Thank you everyone for joining us this morning.
As we said in our invitations and also in the posting about this event, this event is called working remote success strategies. And in particular, we’re covering the topic of managing remote project work in the time of 100% remote staff.
In this series, including this webcast, we’re continuing to explore methods and tools for successfully maintaining productivity in your work in a situation where all your colleagues and you yourself are 100% remote. We look forward to an engaging dialogue with somewhat of a workshop mentality. So, don’t be shy. We all have interesting experiences to share. And we will throughout this series talking about good practices, useful technologies and our own experiences in this new world of Wonder percent remote work.
For this first episode, we’re going to be covering project management with remote staff will address collaboration tools and processes. Get into some specific demonstrations and build up a quick example with Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Project for the web, and Microsoft Power BI. During the session will cover topics including how to increase engagement through chat, the best approaches for Project Setup and the tactics that work in various situations, as well as some thoughts on cadence, rhythms, things that help keep things on track. We’ll dive deeper into how collaboration works in each of the tools.
These aren’t the only tools available to do this. But Microsoft provides a really comprehensive approach to addressing the full workstream of project management from the magical single pane of glass that we’re always looking for. Let’s break down what we mean by remote project management. We’re going to look at projects in terms of T shirt sizes a common way of imagining complexity and project management. A small t shirt is something fairly simple and requires less intervention from stakeholders. A large t shirt is something fairly complex and requires constant oversight and communication. It’s not a perfect metaphor, but you get the basic idea. So, if we were going to set up a small t shirt project, let’s see what that might look like in a demo. The first place we’re going to start is over here in this team channel, this team channel is part of a bigger team. As I mentioned, this particular webcast is part of a series about remote work. But in this particular channel, we’re just talking about managing remote workers with project for the web teams and Power BI in general. This team channel has just been set up
What do I mean by Team channel though? Well, as I mentioned, we’re going to be talking through this scenario of setting up small t shirt projects and large t shirt projects using Microsoft Teams Power BI and project for the web. And that’s where we’re starting here. We’re in Microsoft Teams, just to give some navigation basics so that everybody’s clear on what you’re seeing on your screen. At the top of your screen, you have the search bar, and also what instance you’re in your account, all that kind of stuff. So that’s coming in at the top of the screen. In the left hand, we have a quick nav bar. And this quick nav bar has activity chat that you’re conducting inside of teams that you’re working in, or chats that you’re having between different people, the listing of all of your team, so things that are hidden things that you’re a part of things that you’ve pinned to the top, a calendar where you can see any events like this particular event is listed in my calendar. You’ll see that we’ve actually jumped into that particular event right now. And then you can also place calls from teams, you can see all the files that we’re working with in teams. And there’s also a section for adding new apps. And we’ll, we’ll come back to that as we’re setting up our project team within this channel. I’m going to just minimize everything else to get sort of out of the way. And let’s look at the actual channel that we’re in.
Like I said, this channel is part of a bigger team having to do with managing remote work. But in this channel, we have some basic set out when we first create the channel, the things that will definitely see our posts and files. Posts are about having that chat experience. You can see that my colleague Kostis has already posted Something into the channel. And this is a place where we can engage in dialogues, we can have discussions about a particular topic, I can reply to Kostas. A thanks for setting this up.
And you also see that there’s a lot of other things that we can do in this feed of posts, we can add attachments we can put in gifts and emojis and stickers, we can immediately engage with and meet on a particular topic, dig into a stream that we’ve looked at, like we can praise people for their contribution anyway, so you get the idea. There’s a lot of different actions that we can perform in any single post. I’m just going to reply to that one and cost us on his end, you’ll actually see a notification that he has received this response on something that he has put into to the posts in this channel, okay, this is a good start.
Well, let’s look at files. Okay, so how many of you have at one time or another created a brand-new project, and you want to be able to have sort of a set of templates or a set of assets that you could quickly put together and drag and drop into a place? Well guess what the team’s file area is awesome like that. If you have files on your desktop, or you have files in your, you know, in Windows Explorer somewhere, or if you’re on a Mac, if you have files buried off in the Finder somewhere, you can literally go into those applications Explorer, or finder, and you can just start dragging and dropping away. Let me just make that a little more fun.
