Leading a project from home is a hard task in project management especially for those of you who are not used to work from home or remotely. The main objectives that are still valid above all, are to keep the project within the budget and the timeline.
How to make this task easier in the current COVID situation?
Here you can find hints from the top 5 areas that may help you in organizing your work and successfully manage the projects completely online.
Strong Project Team
Firstly, having a strong team is equally important no matter where you are leading the project from home or in the office. No matter if the project is running in the office or from home the team must be knowledgeable on the project matter, proactive, responsible and driven by the innovative mindset. If you don’t have this as a starting point you better re-evaluate the options that you have in choosing the right people.
The next important in the project management from home is to set a virtual working place. With the currently available applications you can choose the best platform that can ensure you have:
- a collaboration space where you can lead online meetings with a voice and video. Be careful about the wi fi coverage of the team members as well as the strength of the VPN access if you are connected via such. Start the meeting 2-3 minutes before the starting time to check the connection, the screen-sharing options and be sure you are ready for the meeting.
- shared storage for all the project documents organized in a way to be easily accessible by the team members. Note to set the proper access rights if you will be sharing sensitive information. Form different groups of members if needed to have different
- use the virtual groups for an informal chat with the project members
Prepare a strict agenda and have a timekeeper for the meeting. Ensure all people that may be needing to talk will have their say
Finish the meeting with a summary of the discussions as well as the decisions that have been made. Distribute the document as well as keep it stored in the shared storage.
In addition to all the above, make a recording of the meeting (after you ask the participants if they agree). The recording can be reviewed later by the team members who were not able to participate and this will keep them up to date.
Leading a project from home still requires you to collect some signatures on the project documentation. Suggested is to use online document signing tools. Although, check the signing of legal documents possibility preliminary with the Legal and Compliance departments
Exchanging Emails with the project members
Keep using emails but try to make it more simplified. When in the office a big part of communication happens life. With working from home the email communication is times more and this may be overwhelming for the project members. So keep it organized by topics and sending it only to the people that you either expect to do something as an outcome from the email or the email affects them. For all others that you usually copy only for information, you have to find another approach for a regular update.
Regular Project updates
You must make regular updates on several levels as it would be if the project runs in the office. However, in the remote and home office situation, you have to be more creative in presenting the updates. Do not over engage people with too many meetings. You rather make less but with attractive and spot-on presentations so the participating members can quickly grasp. During the online meetings, we don’t have available all the normal expressions with the gestures and face to face impact. Therefore, learning how to attract and make an impact with an online presentation is very important. Use the virtual whiteboards when you must explain something in a more creative way
We know this is a challenging time for leading projects but following this simple advice would help you in being more efficient in leading your projects.
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