Recently, great IT project managers have been working from home or remotely more than ever before. The pandemic forced them to manage remote teams — without the benefit of creating a work plan strategy or training. Two years later, the virus that isolated the world has influenced how leadership views work settings: IT project managers can manage teams remotely.
As CIO.com notes, “Managing remotely is a specialized skill, requiring communication and mediation skills, digital tools, and excellent planning and visualization.”
If you’re considering building a remote team, you must first recognize that it will work differently from the office team. Even the people on the team will have specific characteristics well-suited to remote work.
5 Skills all great IT project managers need when leading remote teams
When hiring an IT project manager, look for these traits in your candidates:
- Tech apps and tools bring the team together. Apps are most effective when the user understands how to get the most out of the team, not the app. By establishing user protocols, such as turning on cameras for video conferencing (or keeping them off), the manager sets the expectation for the remote team’s behavior.
- Leaders make work personal. What worked in the office doesn’t translate to remote environments, so managers understand how to set aside meeting times for fun, family, and pets. It’s about transforming corporate culture to celebrate personal lives.
- Productivity is the main focus. Even though remote teams find ways to have fun and celebrate each other, the project manager isn’t afraid to discuss productivity and motivate the team to increase it. They also have crystal clear metrics for success.
- Managers know when to use empathy. Meeting individually with team members can remove productivity roadblocks, real or imagined.
- Communication is critical for success. Great remote IT project managers are masters of communication. They know their team well and understand the best communication style for each member.
The good, the bad, and the remote
Many potential candidates may have the skills you’re looking for, but not all of them will thrive in a work setting that requires them to manage themselves. Distractions like household chores and interruptions pull workers away from their remote roles. Just one interruption can steal more than twenty minutes of the employee’s time before returning to work.
Those who are best suited to working remotely can manage themselves. They identify the tasks that must get done, and they do them using the skills listed above.
Developing a high-functioning remote team results from finding IT talent who can work remotely. Many leaders prefer hiring someone who already demonstrates the skills they’re looking for. Likely, these candidates are already working remotely, making it much more difficult to find them with traditional recruiting methods. IT Project Manager Recruiters can access top talent that you can’t because of their relationships with top-level performers in the field, the passive talent who are still doing great in their roles.
Are you a hiring manager in need of IT project management or business systems analysis talent?
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