Project Management and Remote Work for MBA School Grads
With traditional office structures uprooted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new era of workplace culture has been ushered in, with more teams working remotely than ever before. Made possible by advancements in technology, access to video conferencing tools like Zoom and communication platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Slack, the remote office has many benefits. Remote employees are able to avoid wasteful commute times and achieve a better work-life balance, and the set-up is certainly more cost-effective for employers. When it comes to project management, remote work can lead to greater flexibility, improved task delegation and even more streamlined communication, but there are a few common challenges to flag and overcome.
If you’re earning your MBA in Project Management, read on to discover what to expect from carrying out project management remotely.
While remote work may be more convenient, when it comes to project management, virtual teams often encounter challenges in staying motivated. Without the engagement that comes with interacting in a project, team members may feel disconnected from their goals and the project itself. This can hinder productivity and problem-solving, resulting in a more costly project. After earning your MBA in project management, there are a few solutions to this problem which can be implemented while working remotely. For one, it’s important to acknowledge and appreciate hard work, ensuring that team members know when their efforts are paying off. Additionally, it’s important to set aside time for face-to-face interaction, as this will improve connections and result in increased motivation.
When it comes to remote project management, one of the biggest challenges is often developing an effective method of communication among teams. Because so much information is being exchanged, the potential for miscommunication increases without the opportunity for constant face-to-face interaction. Outside of meetings, it’s important to develop a system of communication for team members to ask questions, receive answers and exchange key information. Often, software solves this problem for many teams, with applications like Slack providing clearly segmented channels of communication.
While procrastination can happen in a physical office environment as well as a virtual one, after MBA school, it’s important to be aware that it happens more frequently with remote projects. Although evidence suggests that working remotely actually increases productivity, team members may struggle to manage their time, leaving tasks to the last minute. In order to prevent procrastination, which in turn may hinder productivity, you can set small, manageable goals for team members. Not only will this improve the structure of their workflow, it will also reduce the potential for procrastination.
The last hurdle with remote project management involves handling sensitive project data. Often, it can be difficult to navigate the process of obtaining clearance to access a company’s data when team members aren’t physically on-site. Most common in the healthcare and financial sectors, it’s important to factor security policies into the project plan before it begins. What’s more, in order to maintain the security of sensitive data, creating security standards and implementing secure technologies will often be necessary and should be established before issues occur. By planning for access to technology and data, remote workers can ensure that they have the information they need at their fingertips without sacrificing security.
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