2009 predicted 43% of HR professionals will be working remotely by 2014. In 2015 4.2 million people across a range of sectors worked remotely and that number is not slowing down. By 2020, 50% of the US workforce will work remotely. Long gone are the days where teams had no other option but to work side by side and live in the same cities as their colleagues. Now, departments are spread out across various sites and geographies. Technology has enabled people to work with colleagues they’ve never met face-to-face. Importantly, the best young talent put a value on the ability to work flexibly. 70% more likely to choose a job for its flexibility, and that includes the ability to work remotely.
One area that could benefit from this boom in remote working is remote project management. Some of the advantages of establishing remote teams for projects include:
- Increase your chances of attracting the world’s top talent
- Lower project costs as the right technology helps to bring dispersed teams together
- Decrease commute time for workers – increasing efficiency instead
- Real-time data can be communicated readily on-site and on the move
However, remote project management isn’t always plain sailing. In this post, we will discuss the risks of remote project management and how the right technology can enable improved communication and file sharing to streamline processes.
Remote project management risks
Concerns about dispersing teams are anything but small, with the two most worrisome being: battling distance and maintaining a tightly organized, well-managed project.
1. Location, distance or time zone issues
Schedules can be disrupted, and bottlenecks can form, when work is obstructed by time-zones, or communication is stonewalled by poor regional connectivity.
2. Organization and integrity
If exceptional organization isn’t an employee’s strong point, you could end up inadvertently micromanaging virtual teams. The same goes for project managers and their ability to put in place the right timelines and end goals.
While academics offer some excellent studies into work-life integration, they fail to suggest how best to manage remote projects and workers. The Harvard Business Review heralds “setting an appropriate cadence” of communications between staff and managers as the key to managing remote projects, while a study by Global Knowledge lists surface-level management methods to help such as setting up a thorough communication plan and distributing smaller workloads to employees.
The bottom line seems to be that projects are made more difficult to keep on track when you have dispersed resources in different locations, time-zones, as part of different teams, reporting to different managers, and possibly even a network of external stakeholders.
Using Tempus Resource to optimize remote project management
The right technology can facilitate better communication, swift file sharing and streamlined processes, keeping everyone happy. While remote working in general relies on excellent communication tools, remote project management relies on more powerful solutions. Tracking your resources across multiple locations can be difficult and filling out timesheets can be a tedious task. Project managers need to track how much time employees are working on a task and be able to measure their performance against their project goals and timelines. Without this, the success rate of your project can be put in jeopardy.
Tempus Resource is a resource management solution, designed to simplify timesheets to track employee hours to better manage resource allocation. Compatible with the world’s most popular PPM and RPM platforms, Tempus Resource has unrivalled features like Temperature mapping and scenario planning to keep your remote projects in line.
Staying in control of your virtual teams is tough enough without the added pressure of having to make risky decisions in the drop of a hat. Staff become unavailable, deadlines tighten, budgets might be cut – but with ‘’What-If’ scenario planning you’re always able to compensate for last minute changes. By considering hypothetical scenarios users can visualize any financial or timely impacts of your decisions.
Heat-check your resource allocation
Do away with manual spreadsheets; heatmaps and coolmaps turn your resource data into visual charts, letting managers digitally track the areas making the biggest impact – either by role, department or skill. When you amend your projects from remote locations, our solution updates in real-time, so you always know which modifications are in your best interest.
Employ global talent, manage them locally
Managing remote teams needn’t be any different to managing a traditional, on-site team, but it will require a greater emphasis on technology to keep your ship well oiled, and your people anchored to their goals. Tempus Resource gives project managers powerful insights into their resources, how well they’ve been allocated and how best to place them in the future.