Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Distributed Teams - Vision and Tasks


In these challenging times, almost a third of the world is not working together in an office. This is not new, the tools and methods have been developed almost from the time the internet started becoming mainstream. With outsourcing the remote working concept had really developed into a way of life for many especially in the information technology industry.

I would like to look at different aspects of remote working that have helped me through my career of working with remote teams for over 20 years.

Vision is very important. The team should have a vision of what they need to achieve. Vision could be to develop a new process, a new product, achieve 99% up-time, response rates, etc. The team should have a goal to work towards, a north star. This helps the team to stay focused and on track even when not together.

Once the team has a vision, it is very important to break this vision down into tasks. Tasks should have a clear definition (set of steps), a defined outcome, an estimate and a deadline. Yes, there might be times one can't define any of these but the important thing is to note down the task with the information that one has at the moment and then as one works through the task, you can add more tasks or modify the one you are working on to add more clarity. Do not wait to get complete clarity on a task as you would get it only when the task is done. Which would be too late as there would be no reason to define the task any more as it is already done.

Last but not least, meet often for a short quick meeting with the entire team to discuss challenges, progress and  clarifications. There are many free and paid online collaboration tools that can help one with the vision, the tasks tracking and the online meetings. Use them if you have a team !

1 comment:

Vidhyashankar K said...

This is a new forced way of working for many companies. There are very few who have the processes and the hardware in place to allow distributed working in teams. But as times change, so should we.

Since the style of working and culture percolation has to all be done in islands, it becomes important to have self motivated individuals who do not need constant monitoring. Only time can change mindsets