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DELTA Project Managers Suggest Tips and Tools for Remote and Distributed Teams

hand on laptop

DELTA’s Project Management team has some suggestions and resources for our new normal of remote working and distributed teams. Included are ideas on how to stay connected, draft a team agreement, remote team-building ideas, and helpful tools. 

Stay Connected

  • Establish structured daily virtual check-ins 
    • Best practice to leave your camera on (if bandwidth allows)
    • Keep microphone muted to limit background noise, unmute as needed.
    • Consider rotating the facilitator role
  • Dedicated Slack channel for your team
  • Daily collaboration Zoom rooms for a predetermined time period. Everyone stays muted unless they have something to ask, but it simulates a cubicle/pod environment. This is not appropriate for all teams but may work for some.
  • Use a variety of communication technologies to stay connected
  • A Few Thoughts for Leaders and Managers from Patrick Lencioni, 3/17/20
  • A Guide to Managing Your (Newly) Remote Workers, Harvard Business Review, 3/18/20

Draft a Team Agreement

  • How will we communicate with each other?
  • What are our expected response times?
  • How will you know what’s being worked on?
  • Do we need to set core hours or can all work be done asynchronously?
  • How will we give each other feedback? 

Remote Team Building Ideas

  • “Water-cooler” breaks (#1 rule, no work discussion)
  • Personal Maps – create one for yourself and share, or create one of a colleague
  • Virtual coffee, tea, or chat!

Helpful Tools

For ongoing conversation, consider joining the Project Management and Agile Community (PMAC) interest group founded by DELTA Lead Project Manager Laurie Gyalog. Meeting virtually the second Wednesday of each month, PMAC is a space to discuss all things project management, share best practices, tips and tricks of the trade, and emerging trends with colleagues across the university.

This article was written by DELTA’s Associate Director for Project Management Merranie Zellweger