Virtual projects and remote work is the new normal these days. And while this brings on a lot of benefits for both employers and employees, it also demands some changes.
Project management handled in-office and done remotely is not the same thing. If you want this to work seamlessly, it is time to change some things in your project management plan.
With the tools and tips in this article, you should be able to manage your remote team’s projects more efficiently and achieve great results fast.
But, before we jump into what you should use and what you should do, we need to clarify why a remote project management team is the right move for you.
Why do you need a remote team for your projects?
Did you know that most people today prefer to have the option to work remotely? Many will still work in an office, but they’d like to have the option to sometimes work from home. Research shows that almost 40% of workers would quit their job if the remote work policy disappeared.
This means two things for you as an employer.
The first is that you need a good remote work policy to keep quality people on board.
The latter is that you have access to a huge pool of remote workers, a borderless workforce, which means that you can hire the very best without them having to be nearby.
Remote workers also report up to 40% higher productivity when given the chance to work from any location compared to an office 9-to-5 job.
Now that we know this, let’s walk through some essential tools for remote project management.
1. Leapsome: a performance review software
Remote workers won’t be in the office close to you. You can’t go to them, praise their work, tell them about their mistakes or successes, and ask them to review their work and that of others. When it comes to remote projects, the best way to check the team performance and the project itself is to create reviews.
Leapsome is a performance review software that businesses use to run impactful reviews. It allows users to create performance reviews, 360° reviews, as well as anonymous leadership reviews. You can use the tool to set up the review process from frameworks and templates and customize everything with minimal effort.
Users can automate Leapsome to reuse review templates and timelines across cycles and recur independently. It will use employee data to trigger decentralized annual review cycles and probation period reviews.
On top of this, Leapsome will send notifications, reminders, and invitations to ensure that all your remote employees complete their reviews. Once you collect the data, you can use it to define team-specific skills, track development in various areas, and understand the skill gaps you need to focus on to improve your team composition.
This information can be helpful when you allocate training budgets, create future hiring plans, and rate the team members individually.
2. nBold: Project Management Templates
Talking about must-have remote project management tools, nBold will make it on to the list. With nBold you can create custom templates for a variety of collaboration processes, including project management. It is widely used for remote teams since it helps companies manage projects, crises, and other processes and create the best teams based on internal IT regulations.
nBold will get the right people in the right place and facilitate the work of your team. It bridges information gaps by integrating a variety of tools such as project management apps, CRMs, and ITMS. You can use it to collaborate and manage everything from a single platform and achieve consistency in your projects.
White Paper: Project Management with Microsoft Teams
Learn how to use Microsoft Teams for effective project management
3. Monday: a cloud-based work operating system
Monday is a work operating system that enables teams of all sizes in different locations to automate a variety of processes and run everyday tasks. Its custom configuration capabilities allow for simpler and more effective management and planning of different projects.
Monday has a drag-and-drop platform where you can easily create an organization directory, access different dashboards, and roadmaps, and set up a weekly schedule. Businesses often use this tool to keep track of the remote workflow and team members in one place, as well as hold video conferences with Zoom integration, track time and KPIs, and share files.
4. Asana: a work management platform
If you want something efficient and simple, yet rich with features that facilitate your team’s management, take a look at Asana. Asana is a work management platform. Businesses use it to structure the work, organize the workload, and keep everything in one place.
This cloud-based platform can be accessed at any time and can store emails, tickets, calendars, and files. It’s supported by all mobile and desktop devices and integrates with many tools including Slack, Gmail, Dropbox, Microsoft Office, and Zapier.
5. Kintone: a customizable project workflow platform
Kintone is a great tool for building your project workflows. It’s a customizable project workflow platform used by over 23,000 organizations in the world.
This tool allows you to build apps from scratch, and use templates or existing spreadsheets, all to facilitate business processes, manage data, and organize workflows.
The Kintone apps can be customized for customer databases, project management, expense reports, product feedback, and sales CRM.
Some of the features that you can drag and drop with this tool are date fields, rich text fields, number fields, spaces for attachments, related dates from different apps, etc. Once Kintone helps you build the app you need, you can use it to manage tasks and data more easily.
These are some of the top-rated tools available on the market for remote teams with ongoing projects. Now that you know about them, let’s check some tips that will help you manage your projects like a pro.
Tips to remote project management teams
1. Set the ground rules as soon as possible
Remote projects leave no room for doubts or vague instructions. The project team will communicate with all the stakeholders online, so the communication has to be as clear and transparent as possible.
The idea is to set expectations from the start, and tell your team how their work and progress will be tracked. Here’s the points that you can clear out from the very start:
– the working schedule (if any);
– communication channels (emails, a collaboration platform, Zoom, or a mix of all – depending on the use case);
– expected response time;
– tools for project/task management;
– daily/weekly/monthly workload.
These are simple examples. When you set the ground rules, think about how you’ll work together and how your team members will work separately. Determine where you’ll communicate, design a meeting plan, and share information about which tools your team will use to get the work done. Put it all in writing and make sure your project team has quick and easy access to these guidelines.
2. Encourage knowledge sharing
Most of the time, your team will communicate by sending messages and reports. They’ll have meetings every now and then; but in a remote team, written communication is the main method of sharing information due to its asynchronous nature.
If you want your projects to be a success, promote knowledge sharing and encourage communication.
The best idea is to set up an infrastructure for communication. Provide your team with a platform that allows them to easily connect to anyone in the organization, have spaces for focused discussions where everyone can share their expertise and make it available at all times and have quick access to the organization’s knowledge base and data. A good option for that can be Teams.
3. Cultivate connections
Even though your team is not physically close, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t get to know each other. There are ways to cultivate connections and build stronger relationships in a remote team, too.
Some ideas for this are remote coffee chats where your team will meet, have some morning coffee, and discuss the work. They could also have social hours, especially if your team members aren’t far from each other and can actually meet for a drink.
Or, whenever possible you can even invite them to the office, organize offsite and team-building or corporate events.
Discover best practices for connecting global teams.
Are you ready to manage your remote projects like a pro?
Thanks to the tools in this list as well as the short tips above, you can start improving your team’s work really fast. Remote projects are handled differently from those done in-office. The results can be wonderful – you just need to find the right way to manage, motivate, and keep track of your remote team!