Project management professionals juggle many and varied tasks daily, but those doing so from a distance―or remotely―have a greater challenge on their hands. The key to effective and productive project management is finding the best tools and time management techniques to stay on top of the project and communicate with remote employees. We’ve gathered productivity tips and a number of tools that will be useful for remote project managers.
To steer your next project in the right direction, here are some effective productivity tips and tools for remote project managers:
Find the right tools.
There are many apps available that are geared to support remote project managers. Find out more about some of these apps to determine if they’re right for your project. Many of the listed apps offer trial packages so you can test whether the app is a good fit for your project.
Trello is a web-based project management app that uses the Kanban paradigm. Within the app, users can be assigned to tasks and can organize projects through the utilization of boards, lists, and cards, which form a data hierarchy to facilitate effective management of projects that mirror the project’s flow from concept to implementation. The app supports iPhone, Android, and Windows 8 mobile platforms, however, its website has been designed to be accessible in most mobile web browsers. An iPad application is also now available.
OmniPlan is planning and project management software that provides an ability to create project schedule outlines in the Gantt format. The program’s network diagrams offer an easy way to visualize project flow and tasks. The software allows for customization as well. The program’s Earned Value Analysis allows you to keep tabs on the funds spent on the project and whether the results were worth the expense.
This project management software is designed to assist a project manager in developing a plan, assigning staff to tasks, tracking progress, managing the budget, and analyzing workloads.
Evernote is a cross-platform app designed for note taking, organizing, and archiving. The app allows users to create a “note” which can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten “ink” note. Notes can also have file attachments. Notebooks can be added to a stack while notes can be sorted into a notebook, tagged, annotated, edited, given comments, searched, and exported as part of a notebook.
You may be using G Suite without realizing it―or at least parts of it. G Suite is a set of intelligent apps, including Google Gmail, Docs, Drive, and Calendar, to connect the people on your project, no matter where in the world they are.
Manage your time wisely.
Many daily habits can waste valuable project time. One key productivity tip is that if you or a team member frequently check social media or time spent checking email is mismanaged, you’ll be surprised at how much time is frittered away. Use the following apps to more strategically manage your team’s time.
According to Freedom (formerly Stayfocusd), it takes 23 minutes to refocus each time you check email, social media, or another distraction. And anyone who feels like they’re a good multitasker will want to note that multitasking is 40% less productive. This program enables you to block websites and apps that will distract you from your work or promote multitasking.
This tool tracks the time spent on applications and websites to give you a detailed peek at how you’ve spent your day. Detailed reports and data are produced based on your activity.
This is a simple time tracking application that allows you to track time right from a browser, computer, or smartphone. The main premise is that you just type what you’re working on, hit a start button, and a timer starts ticking to track your project time.
Evaluate the success of your project.
Once you’ve wrapped up your project or campaign, be sure to gather your team remotely to discuss the success of the project. What went right? What went wrong? What can you change and implement in the future to ensure more successful projects?
Record the following for project evaluation purposes and historical reference:
- Interview your client to evaluate customer satisfaction.
- Interview and evaluate staff and team performance. Identify areas for future improvement.
- Record the originally scheduled deadline date and the real date of completion. Identify areas of delay or reasons for moving the deadline date.
- Analyze expenses and project results.