Transitioning to working from home as a project manager

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MShttps://dittodigital.co.uk
The author spent the first part of her career working in IT and IT Project Management in the oil industry and investment banking on complex global projects involving the management of outsourced project teams. She now runs a digital marketing company with particular expertise in SEO.

If you are a project manager working from home how can you know if your team have everything covered. Read on as we offer some helpful tips.

More and more companies are looking at ways to be more flexible. For many businesses, that means allowing employees to spend some of their working week in the office and the rest of the time working from home. Fortunately. this was a trend that was already taking place for a number of companies before the WHO declared the current coronavirus pandemic and governments placed countries into lockdown, forcing people who could to work from home to help reduce the spread of the virus. However, transitioning to working from home, especially as a project manager, isn’t as easy as you might think.  When your team members are spread out all over the place it is important to be sure that the work is covered, and any issues picked up on as soon as possible.

Communication

One of the first things you will learn during project management training is that good communication is one of the key skills a project manager needs to have. This has never been truer than when a team are based all over the place and not together in a single office. Schedule small meetings, either with all of your team members or individual people on a regular basis. You might want to set up an online meeting option to do this. Make sure that the members of your team understand that you are still as available as you ever were and if they have any issues or come across a problem with the project you are available. However, it’s also important that you set boundaries for communication – you can’t be expected to take calls 24/7 or answer e-mails at 3am, so putting in place guidelines for when you’re available and how long people might need to wait for an answer will help to manage expectations of your team.

The right project management software

Choosing the right project management software is always an important consideration for any project; it is especially important when the members of your team will not be working in the same office.

If you have attended project management courses then you are likely to have touched on software and the type of features that you may find useful. Good software management will allow all the members of your team to post any necessary updates in real time so that everyone will know exactly what is going on. This will allow for any issues that have been identified to be seen by the whole team as soon as they have been found and worked on as soon as possible. When it comes to ensuring that the project is running as closely to schedule as possible this can be invaluable. If written communication is also conducted via the software then it is possible for everyone to see what was agreed to and more importantly which team member should be working on which part of the project, creating a “paper trail”.

With the right tools to hand there is no reason why as a project manager you couldn’t work from home whilst still ensuring that your team has everything covered.

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Project management has developed into a fully-fledged chartered profession since the granting of the Royal Charter in the UK to The Association for Project Management (APM) in 2017. Training courses for project managers were already available and highly popular to help people gain professional project management accreditation, but with this wider recognition of the profession it is now seen as a desirable career path for many. Whilst the APM has the coveted Royal Charter and continues to develop its APM PMQ (formerly the APMP) programmes, there are also other internationally recognised qualifications that continue to be highly regarded such as PMP and PRINCE2.

Organisations have become increasingly project-focused in this era of rapidly emerging new technologies and they value the expertise that comes with experienced and fully qualified project teams and managers. By investing in their project management capability businesses can be confident of delivering their new projects in time and on budget more often and more successfully. Many major corporation are now training their people to have the right project management qualifications as well as relevant experience, through internal Learning & Development (L&D) programmes; or by using external project management training providers.

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