Managing Projects in the Matrix: A Guide to Virtual Project Management Tools
Virtual project management is gaining popularity worldwide. Teams are demanding greater flexibility in their work to have more control over their schedules and establish a better work-life balance. Flexjobs reports that 87% of professionals indicate that the availability of remote work options has enhanced their overall work-life balance — a pretty significant number!
Remote work has evolved from a professional perk to a necessity, and organizations are getting more comfortable and accustomed to working with individuals in different geographic zones. Thus, the world has warmed up to the idea of working with virtual teams and managing projects virtually. But what is virtual project management, and how does it work?
What Exactly Is Virtual Project Management?
Virtual project management is the process where a team of individuals dispersed worldwide come together virtually to plan, control, and complete specific tasks or achieve certain business goals.
The entire process and the project’s life cycle remain almost the same as conventional in-person project management, the only difference being the virtual nature of the workgroup.
77% of remote workers report increased efficiency. Among these, 30% accomplish more work in less time, while 24% manage to do more work within the same timeframe.
The Power of Virtual Project Management: Unleashing a World of Benefits
Virtual project management is not just about overcoming geographical boundaries and reducing business costs. It’s about unlocking a plethora of benefits that can transform your business operations and team dynamics.
Cost Efficiency and Business Agility
Virtual project management allows you to eliminate most in-person office expenses, such as office space rent, commute, and equipment for running operations. This cost efficiency doesn’t alter your business structure but rather, it allows you to divert resources to other core activities.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, a consultancy specializing in remote work, estimates that remote work could result in annual savings of $500 billion for US companies, equating to around $11,000 per employee- a significant savings for companies watching their budgets.
Time-Saving and Increased Productivity
The virtual work environment saves time that would otherwise be spent on commuting and administrative tasks. Moreover, the flexibility to perform tasks when convenient can help team members increase their productivity, boost motivation, and enhance the quality of work.
A survey by ConnectSolutions reveals that remote work boosts productivity, with 77% of remote workers report increased efficiency. Among these, 30% accomplish more work in less time, while 24% manage to do more work within the same timeframe.
Global Talent Acquisition and Diversity
In the virtual world, geographical boundaries are no longer a constraint. You can hire top-notch professionals worldwide to collaborate on projects, expanding your horizons beyond regional limitations. This access to a wider talent pool leads to a more diverse and skilled team.
Enhanced Employee Satisfaction and Retention
The temporal and geographical flexibility of virtual project management can help you do your job comfortably and afford the time to attend to commitments outside of work. As a result, you can enjoy a more satisfying work-life balance, leading to higher job satisfaction and employee retention.
Research done by Owl Labs and Global Workplace Analytics suggests that 74% of employees feel happier while working from home. Remote work saves employees’ energy and saves them from the hassle of transportation and preparing for the office.
By eliminating the need for commuting and office space, virtual project management significantly reduces a company’s carbon footprint, contributing to environmental sustainability.
Global Workplace Analytics suggests that if employees with telework-compatible jobs were to work from home for half of their usual time, greenhouse gas emissions could be cut by 54 million tons. For comparison, this is roughly the amount of removing 10 million cars off the road for one year.
With team members spread across different time zones, virtual teams can work around the clock, essentially giving your company a 24 hour work day. This allows businesses to be more responsive to customer needs and market changes. Having your team stretched across multiple time zones can help elevate the risk of burnout by setting preferred work hours on certain time zones.
By embracing the power of virtual project management, you can experience all these benefits firsthand, and more. Leverage the right tools and strategies to manage your virtual projects effectively and lead your team to success.
Over 77% of all high-performing projects leverage a project management tool, and nearly 90% of all businesses that use project management tools benefit from improved efficiency and innovation.
Navigating the Challenges of Virtual Project Management
While virtual project management offers numerous benefits, it’s important to acknowledge and address potential challenges:
- Communication: Miscommunications can plague over 88% of remote team members. Remote teams may face communication hurdles due to different time zones, lack of visual cues, and language barriers. Clear and regular communication and using the proper engagement tools is key to building trust and rapport among team members.
- Productivity Monitoring: Without real-time visibility, gauging team members’ productivity can be a challenge. Regular check-ins and progress updates can help maintain accountability.
- Collaboration and Connectivity: Remote work can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection. Encouraging active participation in virtual meetings and fostering a strong team culture can help maintain motivation and connectivity. Help your team feel more connected by having a virtual office space where you can give your employees an environment to encourage collaboration across your entire organization.
