How to lead a remote project team

02/15/2019

How to lead a remote project team Remote teams are growing and become a huge trend and a norm for the professional world.

Companies see this new model as an opportunity to hire the best professionals no matter where they are and also a way to become more flexible and not only depend on the workforce they have sitting at the office.

It is important for everyone to adapt to this new model, and for managers to understand the very different structure and psychology that is behind a remote team.

How to lead a remote project team

We are aware of the challenges that this new structures bring along, so here are some of our best teams to lead a remote team to success.

  1. Communicate correctly, and teach your team to use the right tools to do so too.

When we can just turn around to a colleague or hear about a change on the way to the water fountain, we need to make sure that remote communication is fluent, fine and horizontal.

As a leader, is our responsibility to provide our team with the right tools to communicate on different levels and choose the right routes for the right topics. This means having a strong portal where we can share documents, and work together, share calendars, use the best calling and video calling tools that are designed specifically for the professional environment, and also never ignore the need to create a solid human and personal interaction.

To achieve this, some companies provide personal chat rooms where coworkers can get to know each other more and share about those non work-related topics.

  1. Keep track of every communication and decision.

Because we are not all sharing once space, it is important that every communication is “recorded” meaning that every decision that affects the project should be shared with the whole team, or at least with the members that will see their work affected by it.

This means that it is crucial that we pay attention to meeting minutes, and share them after every meeting, that we share final decisions and that we also design a solid email communication system that will easily show how was the decision process and what was the route that took us there.

This will help us not only to keep track of the evolution of the project, but also to locate problems and understand where they come from and learn from them.

  1. Analyze problems and distribute tasks.

When we come to a difficulty or simply different things that need to be done, it is our role as leaders to break down the issue, understand easily what needs to be done and steps to be taken, and from there which people from our team needs to be contacted and for what specific part of the solutions process do we need them.

  1. Accept that there will be bump on the road.

Because this is a very young work model, because of different time schedules, because we are still learning to understand the best routes and tools to use, or because not always the best professionals are the right people for a remote kind of team. Whatever the real reason is, as leaders we have to accept the fact that there will always be bumps in the road.

But we too have to learn to identify them, analyze them and more importantly decide how to get over (or around them) with the minimum impact. We need to make sure we stay as leaders since at the end of the day, or team will turn to us when things get complicated whether it is a remote team or not. So keep calm and remote on.