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Managing Successful Projects with Remote Teams

Focus on these four areas for project success

Businesses are increasingly leveraging remote staff more than ever before. Full time, part time, or contracted remote team members are now common in companies of all industries and sizes. Whether your team is fully remote or mixed with on-site staff, these teams and their projects can run efficiently and with high engagement when managed properly. In this post we discuss pertinent considerations and best practices to drive success across four areas below.

1. Composition

As teams scale, complexity grows. The optimal project team size should be just big enough to achieve a project’s goals. Our first recommendation is to limit your team size to the skillset, backlog, and roles necessary to accomplish the project.

To determine your team’s composition, assess the project, the team’s responsibilities, and resource availability. While a degree of responsibility-sharing is acceptable, be realistic about the potential and feasibility of task switching to ensure team members stay focused. An assignment chart outlining the expected deliverables and responsibilities with respect to volume of work represents a great starting point.

2: Interaction

A common pitfall of remote work is a lack of frequency and quality of touchpoints when compared with more traditional in-person team communication. Team collaboration is, of course, essential for successful project completion, so we recommend regular touchpoints, covering simple questions such as: 

  1. What has been completed?
  2. What new tasks will you undertake, and when? Is anything stopping you from moving forward?
  3. Do any tasks rely on the completion of other tasks (task dependencies)? Is the completion of those tasks on track?

Establishing appropriate and clear communication channels prevents remote team members from becoming isolated and increases camaraderie and project momentum.

Icon of a communications tower emitting radio waves

3: People

Remote work requires nuanced considerations, and the prioritization of the well-being of team members is paramount.  Critical factors to consider include:

  1. Time Zone differences
  2. Family obligations (daycare / school pickup)
  3. Appointments 
  4. Meeting frequency
  5. Paid Time Off (PTO) and Holidays
  6. Skill Sets
  7. Concurrent projects

Establishing realistic expectations of availability and fostering a compassionate collaboration environment contributes to the formulation and maintenance of high morale as projects run. Planning with these considerations in mind ensures alignment between expectations and practicalities of what is possible.

4: Process and Tools

While these aspects could be discussed separately, their interconnected nature warrants addressing them together. Decentralized teams must be able to visualize work easily within and across projects, maintain and evaluate timelines, and communicate quickly and easily. The tooling chosen is vital in facilitating seamless progress. 

Navigating the complexities of remote work requires a thoughtful blend of team composition, interaction strategies, and consideration of employee well-being. Ensuring consideration of these insights will foster a collaborative and successful team environment.

Remote teams can be a real productivity booster! Our customers love the way we run Salesforce projects with our 100% remote team. In fact, they’ve made us a 5-star partner on AppExchange. What can we help you build?

Ryan Williams, Project Manager

Ryan initially became interested in information systems in his undergrad, and secured an internship with a local Salesforce partner. After graduating with a degree in Business Management from Montana State, he accepted a full time role at the firm and was assigned to his first clients as a Salesforce consultant.

Ryan has since found a passion for project and relationship management within IT projects.