John Buyna, Project Manager for InquisIT, discusses strategies and techniques to effectively manage remote teams and ensure the mission success of our federal clients.
Having effective project and program managers is critical for any contractor entrusted with supporting federal government clients. Today, this is a much more critical priority as a majority of federal workers and government contractors have transitioned to working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Without in-person collaboration and meeting face-to-face, program and project managers need to be more engaged with their remote teams to reduce and mitigate risks to the contract.
This means that program and project managers need to find ways to ensure the success of the program by making sure they maintain clear communications at all times, continue to build trust with their teams, and ensure their teams are motivated, engaged, trained, and effective no matter where they are located.
Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!
- Communicating via video conferences, text and email is key
- Repetition is needed to show that you are available for the team and the customer
- Daily Standups
- Informal calls to check on how individuals are doing (both the customer and the employees)
- Project touch points – discussing current hurdles if any
You Are The Leader!
- Understand you have decision points that affect others
- Understand you need to be aware of all of your surroundings, the contract, people, and influencers
- Understand and exhibit that you can mentor and lead
Know Your Team
- Importance of evaluating the team, for strengths and weaknesses
- Understand what makes the team tick
- Understand the diverse customer conditions you need to manage
- Understand what work is being carried out in support of the customer’s needs
- Make the team become the owners of the operation
- Challenge everyone into pioneering thoughts to INNOVATE!!
- Be a point of encouragement to them
- Make yourself available to the team: “OPEN DOOR”!
- Ultimately, you are supporting the employee who supports the customer!
Know Your Customer!
- Be a partner to your customer – Offer informal chat sessions to bounce ideas and discuss plans for the future
- Understand the mission of your customer
- Know the pain points and work towards resolutions, if at all possible, treat them as risks
Recognize Success and Failure
- Every employee wants to do a great job, recognize it!
- Failures happen, MENTOR the individual to a better spot — don’t let it build until it is too late
- Provide on-the-spot rewards for jobs well done — the employees are the face of your company
- Invest in their future — mentor the individuals to their next career steps, even if you think they are superstars!
- Be effective with the team in achieving your goal
- Set targets, commit, and deliver
- Follow the processes and procedures and streamline as you go along. Show you have quality built in.