So instead of just dragging things into the files folder, and then you know, apparently asked to go into the files folder to figure things out What if we could drag things directly into the female? We can absolutely do that. So, you know, when you said this project, you could immediately drag and drop your file set that standard set of documents like project charters, or risk registry, an issue registry, different communication plans or receive matrixes matrices rather, or anything like that, you can actually create your set of stuff. And or you could potentially, you know, drag it from a different area or just make a copy from a different area, like, what’s fairly typical is that we create these kinds of document template libraries in SharePoint portals online.
We can then literally go into teams here and we can make a copy of the whole thing, drag it in into our chat here. And now everybody who is part of this team immediately knows that the some of the Project Setup activities have taken place. Let’s just have some fun here for a second and drag something in here just to give you a flavor for that. For fun, I’m going to drag in a I’m going to drag in a presentation that we’re working on about reputation. Dragon a Power BI.
Let’s do that a little bit differently.
And we’ll reply, we’ll browse from my computer and go to the desktop again, we’ll get the Power BI file, add that grab the reputation file. And see if we can add that in, or maybe this healthcare pm pitch. Okay, so now I’ve got some things I can talk about, I could have, like I said, added an entire file folder here. But I’ve got some things that I can talk about. And we can have a dialogue about this between different members of the team, but also every single thing and this is an important point, every single thing that I’m adding here is going to land in our file folder. So that’s awesome.
I don’t have to do anything extra. As long as I’m posting information in one place, it gets dumped into my files folder where I can see it later, even as the Feed continues to set. These are the beginnings of a project setup. I want to be able to put together a set of assets and I want to be able to add those assets to a team. But how did I get here in the first place? Well, you can always create new teams just as you notice at the bottom left corner. So, every time inside of our company green data that we are starting to work on a client project or a marketing campaign, or an internal product development project. We’ll go ahead and create a team specifically for that. We want to in our teams, we don’t want to have too much noise. We’re only going to add people to our team who are relevant to that particular project. We can make them public or private.
This gets us off the ground now.
What’s next? Well, we were talking about small t shirt projects. So where would we go from here? Well, if we were doing a small t project, we might make this really simple. And we might use Microsoft planner. But just to be consistent, I want everybody to get used to using the same experience. So, I’m going to go ahead and use project for the web, to project for the web’s really straightforward. It’s a totally web based interface. I’ve heard some anecdotal stories about people at Apple saying this is very Apple like so. It makes me really happy. It’s a really easy experience for people to immediately engage with. We’re just going to create a new project here. We’re going to talk about remote project management, pain.
I will go ahead and start adding a few tasks. We’ll start with the prevent activities. During the event activities, and the post event activities. What’s cool about this is that everything’s very responsive. Everything I’m doing is, you know, pretty much happening in real time, you notice that the overall screen experience is very quick. And this is meant to be really easy and really straightforward to work with. I can see my TAs, you know, I can lay out my tasks is, as you know, in a grid format like this, I can lay out my tasks and timeline format like this. You know, for those of you who are super excited about Gantt charting, and being able to see the critical path, you do that. When I want to add new tasks, I can insert tasks above. So if I’m, for instance, let’s see during prevent activities, I want to do a target list of invites. Okay, and I can really easily drag that up. I want that to be a sub task of preventive activities.
You notice that our response was instantaneous for all those things. Cool. Well, that’s a good start. What about resources? What about who’s going to do the work on this? Well, that is a great question.
Go back over to the grid, I can see that I’ve got this awesome assigned to column. But who can I add? Well, I can add myself. That’s awesome. But right now, I don’t have a team. Let’s take care of that. So, when we create this brand-new project, it’s going to create a group and it’s going to make that group private. I can make some adjustments to that I can replace it with an existing group, I can make it more of a public group, by the default, I’ll just go ahead and accept is a private group to contain the people working on this project will cost us money. My team is certainly involved. Let’s Make sure we add him. And Camilla is doing some work over here as well. We’ll go ahead and add costs and Camilla really straightforward.
