4 Ways to Boost Remote Project Management on Confluence

The advent of Covid-19 has profoundly impacted the entire work arrangement landscape, forcing organizations big and small to adapt to a new reality. With countless employees transitioning to work-from-home (WFH) practices and the acceleration in digital capability adoption to support this shift, it should surprise no one that remote project management has surged in popularity to meet today’s needs.

However, remote project management is more than just project management behind a computer’s screen. It’s an entirely new framework that comes with its benefits, challenges, and best practices. In our article below, we’ll cover all of these points, keeping the remote Confluence PM in mind before, and suggest what we believe is the ideal project management tool to support remote teams.

Benefits of Remote Project Management

The benefits of remote project management extend far beyond being able to work in the comfort of your home in your pajamas. Here are some of the most important:

Greater Work-life Balance

A happy employee is a productive employee. Remote work environments have proven invaluable in providing employees with work-life balance and flexibility in how they approach work. Even beyond productivity, happier employees are also more likely to refrain from seeking other employment opportunities, thus improving workforce retention.

Wider Talent Pools

Remote PMs will have access to a larger, and by extension, more diverse pool of candidates to pick from. As the geographical location is no longer an issue, PMs, in theory, could work with talent from across the country and even the globe. All that’s now required is a reliable internet connection!

Lower Operational Costs

Generally, operational costs for remote teams generally tend to be relatively low. Simply because remote teams, thanks to WFH, effectively eliminate the cost of renting out office space and equipment like printers and monitors. This even applies to employees as money otherwise spent on commuting (e.g., subway fares, gas for cars) is also done away with.

Challenges of Remote Project Management

That said, while remote project management comes with many benefits, if not properly executed, it can do the exact opposite:

Productivity

The success of remote management is contingent on one thing above all else: trust. PMs must be able to ensure that every team member stays on track and completes their tasks while believing that they are fully capable of working without needing to constantly micromanage and monitor their work.

Miscommunication

While online chats, video conferencing, and phone calls have gone a long way in making the world a smaller place, remote PMs will still experience miscommunication now and then. These issues generally arise due to a lack of clear communication channels, misunderstandings due to cultural differences, and even difficulties in interpreting tones and body language.

Security

Because remote teams use their own and often unsecured networks and devices to perform their tasks, implementing security protocols across the board is virtually impossible. This is especially important when dealing with sensitive data (e.g., health records). Some measures that can be taken include implementing mandatory cybersecurity workshops, employing virtual private networks (VPNs), and enforcing secure password policies.

Best Practices for Remote Project Management

Remote project management is much more than online project management. It presents an entirely new mountain for PMs to conquer. To help remote PMs with this, here are some key practices to always remember:

1. Frequently Check-in with Teams

It doesn’t matter whether it’s daily standups or weekly 1:1s. Checking in with your team members is integral for a number of reasons that include staying up to date with ongoing project progress and keeping track of any potential blockers. But a PM has to do more than just manage. You’ll also have to be both coach and motivator, so be sure to truly listen to any feedback and consider scheduling meetings that don’t involve work (e.g., virtual get-togethers) to foster team bonding.

2. Set Clear Work Expectations

While remote work environments are generally flexible, PMs would benefit by setting clear guidelines. Identify and communicate your expectations: how long should lunch breaks be? What time do you expect team members to start logging in? Have you clearly defined measurable and achievable goals?

Asking yourself these questions early on can help you avoid potential headaches further down the line.

3. Ensure Information is Accessible

Not being able to access critical information is a serious issue that can totally obstruct productivity. Consider this: Fortune 500 companies, on average, lose billions annually for failing to implement proper knowledge-sharing practices. Getting around this is straightforward, however.

Remote PMs must create a well-organized internal wiki that can be used to document everything relevant to the project. Additionally, pairing this with timelines like Gantt charts through remote project management tools such as Gantt Chart Planner for Confluence can help everyone involved understand the bigger picture and keep track of work.

4. Address the Limits of Confluence for Project Management

Tying in with the previous point, Confluence sits as one of the most popular solutions for remote PMs looking to enhance collaboration and communication within their teams’ thanks to its ability to implement a single source of truth (SSOT).

All that said, though Confluence for project management is an excellent tool, it isn’t without fault. Common issues, such as a lack of in-depth data visualization tools and a steep learning curve, should be addressed early by deferring to third-party apps and online educational resources.

Next Steps

Remote project management in all its forms, from hybrid to flexible arrangements, is here to stay for the foreseeable future. While in many aspects it is similar to traditional project management, remote project management brings a host of new challenges for the PM.

To make the life of the remote PM easier, why not try our solution, Gantt Chart Planner for Confluence, and see how it can benefit you today?

 

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