I say remote project ‘leader’ because I don’t want to get into the debate about what should be the role of the project or program manager/director. For the purposes of this article, let’s go with, ‘I’m referring to the person trusted by the organisation or sponsor to deliver the project’.
Oh dear, now I have to define deliver the project. Again, for the purposes of this article, let’s go with ‘delivery meaning when the project result is when the person who wanted it accepts it and agrees and they can now use it to achieve the reason they wanted the project’.
Here’s an example. A company wants to extend it’s market share and profitability by introducing a new product. They initiate a project to create the product. The project is complete when the product is released to sales and marketing and sales and marketing agree it meets the brief to be buy-able, profitable and desirable.
Now, back to the question. Would you consider a remote person to deliver a project? A person who might be with some of the team but who also might be on their own.
The first answer people offer is usually no. But then I had a client this year whose reply was, ‘I don’t care if they sit in Azerbaijan’. Note: the project was not in anyway associated with Azerbaijan. He went on to hire one of our remote PMs and is delighted with the result.
In reality, remote management is not new, we’ve been managing and delivering remotely for a very long time. In 1951 The School of the Air started in Australia. A way for children in remote locations to get access to top draw education over the radio. Studies have shown that such education has a parity with, if not better, standards than traditional methods of schooling. There’s also the emergence of remote medicine. And yes that works too.
Our own studies at RNC have shown that it’s not the remoteness that makes the difference, it’s the person leading it. There are several keys to this success:
So, I don’t know whether you’re a person of the 21st century or …….. but I do know that it can work and when it does it’s a cracker.
It is advisable to have the best person, wherever they are than to have the second, or third best, in the room with you.
To find out how we can help take your project forward, develop your program or portfolio, contact our friendly team on +61 2 9238 1990.
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