Now I’ve created my team. And I can now assign different people to take ownership of different things. Now, the way that the project for the web was designed to work, it is full, collaborative project management. This is not your grandma and your granddad’s project management where there was one guy who sat in an ivory tower, and he controlled or she controlled everything. This You know, this is more of a situation where you are working in real time with each other. Every single person I assigned to this project can update any of the tasks that I’m assigned them to. And this is really important because we have traditionally in the world of project management sort of kept the managers In the schedule separated from the people who are doing the work. Now, as we’ve seen, that world has been evolving quickly. The traditional world was based on you created this waterfall diagram and a network diagram of your project, you created this huge work breakdown structure tasks, and the project manager would assign all the resources and everybody would get to work. That’s cool.
But is it more interesting to consider that the person doing the work may have the best ability to estimate the work? What if we instead brought Agile Project Management into a waterfall world? Great, so the project manager can lay out the entire schedule. But Camilla can give me a much better estimate on when she can get started on what finished a would look like how much time it’s going Take, you know how much effort versus the duration. She thinks it’s going to take her a week of duration to get done. But she’s really going to spend about six to eight hours on. Okay? That’s, that’s very interesting.
Now we’re actually enabling our individual contributors, all the different people are working on the project to have a much more relevant and engaged relationship with our project management activity. So especially at this moment, where, man, everybody is 100% remote, we’re not allowed to show up in the office. We’re told to stay where we are, work from home, do all that kind of stuff. The more that I can create a relationship and engagement with all my team members, though, you know, the, through chatting in Microsoft Teams or having people directly involved in the process of estimating the tasks. Well. First of all, the better. We’re going to work together, but second of all, the more likely it is that my timelines and my estimates are going to be accurate. I, as a project manager, don’t expect to be an expert on every single task that we need to get done for this project to be successful, but what I should be able to do is, you know, lay out what the major activities are, and then I should be able to collaborate with Camilla and with process to flesh this out. And as we do, you know, each campaign or if we’re, you know, doing a software development and product as we do each of these things, because we’re now capturing all this information in a data driven world. Well, it starts to become a lot more feasible for us to improve our estimates rapidly.
You know, we’re getting estimates from our individual contributors. So that helps us to counseling and help our individual contributors get better at Their own estimation, and we as project managers, and we as leaders in the organization also get better at the same time. So, okay, great data. That’s cool. What do we mean though? Okay, well, first things first, I’m going to take us through some data exercises in Power BI a little bit further into our session today. But at the moment, I just want to get this project to be in a place where everybody else can see it. Cool. First thing we should notice here is that this project has some characteristics that are up here in the URL in my web browser, so projects, Microsoft comm or project.microsoft.com task grid, that means we’re in this particular view, as opposed to timeline view as opposed to board view. And we have project ID. These are all the important things cool. Let’s go back to our team here. And let’s add a Web site app and I’ll explain what I’m doing here in just a second.
What I did here is I, when I went up to in the channel and went up to the top of the screen, you notice there’s a little plus sign, you can still see it, although it’s darkened at this moment. Whenever I need to add things that are going to increase my collaboration, or help me to get better, you know, not get better. But to add experiences that are part of the work stream that I’m trying to perform on which in this case, project delivery, I can click a plus sign and it will show up a little pop up with a set of applications just like this one website that I could add to my team to my channel in order to solve for part of my work stream. In this case, I want to be able to see the project plan more Together with Camilla and with bosses. I named it camp in plan. I provide that URL that I took from the web address. And you notice at the bottom, it asked me whether I want to post in the channel. Well, I’m all about transparency. I definitely want to post in the channel about this new tab.
Okay, cool. It’s posted the tab, I have to go through a login, because as far as teams is concerned at this moment, this is a website. It doesn’t, you know, know where this website is coming from. It takes me through standard authentication and stuff like that. I’m going to go ahead and enter my multi factor authentication, which just popped up a code on my phone here.
