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Are you ready for remote project management?

Moira Alexander | Oct. 18, 2016
The need for remote project management is a reality for most businesses today. But how ready is your business for the move? Here are some things to help evaluate preparedness.

[ Related story: Using KPIs to measure a project team's effectiveness ]

Business process impact

Business process impact is an area impacted by a shift to remote project management. Since remote PM relies heavily on the use of specific technologies for communication, like sharing data, approvals, overall collaboration and workflows will need to be rethought. It's critical to analyse and document the changes, and identify how these changes impact the business and the people involved. This is an important area. Many dangers lurk in the details where processes are involved. Take the time to closely trace and document existing and proposed processes to reduce the risk of bypassing critical steps when evaluating a move to remote project management.

The project managers

Having project managers who are experienced in remote PM is a need, not a want. Depending on the existing processes, the maturity of an organization and the experience of the employees working remotely, it may be possible to hire a PM with less remote experience but if an organization is less mature in its remote capabilities, it would be wise to hire a highly capable PM that brings remote experience to the table.

Also keep in mind that it's not a guarantee that a seasoned project manager can always deliver in a remote environment. Other factors can pose significant uncertainty if not addressed well in advance.

The metrics for measuring success

Being able to measure the effectiveness of a remote project management team is critical to overall project success. Without being able to determine how well a remote team works together, or how they deliver, it's almost impossible to know if remote project management is working. Having a comparison to a pre-remote PM model makes it much easier to know how your organization's remote project teams are actually performing. Key performance indicators (KPIs) should be used to evaluate success against an established success baseline.

Finally, while the trend is to become more mobile and make a shift to remote teams, timing and preparedness are the key factors to success. To find out more about remote project management see "Does remote project management really work?" to read about factors that may impede virtual teams and also some of the possible solutions.


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