Working With A Global Project Team

Paul Naybour

Nowadays, more and more businesses are going global and hiring remote workers. As a project manager, it is highly unlikely that your team is always going to be in your office. You may have another department overseas that you need to liaise with. You may also have a number of freelancers that work in different locations. This presents a new set of challenges, which you need to consider carefully when managing your team. With that in mind, read on for some top tips on managing a global project team as a project manager…

Use A Common Software Platform For All Team Members

It is important to invest in good project management software so that your team can collaborate effectively. This enables everyone to track work and stay in-sync with one and other. You will also need to use some form of instant messenger so everyone can talk to each other, and don’t discourage informal chats either; it will make people feel like they are part of a team and help you build a motivated project team even if they have never met.

Be Sensitive To Cultural Differences

Cultural differences can be difficult to manage, and it will probably be a learning curve for you too. Just because someone from China or India speaks fluent English does not mean that his or her cultural values are going to be identical to yours – in all likelihood they will be noticeably different. If you walked into an office in Hong Kong and spent a month working there, you would probably be shocked by how different life is. This is something you need to respect and be sensitive to when working with a global project team.

Be Aware Of Religious Holidays And National Holidays

Consider researching the various national and religious holidays for those on your team working overseas. You can then have a list of days to refer to when you know that your team members are not going to be available. It is vital that you respect these holidays and that you do not put pressure on team members. You also need to be sensitive to unexpected details, for example, consider how a fasting holiday may have an impact on one of your team members.

Navigate Time Zones

It can feel impossible to organise a meeting when you are communicating with workers based all over the world. It is a good idea to have a clock in your office that states the time in the location where your global project team is based. This will help you and your team members to know when they will be able to communicate in real time with the team that is based overseas. If meetings do need to be schedule out of work hours, make sure you alternate who has to stay later or come into work earlier.

If you follow these four simple tips, you will find it easier to manage a global project team and become a better project leader. As with any project there may be a few issues along the way, but providing you learn from them and embrace the advice above and the cultural differences there’s no reason why your project won’t be a success.

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