The Remote Works Blueprint can become a simple, mental exercise you run through before kicking off a project rather than a methodical process you complete step by step.
Approaching work when your team is remote can feel like trudging through the woods without a map. There’s information overload across several platforms—Slack, Microsoft, SharePoint, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Notion, and, of course, email. There are different points of contact across the company and team members simultaneously working on various aspects of a project or deliverable.
To help you find your way through the thickets of your workplace, we developed the Remote Works Blueprint, a simple, fourstep process that works in any situation, from a small project to an intricate multi-team product launch. It can take a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days to complete based on the level of complexity of the task.
The Remote Works Blueprint takes the fundamentals of most project management processes, from agile to lean, and distills it into a few steps, regardless of the type of project at hand.
Step 1: Set clear goals
First things first. Where do you want to go? Here are a few questions that can help crystallise your project-specific goals and objectives:
Step 2: Create a task list
Once you have a goal in mind, it is time to take inventory of what everyone is already working on before you can add new tasks related to the goal. This is to account for what is on everyone’s plates; if you skip this step, you are bound to have too much work— leaving teams tired and stressed, which will most likely result in mediocre results and missed deadlines.
We recommend having everyone on the team list and divide their tasks into two categories:
Step 3: Determine top priorities
Now it is time to re-evaluate the goal you set in Step 1 and the task list you developed in Step 2. With a critical eye, start prioritising what really matters.
We recommend using the exercise ‘Stay’, ‘Start’, ‘Stop’, ‘Shift’ to help you prioritise:
After prioritising your team task list using the ‘Stay, Start, Stop, Shift’ exercise, we recommend using a simple three-point scale—such as low, medium, and high— to indicate urgency, or a chronological prioritisation—like now, near, and far—to decide where to get started.
Step 4: Assign ownership, set expectations, and agree on accountability
Finally, it is critical to get clarity on who will be doing what and when by assigning ownership, setting expectations (especially, around deadlines), and agreeing on accountability. By completing this step, you can track progress along the way and help with any roadblocks.
While this might seem like a lot, we promise, it becomes second nature. And it is a must for remote teams. Do not get bogged down in the details or the how-to. Eventually, the Remote Works Blueprint can become a simple, mental exercise you run through before kicking off a project rather than a methodical process you complete step by step.
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