And I’ll just go ahead and accept stay signed in. Cool.
So now it’s opening up.
Same project that we had in my separate web browser, and I can now see it within Microsoft Teams. Why am I doing this? Okay? There is a constant challenge that we have in corporations and in our personal lives where we have a large number of different applications that are clamoring for our attention. Well, one thing that is true is that when we are working together on a project, I want to make this as easy as possible for my team. I’m trying to create as close as possible to a single pane of glass that’s, that’s what we describe when we try to create an experience where somebody can stay in one application interface, one, one place and traverse back and forth across the different work that they’re trying to get done.
In my attempt to create a single pane of glass right here, I am Putting the campaign plan up on the screen so that everybody else in the organization can come to it when they’re looking at this channel. And they can see exactly what I need them to do. Cool. So that’s step two in creating my, my freshly painted and newly new off the lot project for managing remote workers with project for the web teams in Power BI, but we haven’t gotten into that whole reporting and, and how do we get better at estimation and how do we track what’s going on in the project and really talked about any of that yet.
Okay, so where are we going to go to deal with that? Well, we have just like we’ve, we have teams that we’re working with here and you’ve seen in our web browser that we’re working with project on Microsoft comm we also have something called Power BI desktop. in Power BI Desktop is essentially the tool that’s going to allow us to start creating some reports that we can use to track progress on our awesome new project.
First things first, I’m going to I’m going to make sure to refresh my data set. I’ve already done a little pre work to save some time here, I’ve connected to my back end. If we were doing a full setup and showing you just how to connect to project information and SharePoint information, other information sources, we’ve spent a little more time drilling down into setting up and connecting in the first place, but for our purposes, we’re just going to operate from this already connected. Canvas is waiting for us. We will have other webcasts That Are they go into more of these kinds of technical details, we try and put these kinds of technical details into short five-minute casts that you can consume really quickly and get to know or understand a problem really quickly. Okay, so I’m going to go ahead and refresh just to make sure that my connection to the back end is up to date. And as we notice, I need to make sure that I’ve got my sign in dealt with.
So, let’s do our multi factor authentication. cybersecurity is really a big deal here. So especially as we’re all working remote cybersecurity is more of a big deal.
Okay, so we’ve made our sign in. That’s great.
Should allow us to do our refresh. Was the mean by evaluating. Okay, so what it’s doing here is I have a series of different queries that are connected to the back end where this brand-new project that we just created, it’s sitting. And so, it’s gone through analyzed all my queries, and it should be bringing that information into updating and bringing that information into our Power BI canvas here so we can create a quick report.
Okay, cool. First things first, let’s try and figure out whether we have all the projects that we think we have. Now what I love about the way this works is that we actually have the ability to use type of heads in order to find things. Let’s look at Let’s look at what the different columns look like. I’m just going to expand the fields area here so that we can see this a little bit better. In the list of projects, we have, we have names of who created the project, we have teams. We have the project phase status description. It’s in another hierarchy actually.
Let’s go ahead and see if we can’t find the name of the project here. One of the one of the things that you have to worry about a little bit when you’re first getting used to the back end is that you may not easily recognize the correct Name of the field. So, as you notice, I, I use MSE, y and subject Does that sound like project name? No, that doesn’t sound like project name. When you’re creating your reports and you are getting used to how project for the web names things, you’re going to go through a certain learning curve. As I said, in some of our short casts, we will go into some of these details and help you get a better understanding of the data model. But we’re just going to rename here really quickly, that column so that it is easier to recognize. And that’ll change this simple view that I’ve created. I’m also going to, as soon as it finishes making this update. I’m also going to change my filter here, so that we’re just filtered on the project that we care about, which is the remote work campaign project.
So, I have right now filtered for all projects. We’ll go ahead and just select the remote project management campaign. Cool, good start. Okay, next thing I want to get just those tasks that are
that are part of this project.
