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Businesses of all sizes and shapes are still adapting to the sudden need for remote working. Some people have mastered it, while others struggle. The biggest obstacle to success for those in the latter group is how to transition well-oiled, in-office teams to a remote setting without compromising results or productivity.
Experienced managers of remote teams will tell you that the key to success is choosing the right project management method and applying it in a way which works in a remote workflow.
Yes, it’s not as easy as it sounds. It takes planning and some forethought, which some businesses may have overlooked in their rush to get up and running.
The first step is to determine which project management style is best suited for the type of work that the team is doing. Next, adapt the method to remote environments, using digital tools if necessary.
This guide will discuss two of today’s most popular methods for project management. We’ll then discuss which types of projects they are best suited for and how to make them work for remote teams. Let’s get started.
The Kanban Method
We’ll be focusing on the Kanban method as our first project management technique. It (and variants of it) have been in continuous usage since the 1940s. It was created originally by Taiichi Ohno who was an engineer at Toyota back in the 1940s. It was the secret weapon that made the company one of the most profitable automakers in the world.
The Kanban method’s core principle is simple. It is a hierarchical system which breaks down projects into sub-tasks and then orders them most efficiently to keep each team member working on moving one part of the project forward.
It’s flexible and can be used for any number of projects. It just works. That’s why it’s so popular.
How Kanban Works
The Kanban method.
The Kanban method is essentially three organizational tools:
Board – This is the top level project organization chart. It’s a signboard, which is what the Japanese term Kanban means. It contains a list of all the tasks that are involved in the project.
List – A component of the board that visually depicts the phases of a project, the list. Lists can be as simple or complex as to-do and done. You can also make lists to manage tasks that require multiple steps.
Card – Each card represents the task that makes up the entire project. As work progresses, cards move from one list to the next, creating a visual chart that shows where each detail is at any given moment.
The system is simple, elegant and efficient. You just need to break down your project into sub-tasks and arrange them in a way that makes sense. Then, get to work! This method is widely used so there are plenty of examples to help you get started.
Kanban For Remote Teams
The Kanban method is simple and can be used in remote workflows. It’s a good choice for any project because it’s so flexible. Kanban can be a problem when your entire team works from home. Kanban can become chaotic if you don’t have proper oversight or if your communication habits are poor.
You will need a project management program that supports Kanban and a digital communication platform to compliment it. Trello, which is compatible with Kanban, is the most widely used and popular Kanban-compatible platform. It works well for most projects. If you are interested in Trello, please contact us.