Across the globe, more and more businesses are rapidly building out their ability to support a virtual workforce with work management solutions. The catalyst for this effort comes from a variety of internal factors, such as when an organization leans on distributed teams as part of their digital transformation or makes remote hires to address talent gaps.
Virtual workforces can also spring up in response to emergencies such as local disasters or out of concern for employee health and wellness, like we have seen this week at Apple, Google, and other large organizations.
Whether your company is transitioning to a virtual workforce due to an anticipated long-term shift in strategy or a rapid, temporary response to an unforeseen issue, you don’t want the change to affect the trajectory of your business. And you do want to support, mentor, and empower employees to do their best work, no matter how they work — or where.
But equipping a virtual workforce for success means more than setting up workers to simply “do their jobs” remotely — after all, we live in an age where certain technology, like video conferencing and laptop computers, has already transformed coffee shops, libraries, and airports into mobile offices.
If you want to truly move the needle for your business during a time of transition, you need to enable employees to continue to make progress against your strategic initiatives. In this post, we’ll cover three actions that organizations can take to stay aligned with strategy and remain hyper-focused on delivering value that matters most to the business.
As your company transitions to a virtual workforce, it’s essential for teams to keep delivering work that aligns with your strategic goals. While clear priorities are always important, they are even more important when teams that are typically collocated are suddenly collaborating remotely, since the odds of drifting off-strategy are greater. It’s not enough to execute on business-as-usual tasks. You need to keep teams focused on the business’s top priorities, which requires you to align their work to strategic objectives.
But what happens when your strategy changes? Your priorities this week may not be the right direction for next week. Healthy organizations plan, but their strategy is not so rigid that they can’t adapt to shifts in the market or evolving customer needs. When it comes to arming a virtual workforce with what they need to excel, dynamic prioritization enables employees to always know which work is critical — and which work can wait.
Even when you set the right priorities, being able to effectively and quickly communicate them is an entirely different challenge. While email and video conferencing have their place, work management solutions that provide real-time transparency can give employees the information they need to deliver confidently on the highest-value projects. Similarly, executives will also have far greater confidence that the work being executed is on-strategy, even as the strategy changes.
One way to keep virtual teams aligned and informed is through digital Kanban boards. A powerful visual management tool, the board reflects a team’s own unique process for delivering value, as well as its current work and capacity.
Teams and their stakeholders can instantly report on progress — without the barriers of working with outdated spreadsheets; or waiting for the next status meeting to surface issues; or worse yet, sending and responding to a deluge of emails, texts, chats, Slacks, etc. With real-time insight, leaders can pinpoint capacity, manage work distribution, and resolve blockers for their team.
Collaboration with context
As anyone who’s worked on a team can tell you, there’s collaboration, and then there’s high-value, locked-in-on-strategy-to-delivery collaboration. Generally, the latter doesn’t happen by accident: It takes bold leaders who empower teams to do their best work, by leveraging software solutions that support how they work best, whether that means traditional, Agile, or hybrid approaches to planning and delivery.
Like delivering on company strategy, “doing your best work” while working to advance a team project or initiative doesn’t happen randomly. It takes collaboration with context — i.e., the necessary combination of visualizing work, managing documents, and enabling conversations within a centralized, virtual workspace supported by intentional team practices.
Teams can create, iterate, store, and retrieve documents in the same tool they use to track the progress of and share updates on their work. Swivel-chair integration between working and reporting tools shouldn’t be tolerated in the office or remotely.
Power your virtual workforce with Planview
During a virtual workforce transition, keeping your core operations up and running is only part of the equation. Teams must be aligned to the priorities of the business so they can continue to deliver work with strategic value — and the continuous delivery of strategic value is the difference between organizations that succeed or struggle with a virtual workforce.
“Projectplace is a complete solution, considering the document storage, overview, and time schedule features. The possibility to integrate it with Portfolios can definitely be another step further in Project Management within our organization.” Read the review on TrustRadius.
A cloud-based SaaS solution that supports work management for teams is necessary, whether you are building out a permanent remote workforce or responding to a temporary worker dislocation. Planview’s work management solutions, LeanKit and Projectplace, are purpose-built to facilitate on-strategy delivery, alignment, and collaboration through shared, digital workspaces.
“LeanKit paired with Agile helps us get work done. We use a form of Kanban and Scrum to run our projects, [and] LeanKit’s flexibility makes it easy to handle different processes with different teams.” Read the review on TrustRadius.
As your partner in transformations both large and small, we provide a FLEX licensing offer that enables organizations to support flexible team delivery, no matter how or where the work gets done. Team members leverage the best delivery tool that helps them achieve their goals and outcomes and stay aligned to corporate strategies and initiatives — even as ways of working, competition, priorities, and the market continue to shift and evolve.
What you can do now
- If you’re a Planview customer and are already using one or both of our work management solutions, then you‘ve prepared your organization to respond swiftly to a surge in remote collaboration and still deliver on what matters. Share this post with your boss — so he or she can appreciate your forethought — and with your colleagues so they can be prepared, too.
- If you’re interested in hearing more about our work management solutions, or how you can FLEX into them as a current customer and connect them to your portfolio management solution to help your organization thrive in the changing world of work, these demos show how FLEX works with PPM Pro and Portfolios, respectively.
How else can we help you reach your goals? Let us know by contacting your account representative or customer success manager. If you’re not a customer, fill out this quick form and we’ll get back to you right away.