an absolute must. And when it comes to projects with strict deadlines, speed is of the essence.

While email and project management apps are useful, they aren’t the most effective option for quickly communicating ideas. Text messaging, or SMS, wins this award!

Research shows that 90 percent of texts are read within 15 minutes of being received, while the average response time is just 90 seconds. By implementing an SMS solution, you can inform, educate, and engage team members with ease.

5. Set the Right Goals

Whether you’re in-person or remote, the key to any successful project is a clear set of goals. Work with your team to identify these goals on the front end and then track progress over time. If necessary, adjust your goals — or at least the timeline — to account for any unforeseen challenges that stem from working in an unfamiliar capacity.

6. Check In Without Babysitting

If you’re accustomed to managing a team in a face-to-face fashion, it can be a little unnerving to suddenly find yourself physically separated from your people. And as you seek to implement accountability, it’s very important that you avoid overstepping boundaries.

“When you’re a remote project manager, checking in on progress can feel a lot like babysitting, and no professional person appreciates that,” project manager Patrice Embry writes. “A good tactic I employ is keeping up with percentage completion of long-term tasks, and asking my teammates for periodic updates when I know I’ll be reporting to stakeholders. This way, they know I’m just doing my job and not harping on them.”

You’ll have to come up with an approach that fits your personality and the needs of the project. But whatever you do, remember that babysitting is not the answer.

Adding it All Up

Remote project management might look a little different when it’s implemented, but core truths remain the same. To be efficient, you have to communicate clearly, rally your team around a central cause, and execute with precision.