- Time Zone Differences: Coordinating across different time zones can be tricky, potentially causing delays. However, with careful planning and scheduling, teams can work around these differences effectively.
This is why leveraging the right virtual project management tools can help address these challenges, ensuring smooth and efficient remote work operations.
What Are Virtual Project Management Tools?
Planning, executing, and delivering virtual projects can be a demanding undertaking. You need a reliable system of tools to plan and manage all aspects of your project and communicate with your virtual team members.
Virtual project management tools are web-based interactive solutions that help you oversee projects and tasks. You can leverage them to plan your entire project from beginning to end, manage schedules, optimize processes, share files and information with virtual team members, collaborate effectively, and keep track of the project’s progress.
The online nature of these tools allows you to create and manage multiple projects at a time, helping boost effectiveness and efficiency.
The Significance of Virtual Project Management Tools
Effective project management goes beyond simply assigning tasks and setting deadlines. It revolves around establishing strong connections with your team, guiding them through intricate details and process changes, monitoring their performance, and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with them.
In a virtual work environment, the existing obstacles of communication and collaboration can be magnified due to the geographical dispersion of team members. However, virtual project management tools offer a powerful solution to overcome these challenges. They provide the necessary technology to uphold unity among team members located in different places and time zones, allowing for seamless tracking of their contributions to the project. These tools facilitate improved communication and coordination, paving the way for successful project outcomes.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Virtual Project Management Tools?
As per statistics, over 77% of all high-performing projects leverage a project management tool, and nearly 90% of all businesses that use project management tools benefit from improved efficiency and innovation. The right virtual project management tools can help you in the following ways-
Accessibility and Ease-Of-Use:
Most of these tools have a simple interface with no steep learning curve allowing team members to begin their tasks immediately. Since they are web-based, you can easily access them using apps on the computer or mobile.
The right virtual project management tool can be a centralized database for all the relevant project information. You can fully control documentation and provide virtual team members with easy access. Tools like eMaint, elapseit, DashThis, etc., allow you to track the team’s progress and get regular updates without constantly checking the communication channels for notifications.
Using such tools, you can give team members an overview of the project lifecycle and current workflow. Since all the relevant project information (documents, reports, instructions, etc.) will already be available online, orienting them and updating teams about ongoing and future projects will be easier.
Better Communication and Collaboration
Various virtual project management tools have interactive and streamlined communication features like reacting to messages, commenting, and tagging, along with an integrated chat system. It allows team members to reach out to others quickly and lets you be in the loop with your team and their progress.
Virtual project management tools allow you to easily share and access relevant project files, documents, status updates, and timelines to ensure that each member quickly gets accurate information. These tools facilitate real-time collaboration among them and make them more likely to work together to discover valuable solutions, learn from each other, be engaged, and consequently increase their productivity.
Standardize Your Project Processes
Some tools help you automate repetitive tasks that you perform periodically, such as maintaining websites, checking emails, updating social media, monitoring the inventory, booking appointments, etc. They have a deep recurring tasks list and a step-by-step process that is easy to follow. Such workflow automation creates a system that makes your job more efficient and streamlined.
Improve Task Delegation
With the right tools, you can create tasks on the go and define team members’ priorities and deadlines to help them better grasp their roles and responsibilities.
Track Project Progress Effectively
Take advantage of specific tools that provide a centralized system to track your project’s progress and receive regular updates on assigned tasks. These tools guarantee schedule adherence, ensuring the entire team can access and share the same information, discussing and collaborating in real-time.
How to Choose the Right Virtual Project Management Tools?
Choosing the right tools for virtual project management can depend on various factors, such as your team’s needs, the number of people in the virtual team, and your budget. The tools offer different functionalities; no single software will meet all your project requirements. Ideally, the solution you choose must include features like:
- Task, expense, and file management
- Time tracking (often through Gantt charts)
- CRM integration
- Role-based access
- Collaborative editing
What Are Some Virtual Project Management Tools One Can Use?
You can use the following effective solutions:
ClickUp is a cloud-based platform that enhances project management and team collaboration. It allows for task creation, assignment, and tracking, facilitates communication through comments and real-time chat, and supports document sharing and collaboration. With built-in time tracking and integration with other tools like Google Drive, Slack, and Zoom, ClickUp streamlines workflows and improves the efficiency of virtual teams.
