These are challenging times. We are all having to adapt the way in which we work, and there are many challenges to overcome. So, what happens to that project you were collaborating on with your team? What are the challenges you are now facing trying to get that project delivered? These are the questions that many project managers and team members are facing right now.
A new way of communicating
One key area, and this is relevant for the entire duration of the project, is Communications. No more quick daily standups around the team board, or a quick face to face meeting once a week.
We are now facing challenges trying to communicate with our team online. So this is not a big deal surely? Aren’t we just replacing face to face with online meetings? Remember that virtual or remote communications can cause significant barriers to communication. We aren’t able to read body language, sometimes pick up on facial expressions, and can even miss out on the tone of voice due to technical difficulties.
Adapting to new challenges
So how do we overcome this?
- We need to plan our communications carefully. Clarify the objective of the communication and think about the message you will be conveying. This is an important step for any communication, but more so when doing it online.
- Carefully consider who you invite to the online communications session. Think about your objectives, and who you need there to meet them. Too many unnecessary people often result in side discussions, that can distract from the main objectives.
- Think of ways you can check peoples understanding during the communication, we don’t want anyone misunderstanding messages or being left confused.
- Think of ways to deal with technical issues like out of sync speech and video, maybe switching off video once initial introductions are done for example.
- How to deal with background noise, for example I have recently found that when all microphones are left on, sometimes something happening in the background of one participant, can distort or affect clear sound for the person speaking. Sometimes getting everyone to mute their speaker while someone else is talking, is a great way to deal with this.
- Consider if any follow up is required following the communication seesion, for example if there were action items, a follow up email might be ideal to clarify what was agreed.
Remember you are likely to need to meet and communicate virtually with team members and stakeholders, on a regular basis throughout the project, so always make sure that you are following clear guidance to get the most out of your meet up.
There are many more challenges that you will face when trying to deliver projects remotely, contact Elite Training and consultancy to find out more about our one day course which looks at some of these challenges and offers practical tips on how to overcome them.