The entire world is getting smaller. Well, it isn’t physically getting smaller but that is another way of saying that global communications are becoming so fast paced that the world is really one community in a lot of ways. Using the advent of the internet, email, im and VOIP, it is fairly easy to do business with trading partners world wide without ever leaving your office.
For many businesses who are for the cutting edge of new business paradigms, the thought of a geographically isolated business is becoming obsolete. It really is entirely possible to put together a business consortium or a project team made of material experts spread across record zones and from around the world. In reality, this kind of decentralized management of business projects has become more of the norm than the exception inside the twenty first century business environment.
So just like those in marketing, product development and investments have already learned how to maximize a project team that is separated by hundreds or 1000s of miles, the project manager must also adapt the project management methodology to match a similar approach to getting business done.
Conventional project management is a systematic approach to going for a project from scope to implementation that has proven successful in 1000s of companies. We have no reason to abandon this well developed methodology. But as new company paradigms come to play, we have to adapt even a standard methodology like project management to fit the way business is completed in this century.
Communications is key to any successful project. Here is the challenge of utilizing a team from across a fantastic geographical divide. It is possible you may execute the entire project with team members you never see. So to facilitate frequent and up to date communications, we must exploit we now have we have at our disposal such as…
Blog sharing working environments. Group sharing environments on the web are becoming more and more common. By starting a tool set on line by which team members can post status reports, leave emails, update the project management software, file expense reports and remain in touch with each other, you facilitate the kind of communication that keeps the group moving forward successfully. Blogs, private forums are also excellent strategies by which an ongoing “conversation” can be carried out between team members that anyone can check into and get caught up with the content of what has become done and what is being planned to the project.
Controlled email trees. As the project manager, email is surely an obvious way to quickly remain active in team members. However, it can get chaotic continuing to keep up on fast moving email trees. That could be a good reason to trap all emails trees in your online project management software hence the contributions of everyone on the team could be captured for further review.
IM staff meetings. IM may be expanded so it doesn’t just bring in two participants. You can schedule your weekly staff meetings having an IM conference room and capture the entire proceedings in the IM log thus assuring yourself that nothing that has been said will “fall through the cracks.
By becoming skilled at using cyberspace as the primary “location” of one’s project team’s interaction, you’ll be able to literally create a team of highly specialized talent which can be located from anywhere in the world. This vastly expands your ability to tap the best minds on your work and to streamline the project management process. It will take time to get accustomed to and there will be some missteps along the way. But if you can conquer global team management using internet tools, it’s going to be a valuable skill for successfully executing global projects for the business.
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