Remote working: what does this mean for projects? Where are the opportunities and challenges?

As I write this blog, because there is something to share, I keep thinking of the dutch song ”….Met z’n allen, met z’n alluhen…” ("All together, all togetherrrr"). Of course, it is far from being a matter of congratulating each other, because that doesn't fit the situation at the moment, but at the same time I do think that from something very dark, something beautiful can emerge. It's not so much about the chorus of the song, but more about the beginning of the song: “Hier stond je dan vanavond, het was wel spannend, maar toch ook fijn”. ("Here you were tonight, it was exciting, but also nice".)

That's how I look at the situation, certainly not easy, of course exciting, and yes, also great. Great? Yes, because how nice it is to see that our society adapts, that together we choose to make sure that our health system does not become overburdened and that together we try to make sure that as few people as possible get sick. I see people waiting for each other, shopping for each other and offering to take care of other people's children. I see a lot of togetherness and flexibility emerging and together we are looking for solutions on how to continue to do our work in the best possible way.

Project management during the covid-19 crisis

Like the rest of the Netherlands, MOJEO also complies with the guidelines of the RIVM. This means among other things that we strictly adhere to hygiene regulations, social distancing and working at home where possible and staying at home where necessary. At MOJEO we live and breathe project management every day. Both with our clients and internally. We notice that the new working situation demands something of our adaptability as people and as a project organisation. Suddenly, quite quickly, we have to shift from working without restrictions to working remotely (together).

No physical social contacts; this affects working within teams, project progress, project monitoring, expectation management... and how do you, as Project Manager, say to stakeholders that expectations need to be adjusted downwards, especially if you can't look them in the eye? Because on day 1 there might not be any issues yet, but in week 2 it might be different! And what issues can you expect in your team and how do you prevent them or deal with them adequately? Communicating without social contact, what should you pay attention to?

"And now? And how? And then what am I going to do? And how do I consult? And those daily standups, those retrospectives and my project in general?"

These are all questions to which we "met z’n allen, met z’n alluhen" have to answer and give substance to. Because this period will also come to an end and then we will have to be ready as employees and customers. And although the current situation may give project-based challenges, it also offers opportunities! Opportunities in terms of time: where certain work for people might be at risk of decline, these people could participate in internal projects. This gives us all the opportunity to strengthen the foundation. And best of all, we often already have all the tools we need in-house and it's just a matter of adapting, deploying something else or just a little guidance or tweaking a process.

MOJEO is going to help you!

Within MOJEO we do this by self-study, creating new teaching materials for our MOJEO Academy for example. With this we want to support clients in the execution and guidance of remote project management and PMO. Projects do not have to stop, in fact, they could be carried out in these times. It is important, however, that we adapt our consultation structures, use our tools properly, adopt an agile attitude and achieve our goals together.
How can we help you with this? By addressing topics that are particularly important in these times:

  • How to successfully set up self-managing teams that work remotely.
  • How do you handle conflict management in home-based and virtual teams?
  • Lifeline management, how do you determine whether everyone is still doing well? Which method can you use for this?
  • How do you work Agile/Scrum at home?
  • The best tips and best practices for homeworking project members.
  • As a project organisation, how do you prepare for a crisis like corona?
  • How do you get out of the crisis stronger as a team?

Remember the beautiful things that come out of this!

For now, I would like to say the following: Remember the beautiful things that arise from this! At the moment I see within MOJEO that colleagues support each other, that even more unity is created and that we use our Mojo for each other, for MOJEO and last but not least for our clients. It brings us all even closer together and that alone is something so beautiful and special, that this first week of the new work 2020 has already been a success for me personally!

Can't wait for the blogs and do you need urgent advice and/or help on the topics? The MOJEO remote PM team is waiting for you! Dave, Jelle en Audrey are ready for you with remote project management assistance during this period! Call (+31 (0)43 2041 086) and plan a meeting. We will organise a direct video connection to your living room.

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