Let’s see if we can find the task name really quick or maybe not really quick.
Okay, so a similar behavior that we saw in the project is that the task name is also named MST wind subject. Cool. As you notice, I have added that to our view, I’m going to rename this one too. Task name. We can easily find it again. Now, what’s important about this is that all these changes that I’m making in Power BI, they’re actually flowing back into my queries, they become a permanent part of this workbook, I can copy and paste, you know, I can copy this workbook and send it to other people. And these changes that you see here will be accounted for. The last thing I want to throw in here, just to gather some basic information is the duration.
Okay, so I want to throw in duration, but as you notice, there is no duration set for any of these tasks. The view the visualization that I’m working from, doesn’t really know what to do. It has empty values and it is filtering everything out. Let’s go back and solve that and add a few durations to our activities here. Camila got in touch with me, she told me that she thinks the game the target list of invites is going to take about 16 hours. At a high level, this event is one hour. And posting activities, we probably have about, you know, four hours of post man activities that we need to address. Okay, so those, those things are changed here. But what about that Power BI report? Nothing really changed immediately. Okay. As you would expect, you’re going to have to refresh this. And that will give us more data.
Notice we didn’t have to type in our connection information this time. And what did we get? Well, we got information in the form of portions of a day. You know, for the target lists of invites, I specified that that was going to take what was that? Exactly? garlis of advice 16 hours. To two portions of a day, in this case, each day being eight hours. When you’re when you’re working with duration, you’re probably going to want to make some translations here to tell people to understand what exactly does this mean? Duration in days, we’ll just make this a little clearer by renaming it again. And you can have a field day with this so that you can get exactly the right information communicated to make it clear for people. Oops, change the right column, of course.
Awesome. So we’ve created this fairly basic PowerPoint report here. That’s cool. But now how am I going to create that single pane of glass again? Alright, so I’m going to go ahead and publish this report to our online Power BI report host known as Power BI service. And I want to put it into the remote work, or the remote project management workspace that we got here.
Okay, cool. So that’s publishing. It should only take a couple seconds. We’re not you know; we’re not building rockets to Mars here at the moment. So good, all set.
Where did that go? Okay, so I’ve got a browser view here, and I happen to have conveniently opened up Power BI to this Remote project work webcast workspace. And as you can see, it is announced. My experience is announcing give me a notification that there’s new data set. And I see that under my workspace remote project work webcast. And I also see that there is a report. And there we have it, we have the report that we were looking for. So that’s cool. That’s a that’s a great place to be. And moreover, we also have a URL. So again, we have a useful piece of information that we can then add to our single pane of glass.
Now in this case, I’m going to go ahead and use the Power BI app and add that to our workspace as we can see lots and lots of workspaces going on here. I’m going to grab this particular report. I’m just going to make a simple name for it team report. Save it. And again, I posted the channel about this.
Cool. So immediately available. We’ve now got some of the basics put together. I’ve got my core project files loaded up. I’ve got a core project schedule loaded up that the team can start to work with me on and collaborate. And I’ve got a essential report built up that I can now continue to advance. I’m going to go hadn’t put that right after the campaign plan. also have a couple other things are going on here. Like I mentioned earlier, Costas had posted up the event planner previously as one possible way for us to address this particular campaign. I’m going to go ahead and remove that, since we’re no longer going to use it. And we also have a wiki sitting here. A wiki allows us to, as you would expect, create some simple pages to communicate different topics. Now, I mentioned that we’re going to talk a little bit about other possible tasks. We’ve got we’ve got the basics for a small t shirt or large t shirt project, we have a place to schedule, we have a place to collaborate on our documents and we have a place to keep track of monitor our progress on the project in our report. But what else can we possibly use?
