Project collaboration involves a handful of people working towards the fulfillment of a single goal or project. Normally, it involves people physically getting together to work on the project, but today, project collaboration has taken a new face. It has breached the realms of online territory and has begun utilizing a virtual workforce that has emptied the boardroom and transferred all meetings on the internet. Today, projects involve people working on it from different places, on different time zones. Today, the possibility of a virtual team creates new rules for more effective project collaboration, and to keep up with the growing trend, it may be best that you get acquainted with them.
1. Form the Right Team
Virtual management begins with selecting the right members of your virtual team. Make sure that each member you choose is capable of the job they will be doing in the completion of the project. These first few steps are crucial and will determine your virtual team’s success. Careful filtering of applicants and dedicated interviews will help you find the right members. Form a group whose members can actually help achieve the team’s goal.
2. Be as Diverse as Possible
It doesn’t stop with selecting the most capable members. Since virtual project management allows you to get members from different places, different countries, then its best that you make the most out of it. Get the most diverse members; draw them from different cultures and different backgrounds. Get as much talent as you can. Structure a team whose members can provide you not only with capable skills, but a myriad of inspiration that can allow you to complete your project in the most creative of ways.
3. Get a Competent Leader
It takes a great leader to manage a team, but it takes an even greater leader to administer a team whose members rest on different parts of the country (or the globe, in some cases). Digital management requires a virtual manager who is competent enough to handle people that are not directly with him. Get a task manager who is passionate for the project, and at the same time, capable of stirring the team to success. Get a leader whose task management skills contribute to the virtual team’s effectiveness.
4. Provide Clear Instructions
The usual hindrance in making virtual teams work lies in the dissemination of instructions. Since instructions are not given personally, virtual teams run the risk of miscommunication and over artificial means of communication, such as e-mails. To avoid this, make sure that instructions handed out are as clear as possible, particularly in content management where the virtual office relies heavily on careful distribution of instructions. Avoid mishaps and interruptions in the project by initially ensuring that all members of the project go by the instructions provided. One of the best techniques for providing instructions and collaborating between colleagues is mind mapping. Many mind mapping solutions will enable providing instructions in the same format. Some of them even allow communication and collaboration in real time. Great way to ensure everyone is on the same page.
5. Create an Effective Monitoring System
The first step is establishing a system by which the virtual team will work on the project. The second step is to monitor this system, make sure that it is effective and will pinpoint its portions that need improvement. As the virtual manager, it rests on you to make sure that the system of the project collaboration does not only work on the initial level, but also throughout a longer period of time.
6. Re-elucidate your Goals
One of the most important tasks of a virtual leader is to ensure that all members of the virtual team realize and understand the goals of the project. It is important that members of the project understand what the project wishes to achieve. More so than ensuring that the goals of the individual members of the team coincide with the projects, the idea is to make them aware of what the project wishes to achieve. By doing so, members can be aware of what contributions can be made to achieve success.
7. Wield Multi-faceted Communication Tools
Managing a virtual workforce that spills over different places may sound troublesome. Fortunately, a handful of collaboration tools and project management tools have made available through time. Today, lots of project collaboration softwares and virtual project management softwares allow any digital leader to handle all the members of the team no matter where they are. To ensure your virtual team’s success, make sure that you wield current technology to help you organize your team and communicate with your members.
8. Divide and Conquer
Managing a large team may prove to do you more bad than good. Yes, a large team is desirable, but having all its members work on a single task may be hard, if not impossible. What you can do is to create teams; divide your large group into smaller, more manageable ones and assign each small team a specific task or project. This makes your virtual workforce more manageable and more efficient, allowing you to divide the tasks of the project and conquer them altogether in the end.
9. Ride the Trends
Online project collaboration is very trend-based. As an online team, you need to be aware of new trends that are popular on the internet. Make yourself aware of new softwares or new websites that can possibly aid you and your team in the completion of your project. Make sure that your virtual workforce is not outdates, but up-to-date with the latest, or better yet, the up-and-coming trends on the internet.
10. Reward Every Part of the Team
A good reward system may do wonders for your online project collaboration. At the end of the day, rewards make all the troubles and stress of doing the project worthwhile. Make sure to reward all members of the team for the project to be a success. Not only is it due, but it will also keep the members of the team interested and devoted to the project. By doing so, you can ensure that your team will still be with you when you take on more, and possibly harder projects.