Wrike is a scalable cloud-based solution for managing enterprise collaborative work. It caters to various teams, including creative, marketing, product development, business operations, and professional services. It features a customizable dashboard, file management system, automation, live editing, core building blocks, time and budget tracking, a Gantt chart, and request forms to help you complete projects.
Wrike facilitates live activity stream, proofing, and approval, along with email and calendar synchronization, allowing faster task execution and thereby boosting productivity.
Monday.com (formerly known as Dapulse) helps you manage the virtual team’s workload and improve communication among the members. You can see what your team is working on, create projects, tasks, and missions, and designate them. You can further see individual task progress and plan the workload ahead of time.
With its optimized search, you can easily find every task your team is working on and gain all the required updates. Moreover, centralized communication lets you mention your team members, comment on their work, and receive notifications on all your devices.
Asana is a web-based project management tool that facilitates task assignment, progress tracking, and team communication. It supports file sharing, collaborative editing, and integrates with tools like Slack, Google Drive, and Zoom. Asana enhances coordination and productivity in virtual teams, providing a comprehensive solution for remote project management. Some Key features include the ability to create and assign tasks, set deadlines, and monitor progress in real time.
G Suite from Google Drive contains all the office software you need in one package, including Docs, Drive, Gmail, Calendar, Meet, and other helpful business tools. All of them are stored online, and your teammates can collaborate on the documents in real-time.
Trello is a project management software that enables you to organize virtual projects in a rewarding manner through-
- Visual management boards
- Cards to add attachments, comments, due dates, etc.
- Checklists to manage progress and deliverables
It helps you gain a holistic view of the project as you track progress and can even integrate Gantt charts to schedule and track projects.
Slack is an instant messaging tool that facilitates accessible virtual communication by allowing you to communicate with team members in real time via text messages, audio, or video calls. You can create separate channels for different topics, teams, or tasks and instantly search for relevant messages and files in the Slack history.
ConnectWise Manage is another cloud-based business solution that combines virtual project management, customer service or helpdesk, sales and billing, and other core business systems in a single platform. It helps you eliminate the need to use separate software for different tasks, streamline various processes, and reduce operational costs.
What Should You Know To Leverage These Tools Effectively?
To maximize the potential of your virtual project management tools-
- Clarify the daily tasks list and assign or delegate to the group.
- Once you work out the list, you can feed the tasks into the project management solutions and distribute them to the team.
- Ensure you provide precise and clear instructions to your team regarding the tasks. For instance, take control of your assignments by recording an audio or video walkthrough, or breaking it down into screenshots, ensuring that they perform in the required manner. The project management tools will only be rendered effective if group members understand what is required of them.
- Consider writing a detailed step-by-step procedural guide for your team when assigning a particular task to them in your virtual tool. A thorough guide will ensure that you get the outcome you want.
- Be realistic when setting the number of deliverables and allotting time for completion. You do not want to overwhelm yourself and your team with extra tasks and slow down the overall progress of your project.
- Prioritize your assignments so your virtual assistant knows what job you want to complete first.
How Does 6Connex Help With Virtual Project Management?
Comprehensive virtual event solutions like 6Connex can provide you with just the right tools you need to manage your events and drive event success efficiently.
Event Tech Integrations
6Connex allows you to sync your virtual environments with the necessary third-party solutions to help you manage virtual projects and teams better. Here are some of its event tech integrations:
Kaon Interactive is an interactive 3D product sales and marketing application that can help you demonstrate different products anytime, anywhere, and on any device. You can improve marketing efficiency and sales effectiveness, prevent content redundancies, reduce costs, and accelerate sales cycles.
Issuu is a digital publishing platform that converts PDFs into digital publications so you can share them via links or embed them on your website. It offers elaborate customization and monetization tools to help you design, publish, market, and monetize your documents.
- Other integrations include PosterSession Online, Albumizr, SlideShare, and SharePoint.
For Video Conferencing and Webcasting:
Webinar.net offers a simple, engaging, cost-effective way to host webinars and reach a global audience. It could be live, pre-recorded, or an on-demand webinar or webcast. You can easily set up a webinar with a 5-step wizard within 60 seconds and host unlimited attendees!
With Zoom, your team can have synchronous virtual meetings in an encrypted and secure manner. It facilitates full HD audio and video calls along with built-in features for recording and transcription.
