"Hope Springs Eternal"
From a long-time pain in the ass, this gives my medium-size business clients some ideas for managing their projects remotely through technology during these difficult times:
“Hope springs eternal”
So how can organizations continue to be successful in the coming weeks and months? First, we will look to our leadership to coordinate and prioritize our activities to make sure that we are focused on the most important things that will enable us to endure through today’s challenges. Successful leaders will provide the frameworks and resources that will allow their organizations to adapt daily to emerging challenges. Secondly, however, we need to look to ourselves — to ask ourselves what we can do each day that will help us stay the course. I believe that there are a few necessary actions we can take that will help.
1. Keep it simple. Technology projects can be complex, so keeping it simple is going to be an essential aspect of success in the coming months. Take the time to prioritize the most critical elements of any project and break those deliverables down into bite-sized chunks that can be accomplished by teams more likely to be working together more virtually than in person. Don’t forget the less important things but allow the organization some wiggle room to get back to them when more normal times return.
2. Over-communicate. Many people are highly familiar with remote work strategies. Others will be quite new to it. As we pull back into our homes to accommodate social distancing, we need to be conscious of the fact that information that might have flown through a team or in-person to person conversations may now no longer flow at all. It is easy for people that work remotely to lose touch with the team. Adopting tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Salesforce Chatter, and encourage ongoing dialogues that keep people in the know. Daily organized “standup” meetings will help people remain attached to work and knowledgeable about everything that’s going on. Encourage team members to share on every channel and stay informed.
3. Slow down. Consider slowing the pace of existing projects by extending project timelines to allow for the changes that people will go through both in their personal lives as well as their professional ones. Be patient as staff adapt to and deal with the personal and professional changes that are unfolding in real-time.
4. Maintain a positive outlook. In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey suggests that we spend the vast majority of our time in our “circle of control,” a little time in our “circle of influence” and very little time in our “circle of concern.” It’s easy in today’s environment to invert these time allocations. Maintaining a positive outlook is essential to restoring this balance. Find a reason to smile. Keep a sense of humor. Appreciate the contributions people make and say thanks or give thumbs up. These tools help energize us and help us regain focus on the work that is in front of us.