Fact: Covid-19 has, and is, shaking up the world. Over the past six months, business leaders have reorganized supply chains, set up remote operations, and made tough financial decisions. The world anxiously awaits an effective Covid-19 vaccine. As we fear the next pandemic already. Until then, we work from home. All of us, most of the time. Particularly in the software services sector.
Our customers have gotten used to it too. There is a wider acceptance that the expert consultant (internal or external) can logon remotely and do her/his’ thing. Remote support? Easy, no questions asked or less anyway. Forced by circumstance. Remote work is now here to stay.
Yes, remote work can be great, but it also brings an entirely new set of challenges. Software projects still need to be delivered on schedule, in the best quality, but coordinating work is difficult when teammates are spread across the city, the country, and the world…
Teams can’t cram into a conference room, but they still need ways of collaborating in real-time. Teammates need to build rapport and get along, but it’s easy to feel out of the loop. And how do we keep the customer engaged and feeling part of it all?
The benefits of working with remote project teams are many. We can hire the best talent from around the world, we don’t have the costs of a fixed office, and our team members are more productive and less stressed (except for those that have children that are in remote learning mode 😉 The “freedom” of not having strict guidelines and schedules can be difficult to get used to and can even handicap our team’s work if we don’t manage it well.
And then there is that other reality. It is now easier than ever for “moonlighters” to thrive online. How do I keep my staff focused on what is crucial? After all, even my 10-year-old son and his classmates have already devised ways to “manage” online teachers.
Yes, we can move to more deliverables oriented KPI’s. But beyond that, we are more than ever in need of change management.
Change Management was always notoriously underestimated. Ask yourself, how is managing a major change with a remote team different from the usual madness? Remote change agents face unique challenges: in absence of face-to-face communications, that come from non-verbal cues – facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice e.g., picking up on subtleties in reactions is much more difficult than live interaction.
The good news: we can go online and get VILT change management training
Trust me, it helps. A lot. Reach out if in doubt. I will convert you too 😉
Written By Serge Blockmans
Interested in the upcoming Prosci® Change Management Training Programs? Click here to learn more.
Cedar Africa Group is Prosci ®’s primary partner in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.