Are you struggling to manage distributed teams? Most project managers find it challenging to handle remote and hybrid teams. Nonetheless, in this global lockdown, you cannot help but adapt to those skills that enable you to do so. In this article at ProjectManagement.com, Emily Luijbregts shares some tips to help you lead distributed teams like an expert.
Manage Distributed Teams
Though it seems out of your current skill set, you can quickly learn and incorporate them into your day-to-day management. First, utilize Bruce Tuckman’s theory about team development. It has five stages—forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Drawing from his theory, here are the guidelines:
Build a communication channel and roadmap and explain why they need to adhere to the protocols. Some might have system compatibility issues with new applications or software. Network issues are also common these days. Everyone must know what platform to use to easily reach each member.
Improve Team Bonding
The most demanding job is building and maintaining distributed team unity when everyone is working from home or in a hybrid workplace environment. Have frequent group activities to break down silos and discourage biased opinions amongst team members. For instance, instead of delegating work and setting deadlines by yourself, ask each individual the timeline for each task. That would help you and the team come to a joint agreement about task estimation.
Be a Proactive Listener
It is easier for people to feel distracted in a work-from-home setup. After explaining tasks to them, ensure they understood the requirements well before you set a deadline. You can also ask how the team members would like to approach the job or what work they are aiming to complete by Friday.
What About Your Goals?
You cannot lag while expecting your team to excel. The team members still need you as an example from whom they can get inspiration. So, do not get lost in helping the team and block some time to focus on your goals.
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