Kick Starting a Project in a Virtual Team

The start of a project will set the tone for its entire duration. Starting up a new project today means starting with a virtual team, working remotely.  To do this successfully will require extra thought, effort, and the ability to leverage technology in order to produce the same results as when working with your team locally.

Here are some suggestions to effectively kick-start a project in a virtual team:

  • Conduct the Remote Project Kick-Start; Use video conferencing to run a formal Kick Start meeting which allows the team to get to know each other and understand the purpose of the project. This enables them to reach a shared understanding of the goals, the scope, the success factors, the key stakeholders, and to brainstorm how best to deliver the project.
  • Build a Strong Relationship with the Customer from Day 1; Building a strong relationship with a new customer is challenging in the absence of the non-verbal cues that face-to-face meetings provide. You simply must plan in extra time and effort to get to know your customer

In addition to video-conferencing, there are many virtual collaboration tools which enable real time joint-review of key project requirements, milestones, risks and issues. Agree deadlines with your customer and be obsessive about sticking to them. Each commitment you meet means another element of trust is established.  Establish a communication plan that eliminates some of the challenges of remote work. Before deciding on which tools to use, talk with your customer to make sure they are comfortable with your choices.

  • Use Interactive Technology to build Project Collateral

The outputs of any successful project kick-start include a scope and schedule baseline within the approved budget. Collaborative technology such as MS Teams and Whiteboard helps the team create the scope statement, Work Breakdown Structure, estimates, project schedule and Risk log.  A collaborative and efficient mechanism to create key project kick-start collateral will enable success later on.  

In summary, the success of a good project is determined by a productive kick-start. Setting the right tone from the get-go can make or break your project. The absence of face-to-face interactions does not mean we abandon or do less kick-starting, in fact it requires us to do more and to do them better.

This webinar will help you understand the value of kick-starting a project in a virtual team and how to actually:

  • Create a Project Charter
  • Identify Key Stakeholders
  • Create a WBS
  • Estimate using PERT
  • Create a Realistic Schedule
  • Develop a RAID Log

To sign up for the webinar this Wednesday, visit www.aspira/events

Author:  Gillian Whelan, Senior Consultant and Trainer

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