It has been some time that the way some of the IT projects are managed has changed. The ever-increasing trend to invest in cloud-based applications somehow simplified the implementation process which in turn simplified the overall project management, as well.

These cloud-based applications usually come with some best practices to deliver their main functionality. In fact, this is one of the main factors why companies choose to invest in such modern tools. If they go along with the best practice processes these applications offer, this results in more standard implementations, less customization needs, etc. Furthermore, no hardware or software installation on site is required anymore, all these applications are only subject to a ‘provisioning’ process managed by the software vendor.

All these factors have given the project teams the ability to conduct projects which are straightforward and take significantly less time to complete compared to on-premises type of applications. On top of that, the need for the implementing party and customer teams coming together to perform certain activities has also minimized.

Changes in Project Management Methodologies

For the last decade or so, we have been involved in projects where on customers’ site activities were limited to major steps like kick-off, UAT, and training. All the rest of the project activities are used to be managed from remote.

Of course, Covid-19 pandemic has forced everyone to take this remote approach to an extreme. For over a year now, it has not been possible to conduct any on-site activity during an application implementation project. The fact that most of the companies are still requesting their employees to work from their homes, and strict limitations on the travel brought us a totally new way of managing projects, 100% remote!

This new approach came with its own challenges. As human beings, we are social creatures. Even when we do business, we need one to one interaction and a personal touch to work efficiently. However, not being able to sit in a meeting room with everyone involved in the project and discuss about the details of the project face-to-face made it quite difficult to convey ideas, comments, thoughts from one side to another. Experience shows that it is quite easy to lose focus in the project and end up with tasks not completed by the deadlines causing delays in completing the milestones and, of course, the whole project.

Watchouts in New generation Project Management

Taking all these into consideration, there are some important principles that should be followed to avoid these negative impacts.

  • Communication channels and the frequency of these communications should be defined clearly. At least weekly project online meetings should be scheduled.
  • The agenda of these weekly meetings should be distributed to all the participants prior to the meeting.
  • Each and every agenda item should be discussed during the meeting. Responsible people and timing of those items should be decided and mutually agreed on.
  • An online project management tool where each and every stakeholder will be able to monitor the progress and check the status of the project activities would be an important success factor. These tools have features to send out automated notifications which help the project team members to follow up with the tasks assigned to them quite easily.
  • Project managers should keep in mind that some project activities might needed to be repeated due to the fact that some important details might get lost in translation during the online meetings. It might get quite hard for some people to concentrate on what is being discussed on such meetings and they can easily lose focus; therefore, additional checks on the already completed activities might be highly helpful during the next online meeting.
  • Even though there are some disadvantages in conducting remote and online projects, there is one highly important advantage which should definitely be used. It is quite easy to record the online meetings and this is especially important when a kick-off, or training session is conducted online. These recordings can be used for future reference whenever needed.

Yes, managing 100% remote projects can become quite challenging. However, if certain rules are applied to the process, it is still possible to deliver successful implementations within the designated timelines.

We, at Labrys Consulting, are highly experienced in these type of project deliveries where we have successfully completed more than 50 projects, in 11 countries, over 3 continents. If you would like to know more about these successes, you can get more information and contact us here.

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