How to Drive Remote Team Efficiency in to 2021

How to Drive Remote Team Efficiency in to 2021

Organizing remote teams has been the main focus for the last 6 months or so for all businesses. Since there has been no respite from the COVID-19, remote work continues to be the standard modus operandi for companies globally. And this poses a strong concern on maintaining consistent remote team efficiency into the future.

Teams are now past the stage where they were faced with challenges in setting up their remote work policies & getting the team up and running.

And the focus has now shifted to being productive and ensuring the current productivity trends continue for the rest of the remote work term.

A quick recap of common remote team practices established so far:

  • Setting up home offices
  • Aligning projects around team availability
  • Defining specific work hours
  • Revisiting SLAs and support hours
  • Focus on running minimal operations
  • Deploying communication tools
  • Use of a remote collaboration tool

But these actions were just crisis management steps to get through the day. Long term business cannot sustain in this manner.

A more definitive approach with actionable steps is the need of the hour. Let’s take a look.

Define Availability

Your customers need high quality service irrespective of the global situation. And it is times like these where you must improvise & strive to delight your customers even more.

Hence, revisit your service operations and the support strategy. Assess your team’s availability and make a formidable customer operations plans.

Share the plan internally as well as with your customers. Let them know, you are back to almost pre-covid-19 times.

The other aspect is the teams also get to experience the same old customer heat. The last few months were slow and uneventful on the work front. Reignite that passion!

Hold your teams accountable to the KPIs and agreed SLAs.

The common message that all employees must get clearly is

“Remote or not business is as usual as ever!”

Implement Stringent KPIs

The idea is not be harsh. But purposeful!

Make KPI tracking highly robust and significant. At the same time, capturing of associated data points and metrics must be simplified and automated.

Do not go after fancy KPIs. Pick the ones that work best for your business.

Case in point, the # of bugs reported, retest fails etc. are a good metric for the QA team. Similarly, successful releases, increase of sprint velocity augurs well for the agile project management teams.

Take a highly objective view of the KPIs and settle on the ones that can be reported/measured on a weekly basis. Anything that can’t is a fancy metric of no real value.

Make progress visible

Unless teams see the value of their contribution to the project, they wouldn’t be motivated enough.

Secondly, visible progress lays out the way forward. Knowing what is left to achieve provides great impetus to march on with purpose.

Also, other members of the teams know where they stand w.r.t the project goal and how their contribution will tie into the end objective.

Transparent progress tracking also adds the right checks and balances to keep the project on track.

Teams can easily focus on the key deliverables & prevent distraction.

More importantly, outliers in the progress are easily identified, sometimes proactively too.

Thus course-correction and decision making is prompt and insights based.

Enable process alignment

This is by far the most critical success factor for any company – remote or brick & mortar!

Lack of proper policies, processes & protocols lead to chaos, anxiety and loss of direction.

On the other hand, just having a plethora of process is no god when people always find cause to circumvent or ignore them entirely.

Striking the right balance is key. The core of the process must be to ensure the teams find it easy to do perform their job optimally.

Implement the right amount of automation and pragmatism while ensuring the right regulations and protocols are followed.

The multiple benefits of robust processes is the fact that there is minimal administrative overhead, prevention of delays, seamless execution and reduced risk exposure.

Set the right team

Having the right man for the right job is a dream for all managers. The key is to understand all aspects of the project, assess the available talent pool and purpose resources smartly.

Once that is done, define the roles and responsibilities clearly.

Try to plan the entire project, task assignment in a way that there is minimal inter-dependency as long as possible.

When teams have their work carved out properly, there is minimal confusion.

At the same time, teams can focus on their own work and will surely try to get more done in less time to get back time for other creative pursuits.

But on the business side, teams know whom to call upon and fall back on for expert guidance. Having the right escalation matrix prevents unwanted communication exchange but ensures timely responses in terms of crisis.

Conclusion

Implementing all or some of these highlighted strategies, works towards providing clarity to the team.

Unless the teams know what to execute, when to implement and why there will always be chaos, delays and compromised quality.

There has been a lot of talk about implementing the right set of technology, tools to enable remote team collaboration across the board.

Tools are required. True. But understanding what the teams will use & what will in fact work for your business is also important.

But the savvy thing to do is choose a tool that offers holistic collaboration, information exchange, and central accessibility to all team members with optimum task, time, resource management and robust user privilege controls to prevent confusion.

Preventing use of multiple apps is a must. Note, that the teams already have difficulty in operating at optimum levels and use of many apps may hinder progress and add to overhead.

Which is your chosen partner to ensure remote team efficiency in the long term?

Still running your business with excel and just GSuite apps?

Time to bring the entire organization on a productivity boosting tool such as Orangescrum.

Try it now to implement the above strategies seamlessly for your remote teams!

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