CHOW #197 – How to kick-start a new remote team project ?

It has been a few months since most teams at C3 Technologies have been working remotely, due to a worldwide pandemic. Most teams have managed to adjust and adapt to the new mode of work. By adopting a mix of tools and technology, teams are able to maintain productivity and flow of work. What has helped is that these teams were working together with each other for some time and know each other well.

Ravi the CTO and Sandhya, the delivery head have realised that a legacy migration having technology and infrastructure impact needs to be done quickly to enable access to better remote collaboration tools, streamline dev ops and provide near real time data analysis. Engineering, Sales, Finance and Marketing teams will benefit tremendously. They have about 10 weeks to plan and execute the migration.

Ravi and Sandhya rope in the IT head, Surya along with respective heads of sales, marketing and finance to brainstorm. They are aware that the migration project will need cross functional collaboration, skill and expertise from their respective departments. They also know people are available internally and that they can leverage without external hiring, given the current company focus on keeping costs low due to the uncertain situation prevailing.

With dispersed individuals, what can be done to bring together a new team and drive a successful migration, keeping in mind that everyone is working remote?

Solution:

1. Start with cross-functional leadership firmly anchoring the team, in collaboration with cross-functional team members with focus on the purpose and outcome of the migration project.

2.  Encourage creation of team norms for the migration team and leadership team, and have team members plan break-times and publish them in a common “drive” where everyone can see them. This reduces individual stress and helps everyone to understand each other’s way of balancing work and life while at home.

3.  Pick a set of collaboration themes as a weekly goal. This helps the diverse team focus on a subset of various cross sections of the migration and address them with weekly goals.

4. Schedule a weekly review where every week a different person takes the lead and presents a comprehensive picture across all collaboration themes. That way everyone is involved in everything although each collaboration theme may have a subset of people dealing with it in depth

5.  Involve senior leadership at least once a week. They can focus on well-being of the team and their families and help with local support for family care and contingencies.

You may have experienced or learned of many other solutions. You are invited to post your comments and enrich our CHOW.

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