Well, sometimes, you know, in a project like this, especially since we are trying to conduct a campaign and we’re creating a target list, we might want to have the list in Excel SR right here where everybody can look at and collaborate on. Sometimes I want to solicit from the team a survey or I might want to ask for some ideas. I might create a form. We also very commonly use OneNote as a way to take meeting notes and that is tightly integrated with Microsoft Teams to make it easy for us. Every time we do a meeting, including this meeting that we’re on right now, there is the possibility of actually having a set of meeting notes that is in line with and connected to the meeting. You get a you get a basic idea here we have all of the interesting tools and Allow us to create the single pane of glass.
Finally, for project management, it’s been it’s been a long time coming. There have been many steps along this path, but, but we’re in this place where now we can really have that collaborative, single pane of glass experience that, at least I myself have been looking for a long time.
Okay. So, there’s a couple of things we want to we want to cover off here just as big picture items that contribute to success in remote teamwork and remote project management, etc. I’m just going to lay them out here and, you know, just for fun here. I’m going to add them as series of posts. So, let’s start with cadence. What is cadence? Cadence means that we have a rhythm of communication we are going to manage this project. By conducting a reliable set of meetings, we don’t want to overwhelm people. We don’t want the project delivery to be hindered by the meetings. But we do want to maintain good communication, especially since we’re operating 100% remotely.
So how are we going to go about doing that? Well, there’s a very common technique used in Agile Project Management, called stand ups. stand ups are typically very, very short. Think 15 minutes, not, not an hour. You’re not supposed to talk about, you know, Mom, apple pie, the universe, whatever else. But a stand up is about, you know, quick catch up with the team. So Hi. How are things going? So really the personal aspect of team engagement and then getting into what are you trying to work on today and what are your blockers if any, and will be from the team So it’s really those three things, blockers, today’s actions, and Do you need anything from the team? Stand ups are good par Caden stand ups, depending on your work environment stamps might be 15 minutes, the beginning of the day every day. stand ups might be, you know, a couple times a week, it really depends on what you need and how many other projects you’re working on, honestly. Okay.
And then, in addition to that, we traditionally have always had weekly status meetings. That okay, but what is maybe a little bit more productive is to turn our weekly status meetings with each other on the project team into a shared demonstration of what we’re working on, into a retrospective of what was what went well this past week, or this past two weeks, and then you know, what are the essential plans that we offer? are self-committing to going forward. So it is, you know, those agile meeting principles can be applied whether you’re doing a really big construction project, or whether you’re doing an Agile software development project. It doesn’t matter cadence is valuable everywhere. Rhythm of communication, that’s a big facet of improving how things are going to go in remote work. The next thing is consistency. If there’s one thing that we have learned over years of watching, sitcoms, soap operas, movies and everything else, is that having a clear idea of when the next moment that we’re going to be able to engage with this content, or this movie or this this TV show, knowing when that’s going to happen is very reassuring and, and creates a lot of you no clarity, we know what to expect. You know, a great example of that are the average TV show this delivered on a weekly basis.
A great counter example of how this doesn’t always turn out well, is Star Wars The entire series that took place from 1976 until, you know, the end of last year. Okay, so we had huge breaks in the consistency of when we could expect a Star Wars movie, like years upon years upon years. And that was point of frustration for a lot of Star Wars fans. Consistency, knowing when we can expect things to happen. And consistency can certainly relate to cadence and meetings, but it also relates to when things are going to be delivered. What that you know what that’s going to look like for the team. The third thing is expectations and agenda. So being clear with what people can expect from A activity from when something is going to be delivered by one of our peers, if we have a dependency on somebody else’s work, understanding what those expectations are, is a really big deal to us.
Next one is ownership. Especially in the time of remote work, individually taking ownership of things that are creating value and adding to and helping us deliver our project. Individual ownership is a really big deal. The idea of assigning things is cool, but having us commit to each other, as we’re working on the project, commit to each other that we’re going to get things done. that’s a that’s a very different thing. And that taking ownership of things, again, creates a better engagement amongst the team members. We know what to expect from each other, etc., etc.
