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Pandemics and remote IT projects


Reading back over some very old blogs I wrote I found a report called "The Challenges of Remotely Managing A Project". It must be more than ten years ago now and it's interesting thinking back to how I felt reading it.

Stoneseed regularly managed projects remotely and it seem second nature and almost a given, but back then there were fewer projects managed in this way.

The reason, I guess, is that the project management universe wasn't set up for it. There were few tools available that allowed real time collaboration across time zones. What a difference a decade makes!

Now with the Covid-19 pandemic, getting remote working and ability to manage projects remotely is a necessity. To survive the current economic turmoil that is inevitable with self-isolation and travel restrictions, businesses must adapt and find a way to work effectively and remotely.

Nowadays, remote IT project management is the norm for many and there plenty of tools to accommodate this expanding and exciting area. However, in the ten years or so since that report "The Challenges of Remotely Managing A Project" was written - has it become any less challenging?

As always, the answer is a mix of "yes" and "no" and, most crucially, "depends on your approach".

So ... how do you support a virtual project team?

The greatest challenge or, as I prefer to see it, the greatest trick with a virtual team is to try and get it to behave as if it was not virtual at all. All the usual rules apply, communication, belonging, support, etc. These are all hugely important to the team members regardless of whether they are sat on the other side of the office or the other side of the world.  What is different, of course, is the way that this is achieved when team members are not usually located near each other, or share the same values, objectives or goals.

In Stoneseed’s case, for instance, our virtual teams are both virtual and separated by geography but by carefully selecting tools and techniques we can ensure positive outcomes are achieved. Online collaboration tools like Skype and Microsoft Teams (to name just a couple) give you an ability to function as a team even when you are miles apart and available at different times.

When you select the right tool, you are able to share documents, review plans, create documents and comment in real time via these platforms and as they are mobile you can access them across all your devices.  This provides your teams with a unique ability to operate across multiple virtual teams and not lose the thread of the conversation.

You will find virtual teams face challenges above and beyond regular ones, but as with traditional projects, ensuring communication flows flowing gives you a head start.

When I decided to write is blog about remote working communication, I was inspired by the challenges we face currently and how we can help our clients “keep open for business”

Stoneseed are experts at Remote Project Management and can help support your IT Project Delivery in these uncertain times and cover staffing shortfalls. We offer a full range of project services including Virtual PMO, Remote Project Managers and Business Analysis.

Our team have been involved in countless projects and all come from an infrastructure or digital application background, and we have a team of IT technical staff and advisors. 

If we can support, you when you are experiencing loss of knowledge as a result of other key members of staff being unavailable during this challenging period. .... let us help where needed.

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