The Pitfalls and Pain Points of Project Teams Return to Work
Project managers have had to navigate many transitions this year. Initially, there was a shift towards a remote workforce. This created a host of challenges for both project managers and team members as they tried to track productivity from afar.
Remote work has become the new norm for many. There are many pitfalls and new challenges for those who are slowly returning to work.
Moving to a dispersed group is possible for organizations that have the right best practices and are supported by project management software.
As employees and companies make the transition to a more stable business environment, it is important to remember what has been learned and to anticipate any new pitfalls. Here are some suggestions.
After a long time working from their homes, employees are more comfortable being independent. It may be tempting to fill their time with project mapping and planning sessions, but it is better to be clear about your intentions.
If the employee is productive during remote work, it may be possible to allow them to manage their project load while still being communicative. This could help you both free up time for more focused work.
This self-management process should be seamless if your team has collaborated and reported through a project management tool.
Define New Expectations
Remote work allowed for many new work arrangements and may have resulted in extended deadlines on certain projects. It is important to ensure that everyone is aware of any changes in expectations when the team returns to work. These expectations must be realistic.
Project managers can predict milestones better by planning and working within time frames.
Single-point estimates (10 days), are less reliable than ranged estimates (8 – 12 days), because the range better captures uncertainty in any project.
Although single-point due dates might seem solid, they are constantly changing. A range will allow you to capture both the best and worst-case scenarios, which will give you a more reliable delivery estimate. It will also help you see the real picture for your stakeholders.
Ask your team to share their remote experiences and any concerns they have about returning to work. They will also be able to share their insights about which technology, tools, and habits were most effective while they were away.
Plan how and when you will implement the changes. It will make team members feel more connected to their ideas and concerns.
Both project managers and employees may face challenges when they return to work. Everyone can make the transition smoother by accepting the change, adapting to what worked and what didn’t, and keeping the lines open to communication.
Charles Seybold, co-founder and CPO at LiquidPlanner, is Charles Seybold.