And then In closing the loop, this is a large reason for creating these kinds of team reports, etc. closing the loop is making sure that what we committed to is closed out is completed, that we know, you know whether there’s any issues or anything that’s getting in our way. closing the loop is about success, and delivering on success. And that relates to the last topic, which is tracking actions. So, closing the loop related to all things tracking actions relates to individual things that we’ve committed to and agreed to get done. These are all important success characteristics for remote teamwork. There are a couple other basic things like, you know, right now I am in this team’s meeting. You’re seeing my app. avatar; avatars are a good start. But you know what? Having an actual face even better.
So if we were to look at Adobe, and add many of the startups that I have relationships with, what you’d find is that every meeting they do, including stand up meetings where they honestly physically stand up, all these kinds of things are things that they actually do with video turned on to be, you know, kind of Cognizant there have been some really funny snafus in the past three weeks, where people have been caught out while they were on video. And they did unexpected things that the rest of their team got to see. But still, though, video creates a great deal of improvement in engagement as you can see from this experience, honestly, the tools that we have available for this like teams and other things, they’re actually quite good and we can have a very high-quality experience with each other in this environment.
Okay, so we’ve kind of reached the latter part of the meeting, I want to throw a question or two out to some of my colleagues here. Cost us if you were to look at things that you think are important in your efforts in project management, what would you say are a couple things that you’ve noticed as you are participating in these kinds of activities. I think the most important thing Hello, everyone, Hello to everyone. First of all, I think for me being a remote worker throughout because I work from Greece is being able to see how my team is doing and how they’re performing. Both in this systems project for the web and Power BI are helping me to stay on track and on top of what’s going on, address issues and respond fast. So, this is basically the most important thing!
Awesome. I think we’ve covered a lot of the I think we’ve covered a lot of the most important things at the moment. We also have, oh, no worries, well, mailing. If you have any things that are on your mind, feel free to throw them into the chat area. And we can address them. And since Jeff just popped back in, hey, Jeff, I wanted to ask you, if you have any particular thoughts on what you think is important for us to be aware of in remote project management.
Sorry about having to drop off my internet went down for a while. No worries. The most important thing is having that real time collaboration with your distributed team. Being able to visualize your project assignments, understand how they relate to various projects and as an individual resource, being able to go to a dashboard and see everything that’s assigned to me, that’s kind of key, right? No one was expected of me so I can go on and get my job done. I don’t have to be face to face, I can just do it on my own and get my work done.
But yeah, and I think that’s a really, that’s a really big topic, right? We’re all you know, we’re all sitting in these in our, in our personal caves right now, working from home. And while, you know, while I want to be able to talk to my colleagues all the time, that’s cool. I do need to be able to have that picture of what it is that I need to get done. I need to be able to focus on the plus side being at home focus times pretty easy, but on the minus side collaboration requires more communication. So to just point, it’s, it’s pretty critical that you be able to have that, that place where you can catch all the high level details, the specific tasks, what’s, you know, what’s been completed in the past by your colleagues and Where the, you know, work assets and things that we’re working on. And having that in, you know, in a single place, creates a much better collaboration experience.
Having the persistent thread, the persistent discussion thread within a project is been very helpful for a lot of customers being able to go to that one spot and see what everybody’s thinking about when they’re working, and being able to answer questions participate. That’s been a big help being able to embed project inside of teams.
Yeah, I’m totally with you. I, I’m pretty excited about this. I’ve used other tools like slack and GitHub. In in GitHub, I’ve used the whole dialogue and forums sort of experience that GitHub provides. But honestly, I really value the feed and the stream of information while still having that ability to break apart. You know, if I’m working Together with two or three people on a particular task, being able to break off into a channel and just address those things. That’s been a huge help. Great.
How are you, Patrick? When you look at how you’re using teams and project and Power BI in your organization, any key thoughts or key highlights that you’d like to bring up?
Yeah, you know, I think one of the biggest things is really the visibility and the ability for people to keep up with their items. And in a former life, we had project plans that set on project managers computers, and at best case, you got a screenshot or an Excel export or some other rudimentary way of keeping up with what was really assigned to you. And using these technologies where you can go in and do real time updates and, and have that that pane of glass that belongs to you that dashboard that you see every day, really drives ownership and, and really better engagement from all of our projects. Members. So, I think that’s one of the biggest advantages.
