Managing a project online can feel like a daunting task, especially when working remotely. Staff is located all over the world which makes for an automatic disconnect. The, “we’re all in this together,” comradery that defines office culture and helps build teamwork is largely absent. Especially now that we’re suffering from Zoom fatigue and lack of work/life balance. But have no fear, managing a successful project online can be done with the right tools and effective use of communication.
Invest in an all-in-one software
Start by creating the foundation of the project. Outline the budget, tasks, schedule, departments and resources needed. Remember, managers are used to creating a big picture view online but depend heavily on in-person meetings to gather specific details from team members. This generally happens when a company isn’t using a centralized platform. Without it, it’s virtually impossible for everyone to be on the same page. Team members are organizing their departments however they like; information isn’t stored in a uniform location, it can take hours to find and sometimes, isn’t even accessible by all those who need it. When you’re in yet another meeting mumbling, “This could’ve been an email,” then later end up sifting through five hundred emails, this is why.
Cringing, yet? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. And luckily for us, there’s an easy fix. Invest in an all-in-one software like Nutcache that manages a project from inception to completion. As a manager you can use it to create a project template, build the budget, assign tasks, visualize a Gantt chart, set alerts, follow staff progress, track expenses, and bill clients. Your crew will love it. Why?
Because it’s like a meal kit service. The kit comes with all the ingredients and an easy to follow recipe. The prep time, guesswork and margin of error are removed. The amount of time saved is obviously a lot. When dinner is complete you walk away feeling like a winner: You knew what the tasks assigned to you were, you knew how long they should take to finish and had all the tools you needed to complete them. The pictures provided, much like a Gantt chart, allowed you to visualize the journey and the goal.
An online project is no different. Team members need pertinent information to be shared in a central, visually pleasing, transparent fashion. They need the tools to do their job given to them. Otherwise, they will spend more time fussing with creating documents and manual tracking systems than following up on issues and completing tasks. This ultimately leads to a less efficient workflow, missed deadlines and a heightened sense of frustration.
Communication is key
Though a good project management software is a major factor of success, communication also plays a big role. With options like video conferencing, chat and emails, it’s in our best interest to make efficient use of all of them. Efficient being the key word. That doesn’t mean sharing less data but being smart about how we do it.
For example, it’s a great idea to outline priorities and daily targets in a morning video conference meeting. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and set the tone for the day. If you approach the day in a positive manner, so will your team.
It’s important to note that although we’re able to manage a project without seeing each other’s faces, we shouldn’t. It’s by making eye contact and talking in a friendly, casual manner that teambuilding occurs. A byproduct of having a team with strong relationships is that you’ll have a team that isn’t afraid to reach out to one another when the need arises. And as the project picks up pace this will happen often.
Emails are of course, a necessary evil. Be careful not to overload your peers with too many, as a form of safeguarding yourself, because that’s when emails lose their power. People start ignoring them when there are simply too many to keep track of. In the best case scenario, emails should be concise, highlight important information and not sent to the entire team unless absolutely necessary. Be clear about your intentions and action items. Online chat messaging is a good alternative if you need to reach out to someone one-on-one, either for an emergency or a quick question.
Keep in mind that a successful project is only as a successful as the team who’s working on it. If you’re managing a project let your crew know that you care about their well-being. A staffer who feels valued is one who will be dedicated to the project.
Nutcache can help your team feel they have the tools to complete their job to the best of their ability. It will centralize data and ease the stress of your project management and theirs.