Geography is History Part II: Collaborative Execution

In the previous blog we looked at basic collaboration options, with an introduction to one of the most effective platform, Microsoft Teams. Many platforms today enable very effective audio and video communications.

However, collaborative execution is not limited to just a lot of audio / video sessions. A lot of these sessions from distributed teams of customer and partners  along with employees translate to mapping the Strategy and  Tactical aspects into

  • Short Term objectives.
  • Long term objectives.

Keeping remote teams aligned, excited and marching towards these objectives is extremely challenging. Traditional desktop based tools result into a lot of emails and too many emails could lead to missed communication.

The need of the time is focused collaborative tools which can be integrated into a chat type of Microsoft Teams framework, which can help people plan, talk and exchange tasks and progress on the tasks directly on chat platforms,

Remote Management

To achieve effective remote management, team leaders can focus on a 3 pronged approach with objectives Vs resources in mind.

  • Short Term objectives: Plan shorter terms objectives with tasks using a tool called Microsoft Planner.
  • Long term objectives: Plan long term complex objectives using effective online project management tools. Wrike is one of the recent collaborative  project planning tools I have used to manage projects with a wider audience and complicated tasks.
  • Resource Management: To keep team focused and all stake holder aware of global resources working in various shifts its important to use a shift planning tool. Microsoft Teams Shift planning tool can be an effective way to keep track of your remote teams.

Short Term planning: Microsoft Planner

             This is a super simple  Board planning tool which can be very effective to plan Short term tasks with teams.

             Basically it can help plan your work day, converting all of the sticky notes in your office to a much more organized list of activities.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/microsoft-planner-video-training-4d71390f-08d8-4db0-84ea-92fb078687c7

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/graph/planner-concept-overview

Planner can help organize your tactical regular weekly / daily tasks into an effective board you can use to ensure you meet your targets regularly.

Long term Project planning – Collaboratively: Wrike

              For long term project planning, instead of sending project plans / excels between distributed team leads to manage tasks a centralized collaborative project management tool is the best way to manage a project and ensure all stakeholders have a view of their responsibilities, critical paths and how it all fits into the grand plan.

I have used a tool which is decently well suited to collaborative project management. It facilitates

  • Phases
  • Tasks & Sub tasks
  • Assignments
  • Dependencies
  • Gantt & Critical path
  • Detailed management of tasks with files
  • Communication of tasks collaboratively within remote team members
  • Workflow of task status  as needed  / controlled. Sample Status includes
    • New
    • In progress
    • At risk
    • Delayed
    • On Hold
    • Complete
    • Custom statuses can also be defined
  • Alerts in emails
  • Reports
  • Dashboards
  • Tight integration with MS Teams
  • Automation

Detailed Task planning and updates provide a lot of options including

  • Attaching files
  • Sending messages with emojis keeping the engagement lively J.
  • And many more
detailed task management with wrike

Wrike Dashboards and reports are also very powerful to manage Status of the overall project and identify risks / delays.

Finally direct conversation on Wrike tasks can be managed on Microsoft Teams.

The Tick mark above enables the use to reference wrike tasks on teams with specific messages to team members.

For more details go to

https://www.wrike.com/blog/

https://help.wrike.com/hc/en-us

Managing remote teams – Shift Management

              The last component of remote resource management can be achieved using Microsoft Shift Planning.

              In a distributed team, especially during production support or otherwise SHIFTS is a great tool to have all team members align with defined schedules and also keep up the transparency related to availability across various stakeholders.

The Shifts App can be used on the Mobile and the web and allows team members to also request change in shifts or request a day off / replacement to their manager or even facilitate swapping shifts with other team members.

In a rapidly growing remote workplace this can be a very effective tool to plan work schedules and keep all team members informed.

Look forward to any feedback and more updates the next time…

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