- Other integrations include Conferences IO, Scoot, SpatialChat, Webex by Cisco, GoToMeeting, Vimeo, YouTube, Facebook Live, GlobalMeet from PGi, BlueJeans, Microsoft Teams, ReadyComm, MediaPlatform, and IBM Cloud.
Wordly provides AI-powered translation, transcription, and interpretation services at in-person, virtual, and hybrid events. It can translate audio into over 30+ languages in real-time. Using this tool can facilitate better communication and interaction between teammates.
Jotcast is an advanced interactive and moderated live chat solution for all types of users and events, from bloggers or companies of any size. It has features such as private messaging, polls and quizzes, and even social media integration, which enables you to give the best chat experience to the workgroup.
- Other integrations include CaptionIT, One Chance Media, Interprefy, Noonah, Snapbar, Kahoot!, Calendly, Mentimeter, and Alchemer.
In addition to event tech integrations, 6Connex offers Eventory, a unified platform to help you streamline your event management from start to finish. Using this platform, you can-
- Create a mobile-optimized event website to host your events within minutes.
- Leverage an intuitive and fully-integrated ticketing system to manage on-site tickets, registration, orders, discounts, and check-ins, all through a single dashboard.
- Share on-demand content post event to boost engagement.
- Receive immediate feedback from attendees and sponsors with built-in surveys and polling.
- Measure event success and ROI with valuable data from detailed reports and metrics.
The platform has four mobile event apps:
- Eventory app for attendees to access events on the go and connect and network with other participants.
- Eventory Operator for organizers to gain essential event information and access critical features through a single dashboard.
- Eventory Check-in for your event staff to seamlessly manage on-site check-ins by scanning the attendees’ tickets, registration information, or QR codes.
- Eventory Scanner for organizers, exhibitors, and partners to collect event data by using QR codes.
At 6Connex, we understand that every event is unique, and our flexible service plans are designed to meet your specific event needs. We offer a range of services that cater to different project management needs for your event. Our offerings are designed to help you navigate the complexities of managing events, providing support at various levels to ensure your event’s success. Whether you’re hosting a small webinar or a large-scale virtual conference, our team is here to help you make it a success.
Here are three service plans we offer:
This entry-level plan provides support with basic project management tasks such as registration, general setup, and design. It’s designed to guide you through the platform and prepare you for self-service, making it an ideal choice for those who are new to virtual event management or prefer a hands-on approach.
This intermediate plan offers more comprehensive project management support. It allows you to collaborate with our support team to better organize and structure your virtual environment, making it a great choice for those who want to take their events to the next level.
This premium plan offers a complete, white-glove project management service. It includes all the services offered in the Navigator and Co-Pilot plans, plus additional services like private full-platform training, sponsor management, and live-day support. This plan is perfect for those who want a fully managed service, allowing you to focus on your event’s content and attendees while we handle the technical details.
Virtual Office Spaces
With 6Connex, you can also build a perpetual, virtual office spaces for remote and hybrid teams to connect with distributed workgroups. This perpetual office space facilitates better group communication and collaboration, delivers information and instruction cost-effectively, and drives engagement, all via the employees’ web browsers or mobile devices.
You can fully customize the virtual office environments with elements that mimic your physical office (custom meeting rooms, auditoriums, training rooms, lobbies, etc.) and integrate them with all the necessary organizational and engagement tools. Such spaces can eliminate hurdles caused due to different time zones and reduce communication gaps, promoting collaboration within a global workforce.
Boost Your Virtual Project Management with 6Connex
Effective virtual project management tools can enable you to handle projects, collaborate with virtual teams, and improve the team’s overall workflow. They can provide the necessary structure in your business processes and establish an effective system to help you reach your goals faster and lead your team better.
Request your virtual event platform demo today and discover how virtual event platforms like 6Connex can empower you and your remote team with the tools to streamline and accomplish virtual projects effectively.
Webinar Alert: Raising the Bar for Sustainable Events with MUSE — Let’s Go Green Together!
Join us on June 27th at 10 a.m. CST for our webinar “Raising the Bar: Achieving Sustainable Events through Innovative Technologies and Expert Insights.” co-hosted with MUSE. Learn from event sustainability gurus as they share tips on reducing carbon footprints and creating events that make Mother Nature proud. Don’t miss out on this industry leading, eco-friendly event!