A mobile app developer from New York. UI designer from Sydney. QA engineer from Project Manager from Berlin.
Sounds like a fictional workplace? Well, this is the reality of today. Thanks to the rapid proliferation of cloud-based communication and collaboration tools, remote teams are becoming commonplace. Now, you can hire remote web designers, UX engineers, remote digital marketing experts project managers or literally any professional from any corner of the world. Internet and its host of communication & collaboration tools have made it possible.
But, how do you manage such a remote team from diverse backgrounds and located in far ends of the globe?
Here are a few tips to help you do it better.
Set clear expectations & communicate them
A virtual team does not get to meet and greet each other in person often. A lion share of the interaction remains virtual — through chat, video conferencing or through email. The lack of in-person communication might possibly lead to miscommunication of expectations and goals.
To get the most out of a virtual team, it is necessary that you set clear expectations for each member of the team. The expectations should also be communicated in definite terms to the team. Such transparent interaction, even if it is through the virtual medium, will empower the team members to deliver their absolute best.
Hold regular virtual meetings
There is a common saying amidst office-goers — out of office, out of mind. As humans with limited memory and tons of distractions, we are bound to lose interaction with virtual team members. As a result, complacency will kick into the workflow causing serious delays and budget overruns.
An ideal way to prevent such instances is to hold regular virtual meetings. Video conferencing tools that can accommodate multiple participants can be used to host team huddles. The huddle meetings can be used as a platform where each participant can update the team of the projects that they are currently working on, tasks in the pipeline, support or information required from other team members and so on.
Use online project management tools
When virtual teams work on multiple projects simultaneously, lack of coordination is bound to creep in. The only way to ensure that everybody is on the same page is with the help of online project management tools.
These tools help in assigning tasks to individuals or group of members, assign due dates, monitor progress and also handover the task to the next group to see the project to completion. Adding clients to these tools will also help maintain the level of transparency in handling business operations.
Running a virtual team need not be nerve-racking. With the right amount of planning and resource allocation, a remote team can help your business meet its goals in quick time.