Yeah, I’m totally with you. I definitely think translating project management out of a weekly occurrence into a normal part of our day and being able to interact with each other that way. I mean, that’s probably the biggest thing that was fundamentally changed by the introduction of mass scale. Cat feeds like this into enterprise. And, and, you know, I definitely appreciate the ability to collaborate with each other in real time like this.
Yeah. piggybacking on that, but like I just say, piggybacking on that, you know, one of the things that is we’ve seen with a lot of customers is the mere fact that management can get to the information on demand improves performance dramatically, just because that instant access to the data is there. Also having instant access to that data, helps them make a more informed decision. If you think about the old ways it was, I give you my snapshot or my update it goes to my manager, they’d sanitize it, they’d go to their manager, they’d sanitize it. And by the time I got to the executives, it was outdated and irrelevant. And now, people making decisions have instant access to that information. And decisions are much better, just because they have real time information to make an informed decision on.
Yeah, I totally agree with you. And moreover, I would say that we, you know, we were always afraid decades ago about controlling the message to leadership. What I think has changed drastically is that the leadership of modern corporations recognize that they need to trust the frontline and empower the frontline to do great work, and that this leads to better outcomes. So, the spirit of transparency and trust has now started to pervade all through the project experience. Those things, then allow us to feel good as project managers or as individual contributors, we start to feel really good about having our leaders and our stakeholders directly involved in our projects. It’s a big change. And you know, the outcome of that is that everybody can focus on being productive, knowing that we’re all trying to help each other. As leaders, as managers, as individual contributors, as project managers. We were much more operating from a collaborative foot, you know, foothold and a trust that, you know, sharing bad news isn’t going to result in super bad results for the project you have.
We do have to train management to that effect, right. You have access to information you never had before. Use it wisely. Don’t use it as a baseball bat.
It’s a very good metaphor. So now I appreciate. Well, we’re coming to the end of our hour today. I hope this has been really productive for everyone. I appreciate all of your contributions. I want to thank Microsoft for helping to sponsor this series. And Texas PGB for jointly presenting this series with green data.io. Thanks, everybody. And this, like I said before this session has been recorded from start to finish. We post it up within the next few days on multiple websites, and a links will be sent out to all participants as well. There also be a full transcription of the content that we’ve covered today. With that, thank you very much. I appreciate it. And I wish you a great Thursday.
This interactive virtual work session involves a curated group of managers and leaders providing a knowledge sharing opportunity.
It is an enlightening and interactive discussion of best practices, and successful approaches in remote project work. We talk about managing remote teams effectively and using a set of tools that works – Project for the web, Microsoft Teams and Power BI. These three tools, when used in conjunction can boost productivity through increased collaboration, effective management and transparent reporting of remote projects.
- Introduction to Remote Project Management
- 4 Characteristics of Successful Remote Project Teams
- Introduction to Project for the web, Teams & Power BI
- Initiating the Project and Creating a good Project Team in Teams
- Navigation Basics
- Templated Document Sets
- Adding a website
- Planning the Project in Project for the web
- Adding the Project to your Team
- Building out the phases & tasks
- Creating the Project team
- Assigning Resources to Tasks
- Tracking the Project in Power BI and Teams
- Adding Your Power BI Report to the Team
- Adding Your Project Notebook to the Team
- Project meeting schedule cadences & expectations
- Facilitation Rules for Meetings
- Tips & Tricks for Managing Life in Remote Work
During this event series you can participate in a variety of one-hour webcasts about multiple topics surrounding the world of Remote Work. Not only will these webcast provide knowledge and insights about how to accommodate remote work in atypical situations, but also they will cover how to enable organizations and individual contributors with all the required resources to thrive in a future of more flexible working styles.
In each episode you can expect to learn different techniques, best practices and ways to implement the right tools to ensure outstanding performance, without compromising productivity and the quality of your product or service.