If you run a small business, you know all too well the challenge of balancing numerous tasks at once. Your attention is constantly split between tasks of importance. These could be anything from team building to vendor coordination.
If you operate as a service provider, you will need to communicate with coworkers and freelancers as well as agencies and clients for your projects. For operations of an organization to run smoothly, they should be overseen by one or a few project managers (depending on size) with the technical experts working on several projects.
Hiring a virtual project manager or outsourcing talent for back-office operations may relieve some of the day-to-day workloads and allow you to focus on other aspects of running your business. It is the responsibility of your virtual project manager to make sure that all deadlines are met, submit reports to you, and provide frequent project updates.
Understanding the Role of a Virtual Project Manager
A virtual project manager must ensure that the whole team performs in harmony.
Other than everyday administrative tasks offered as part of virtual assistant services, they can help ensure that each member does their function effectively. Project managers are in place to monitor and steer the team towards their respective goals. Each person's contribution must be aligned with the greater purpose to achieve the intended result for an external client or internal stakeholders.
With the help of a VPM, you can feel confident knowing that everyone on your team is working to achieve a common company goal without the necessity of you becoming involved. Plus, because work can be carried out from anywhere in the world by a virtual project manager, costs can be significtanly minimized than if you were to hire an internal project manager.
A Timeline of Tasks for Your Virtual Project Manager
You may locate and employ a project manager for nearly any venture. This could be a short-term initiative, lasting only a few weeks, or a long-term project lasting many months. Each project manager has a unique background, experience, and skill set that may benefit your company.
Here are some tasks that virtual project managers need to perform to manage projects successfully:
- Scheduling and Resource Planning: Making a plan is essential for getting the project off to a good start. The project manager will design a timetable with deadlines, allocate tasks to the team, manage time, track progress, oversee quality checks, offer feedback, and ensure that everything is finished successfully. A project has numerous moving elements, so employing someone educated in virtual project management can ensure an ordered approach.
- Managing the Team and Keeping Them Motivated: The majority of projects will need the involvement of a large number of people, including full- and part-time workers, vendors, and contractors. If keeping track of all the people involved in the project is a major concern, you can work with a project manager. As the project progresses, they will assign duties to each team member and monitor progress.
The project manager's job is to keep the virtual team engaged and on track toward the project's final goal.
- Monitoring Cost Estimates and Budgets: A smart project manager is aware of a budget's limitations and the need to adhere to them. It is technically considered a failure if a project comes in within schedule but over budget.
- Running Risk Assessments When Issues Come Up: Obstacles abound in any endeavor. The project manager's responsibility is to anticipate potential problems before the project begins so that the virtual team can prevent them or are prepared to react quickly if they occur.
- Documentation and Filing of Reports: A good virtual project manager will gather all necessary paperwork and reports for the company to evaluate. They will produce reports detailing the steps that were done, whether or not the project criteria were satisfied, who was engaged, and how they might be improved for future endeavors.
Tasks a Virtual Project Manager Can Handle for You
A virtual project manager is capable of doing the following duties with ease:
- Market Research: Detailed and thorough market research is a treasure trove of information that may help you better understand your competition and clients. This data may then be used to make adjustments and develop new plans.
- Timeline Planning: Tracking and monitoring a project's activities is the easiest and most effective approach to managing it. You get a clearer sense of where everyone is, how the project is progressing, and where the weak spots are since a timeline like this splits the tasks into smaller pieces.
- Team Coordination: Making sure that your team remains dedicated and motivated in reaching a single objective is vital. Also, tracking the success of each of the specific individuals is critical to your success. A virtual project manager will be responsible for directing the crew and monitoring the team's progress from time to time until the appropriate execution of the project. It is their job to make sure that no one is slacking off while working on a project.
- Budget Tracking: When it comes to completing a project on time, on budget, and within your scope, it is the project's budget that sets the parameters. It is essential to plan the budget in advance and keep track of it throughout the duraction of the project.
- Managing Risks and Creating Backups: It's essential to plan for unexpected events, such as a coworker's illness or a lack of executive support or interest while embarking on a new project. When it comes to good business, the ideal risk management strategy is to avoid taking any risks at all. Employ a virtual project manager who will not only conduct a comprehensive investigation of possible vulnerabilities but will also generate backups so that nothing detracts your team from completing the project on schedule.
Integrating Your Virtual Project Manager to Your Workflow
A good virtual project manager has already worked remotely for a company and understands the transition process that needs to occur coming onto your projects. To ensure a good relationship, you should keep a few things in mind:
- Setting up Systems and Workflows: If you already have existing documentation, systems, or workflows you use for your projects, you can pass this on to your virtual project manager to implement. However, if you don't have one yet, your virtual project manager can also help by creating this for you.
- Making Use of Communication and Management Tools: If your company has particular communication or organizational tools, you should notify your project manager as soon as possible. Your project manager will use this information to get the virtual team up and running with your proposed tools. A virtual project manager will ensure that all stakeholders involved understand how things will be arranged and how everyone will converse at the start of a project. Because many team members may be physically located in different regions of the world and in various time zones, all lines of communication must remain open and clear.
- Having Regularly Scheduled Virtual Calls or Video Meetings: The success of a project depends on regular virtual meetings. A project manager will have regular check-ins using a video conferencing tools, email or other virtual communication tools. Your project manager will be aware of the need to schedule the meeting at a time that works for all of your team members. To accomplish all of these goals, a virtual conference is a fantastic way to go through a predefined agenda while also providing a chance for participants to get to know one another better, share data, ask questions, and assess progress.
If the team could connect through video chat at any point during the process, it would be much better. You will feel more at ease and more connected with your project manager and team if you can see them face to face. It's easier to read someone's expressions and body language if you can physically see them, not just hear them.
Training Your Virtual Project Manager
Make sure you and other stakeholders talk about your goals for projects as early as possible; a project will function more smoothly if its goals and objectives are appropriately defined. Your project will be off to a rocky start if you don't have a clear picture of what you hope to achieve.
Your virtual project manager may not be able to come into the office to talk about any roadblocks they are seeing, so define availability early and ensure you are setting aside adequate time for virtual onboarding to establish expectations about communication.
The Next Step: Hire a Virtual Project Manager
If you are a business owner looking to expand your business, a virtual project manager can help you get the results you are looking for without the costs of hiring an internal team member.
Virtual project managers will be able to evaluate your project objectives and create a plan to complete them. VPMs can break down the process into manageable pieces and assign tasks to each person in the virtual team. Lastly, this virtual project manager doesn't have to be based in your area, which will allow you to save money on office space and other business expenses.
Do you want to hire a virtual project manager or need help with remote workforce management? Pena4 can provide you with reliable and experienced virtual employees for your projects.
Contact Pena4 to grow your business today!