In my last blog – ‘Manage your remote team with this #1 tool’, I wrote about sharing my experience to a group of senior HR managers in the Netherlands on the one page strategic plan in managing a remote team.
The next big things I discussed during the session were how to boost team bonding, how to create real team spirit and equal team engagement. It’s quite common nowadays that employees work remotely and don’t visit the head office often. These people can’t attend the ‘standup’ (a short team meeting before the daily works). There is also a limit in time for discussions to collaborate and communicate. Without proper communication people follow the traditional way in work that they are used to since the very beginning. And things go unorganized. Here we need to sort things out. How to lead and organize a distributed team?
Analyzing all our experiences, we have developed a canvas to structure and collaborate with the remote team. In the workshop, I found out that some elements aren’t applicable to just any team or project. It was developed with distributed software development in mind. So if you organize projects other than software development, you can replace some blocks with content that are better applicable to your particular situation (e.g. for a construction project, ‘coding standards’ are probably’ ISO regulations or some handbook).
To create discussion is the main benefit of this canvas. For instance if a team discussion is started on ‘Team Spirit’, everyone can share his or her view on the topic. This way we get to know each other deeper and learn what our colleagues think about the topic. This creates bonding and mutual understanding. A team that has deeper bonds, works more productively.
Process is the other block to be discussed. It talks about the A to Z process in developing a product or project. It covers all from the receiving the documentation from the client up to successful project delivery. In the block ‘responsibilities’, we can describe what a certain person needs to do in that role.
If you have gone through all the blocks here, you have covered all the essentials that really matter in global collaboration. In order to have a clear vision for every employee working, we have to put the plan on a virtual wall.
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