Managing remote project teams? How to overcome the barriers

Must read

Managing remote project teams? How to overcome the barriers

Business projects are increasingly becoming global as organisations seek cost-effective solutions to their needs. But working with remote project teams brings unprecedented...

4 steps from project requirements to executing tasks

Any project, regardless of size, will include a project scope statement, as you'd expect to be taught on most courses for project...

IT Project Teams are STILL driving competitive advantage

In conclusion, IT Projects are perfectly placed to shape the future of business as we emerge from this pandemic. Businesses need to be leaner and more innovative. It’s time for IT Project teams to say, “Hold our coffee, watch us do our thing” – this is our moment.

Securing a Better Position – How To Get Promoted As a Project Manager

Whether you’ve entered at ground level and feel you’re experienced enough to take the next step up the career ladder as a...

Business projects are increasingly becoming global as organisations seek cost-effective solutions to their needs. But working with remote project teams brings unprecedented challenges. Here we look at the main issues and how to overcome them.

Companies want the best talent at the lowest cost and in a digitally connected world it is now possible to have employees or outsourced teams working on projects from far-flung locations around the globe. The ease with which businesses can now be connected online is driving more and more organisations to outsource their projects or use internal teams based overseas. This solution has the major benefit of being highly cost-effective but for project managers it can be a real challenge to manage people who are not located in the same country. Here are the main problems and some suggestions on how to overcome them.

Language differences

Many international organisations consider English to be the global language of business with some multinational companies such as Samsung, Renault and Airbus mandating English as the corporate language to facilitate communication and performance across geographically diverse endeavours. However, that fails to recognise that statistically only 20% of the world’s population speaks English and the majority of that 20% speak it as a second language. So if forcing people to use English the best approach?

Instead why not consider nurturing your geographically remote project teams by providing native language translations of important documents, and voiceovers or subtitles on corporate videos. Not only will this ensure communications are fully understood but will motivate employees because they will feel like valued members of the company. Just remember to use a professional subtitle service or voice over agency to ensure the message is communicated in the right way.

Cultural differences

The working environment in the western world can be quite different from that in other parts of the world. The physical environment is, naturally, different but don’t under-estimate the cultural differences and how they might impact your projects. Working hours and days may vary as may holiday entitlements and expectations. What might be a working day in the UK or USA may be a religious or public holiday in other parts of the world and these need to be respected.

Even more important is the way people at different levels of seniority speak to each other. I some countries relationships can be quite relaxed between managers and team members but in others there are formal barriers that cannot be crossed. Bear in mind too that in some cultures team members may not want to highlight problems to their seniors so issues with project progress, for instance, can go unreported until it becomes a major problem.

Time differences

Clearly there are time differences in different countries but it is essential to find at least an hour in everyone’s working day when a regular meeting can be held without impinging excessively on the personal time of any one group. Try to hold conference calls at the start of your working day and the end of the team’s day. Take it in turns to be the location arriving early or staying late for these critical meetings. Put in place a process where everyone knows the current status of all activities without having to rely on phone calls or emails. Project apps such as Trello, Asana or Basecamp can help here. you both give each other daily updates, via email or the project management software you use, for example. If regional working days never overlap the process of maintaining current status and recording issues becomes even more important to delivering a successful remote project.

- Advertisement -

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

- Advertisement -

Latest article

Managing remote project teams? How to overcome the barriers

Business projects are increasingly becoming global as organisations seek cost-effective solutions to their needs. But working with remote project teams brings unprecedented...

4 steps from project requirements to executing tasks

Any project, regardless of size, will include a project scope statement, as you'd expect to be taught on most courses for project...

IT Project Teams are STILL driving competitive advantage

In conclusion, IT Projects are perfectly placed to shape the future of business as we emerge from this pandemic. Businesses need to be leaner and more innovative. It’s time for IT Project teams to say, “Hold our coffee, watch us do our thing” – this is our moment.

Securing a Better Position – How To Get Promoted As a Project Manager

Whether you’ve entered at ground level and feel you’re experienced enough to take the next step up the career ladder as a...

Mentoring and project managers – get the best out of a team

Project management isn’t just based on cost and analysis and dealing with stakeholders and your existing team – you also need to...