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As a freelance remote project manager, you will likely manage remote projects from time to time. But managing remote projects comes with its own set of unique challenges. How do you keep track of project details when you’re not working alongside your team every day? How do you ensure team members stay on task and meet their deadlines without constant oversight? If you’ve managed virtual teams before, you know it isn’t easy. Remote project management requires a different approach than regular project management processes. You can’t just follow the same old routine and expect things to go smoothly. You might think that makes it impossible to manage remote projects as a freelancer remote project manager. Thankfully, that’s not the case! Read on to learn how you can successfully manage remote projects as a freelancer.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Most project management challenges are the result of poor communication. This is even more true if your team members are not in the same office as you. Most project management challenges are the result of poor communication. Whether you use project management software or not, you need to communicate with your team members often. You need to make sure everyone understands exactly what’s expected of them and has the resources they need to get the job done. That means having regular status meetings with your team members. It also means encouraging them to communicate freely with each other. Remote workers sometimes feel like they need to be more guarded with their thoughts and feelings than their on-site colleagues do. You need to make sure this isn’t the case on your team. Who needs to be involved in your status meetings? Everyone who is involved in the project, including stakeholders and clients where applicable. You should also make sure to get the whole team involved in project discussions as much as possible.
Set clear expectations at the start of the project
Remote project management is all about making sure expectations are clearly defined. If you don’t, you risk frustration and misunderstandings. This can lead to project delays, missed deadlines, and low morale among your team members. Do everything you can to avoid these issues. At the very start of the project, sit down with your team members and stakeholders to talk about expectations. Your conversation might look something like this:
Establish a collaborative workflow
Remote projects sometimes feel like they are in a different universe than traditional on-site projects. You can’t just follow a normal workflow the same way you would if everyone were sitting together. If you do, you’ll likely end up with a messy and inefficient project process. What’s the best way to manage a remote project workflow? You can’t use one process for every project! You need to tailor your workflow to each unique project. What should you consider when creating your workflow? Here’s what you need to think about: – Communication – How will you and your team members exchange information? What about stakeholders? – How will you prioritize tasks? How will you decide which tasks are most important? – How will you organize project details? What tools will you use to keep things organized?
Track feedback and assign tasks
One thing that is often overlooked in traditional project management is tracking feedback. Remember, communication is key. If you don’t keep track of feedback and suggestions, they will quickly disappear. How do you make sure feedback from your team and stakeholders makes an impact on your project? You track it and then assign tasks based on that feedback. This helps to ensure project details remain on track throughout the project. It also gives everyone a chance to be heard. What should you do with feedback and suggestions that you receive? This depends on the type of project you’re working on. You might: – Document feedback in a general project feedback log. – Create a new project task based on feedback. – Add feedback to an existing task to indicate that task still needs work. – Create a new project milestone based on feedback, then break that milestone down into tasks.
Remote project management can be challenging, but it isn’t impossible. If you communicate with your team and stakeholders often, set clear expectations, and establish a collaborative workflow, you can successfully manage remote projects. What else do you need to do to successfully manage remote projects? You need to track feedback and assign tasks based on that feedback. You also need to clearly define each project milestone. Ultimately, the best way to manage remote projects is to follow a process. You can’t just wing it every time you take on a remote project. You need a reliable system to help you stay organized, on track, and accountable to your team and clients.