19 | 04 | 2016

Why You Need A Local Project Manager To Build A Virtual Team

If you are thinking about outsourcing key functions of IT department and building a virtual team it means you’ve already dived deep into tons of literature and online resources that rave about IT outsourcing as a means of reducing expenses, increasing efficiency, optimizing business productivity, accessing skillsets or freeing in-house personnel.

The implication here is that IT outsourcing industry raises anchor by the name ‘Maintanence-Focused IT department. Costly Department. Overloaded and Distracted Human Resources’ gets you on board of the ship called ‘Tech Support. Staff Capabilities. Company Goals. Customer Experience’ and you start riding the tide of Business Efficiency.

How do you ensure that the tidal wave doesn’t sink your ship and winds don’t reverse the course?

You contract local project manager to build and manage a remote team. Just as every ship needs its Chief Officer or First Mate to assist the ship’s Captain in supervising the deck crew, providing for safety, security, and welfare of the crew on board, each business owner who adopts IT outsourcing strategy has a variety of reasons for hiring IT project manager:

Remote project management is not what you bargained for

Company management team take the course on IT outsourcing since it promises cost-effective and time-effective solutions rather than new responsibilities that come with remote team management. What if you already manage an in-house team that needs support and the moment you start shuttling between local and remote team chances are your team will be looking at a messed-up, stressed-out, restless manager whose ship is bursting at the seems. In case it is just you trying to get a start-up off the ground then you probably outsource a web design or development services to focus on core competencies and these are hardly internal processes automation and further maintenance. What you are missing here is a link – a local project manager dedicated to building a scalable and well-performing team delivering top-line results without you having to crack a whip.

Local project manager is your marine autopilot steering your ship safely

It is true that staff allocated to team manager are usually overloaded with tasks while the deadline is approaching. But team manager is not the one who chases your virtual team hard, holds the whip really tight and shouts the loudest of all. This is a person who has deep expertise and wide experience not just in project management but knows your internal corporate structure, current core business application life-cycle, the subject matter of the project itself, and therefore manages all the stages effectively by setting priorities, coordinating and allocating tasks appropriately.

Project manager makes all necessary estimates for successful journey and chooses virtual team members for you

Having analyzed your requirements, the project manager will estimate timeframe, human resources, budget and will start building the virtual team with final project objective in mind. Project manager’s competency is crucial at this point since virtual team members are to be experienced, highly-motivated and well-versed in the final product or service specifications. Choosing skillful specialists and allocating tasks is just part of the game which also includes assigning and balancing roles among virtual team members.

Project manager splits work into time blocks, modules, and oversees everything

It is essential to coordinate tasks wisely and keep one’s eyes out for downtime. It usually happens when one team member works faster and is overly dependant on the one who is lagging behind because of complexity or unexpected issues. Acting as a mediator, project managers reduce such situations to the minimum and provide for the smooth workflow.

Project manager keeps team members on board by creating conducive conditions for team collaboration

Ideally, team members whether they work independently, sharing workspace with other employees or not, should feel how meaningful their work is how it fits with that of others and into the big picture. The project manager is the one who shows the full picture and creates an online site or skype/slack group where employees follow each other, share their best practices, insights and get to know each other.

Once you have a dedicated virtual project manager who is your rudder, virtual team whose mission resonates with yours and each member’s individual values then the only thing left to say is

Bon Voyage!

READ ALSO: The Means to Success in Distributed Project Management 

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