Remote Project Management

“Remote project management and virtual teams can be a great project model if your organization allows it and your staff is focused on productivity.”  – Brad Egeland

Do you agree with the above statement?  Virtual workplace or some might call it telecommuting was instituted in early 1970s when information technology started to play a greater role in daily operations of the companies.  The Internet has had a revolutionary impact on our daily lives as well as our jobs. Today, some of our occupations would not be existent if Internet was not introduced. As internet connections become more common, workers have ample internet speeds to connect to their corporate headquarters through intranet right from their couch, beach or thousands of miles away from the office.  We are starting to see more and more virtual teams as well as projects that are solely managed remotely.  In his article Brad Egeland gives us few arguments why virtual project management is successful.

  • You have access to the best talent in the world.  Essentially you can hire anyone anywhere and communicate with them without any problems.  This would allow your team to complete your projects much faster since you would have the best talent.
  • Your profit margin increases and you can win more projects.  By utilizing less expensive offshore teams you will be cutting some of the costs.  Also, you do not need any extra space if your project would grow since every employee would be telecommuting from their home.
  • Project managers are freed up for real work when it’s needed.  Without actual commuting project managers can spend more time working on the project.  Time is money and telecommuting not only gives you time but also flexibility on your working hours.
  • The overall cost savings and productivity can be high.  If everyone works on their time then we can assume that they will be working at 100% so the productivity will grow.

Since the invention of the internet, flexible work arrangements have increased and they are still on the move.  With introduction of smart phones, virtual workplace and project management is gaining even more consideration.  Today we can manage our projects from anywhere in the world, while eating dinner, at the gym or even while driving a car which I strongly do not recommend.

Have you ever experienced a project where you never faced other team members?  Do you think there are many cost savings to having remote project management?  Do you feel that you would perform better if you didn’t have set work hours?  How does remote project management software help you do your job better as a project manager?

If you would like to read  more about remote project management I strongly recommend Brads article that can be found here Remote Project Management


Risk, Risk, Risk, Can you avoid it? Can you plan it?

I came across an article that talks about managing risk on our projects.  Brad Egeland, who is the author of the article implies that the risk can be mitigated by dedicating a chunk of the project money to the risk.  He also points out that, there are times where we create a risk management plan but don’t follow through with it due to time or budget constraints.  I totally agree with Egeland that well documented risk management process is always going to be a great strategy to follow.  What happens when you don’t have enough money to asses or plan for risk?  Do projects without any budget assigned to risk fail?

In class we have learned that, to manage risk we must proactively attempt to recognize and manage internal events and external threats that could potentially affect the project.  One of the most asked questions on the project is “What could go wrong?”.  Many times we are uncertain of the consequences of our actions until they are completed.  There are times where we can sit down and really ponder about the situation that could potentially put the project at risk.  Usually ideas that put a project at risk are put on the side and quickly forgotten.  Risk management teaches us to be more proactive than reactive.  I think everyone can agree that being proactive could potentially eliminate most of the risks from the project unless we experience unforeseen risks.  At that moment we better have some kind of a contingency plan that will reduce the negative impact of a risk event.  Contingency plan will usually require some kind of a budget.  Depending on the project, the risk assessments could identify additional budget requirements or reserves as some might call them.

Many times I jump into a project without thoroughly assessing the situation for risk.  Risk is not something that we think about everyday.  Most of us usually react to the situation and are not proactively estimating the potential risk.  Once the problem arises, I personally document what went wrong.  I start from the beginning and trace all my steps to find out how,why and where did this go south.  Once I have determined the root cause of the problem I am more inclined not to make the same mistake twice.  The reason many of us jump into the project without looking at the risks is because risk planning takes long time and sometimes is unavoidable.  Some might argue that risk planning should depend on the size of the project.  I would strongly recommend that even a small project should have some kind of a risk assessment.  At the end of the day don’t we all want to be perfect?

If you would like to read more about managing risk on our projects please feel free to read Brads article.  The article could be found at