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The virtual project manager: 7 best practices for effective communication

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  • 1. The Virtual Project Manager 7 best practices for effective communication Hassan Osman www.thecouchmanager.com
  • 2. 1. Establish a Clear Communication Plan Define the rules of engagement Explain communication preferences & frequency Define an escalation path Include a project organizational chart Include the team’s contact info
  • 3. 2. Account for Informal Discussions Start or end meetings with discussions unrelated to work Plan for specific virtual meetings that have the objective of socializing with the team
  • 4. 3. Be a Master of Technology Become an expert at using online collaboration software Understand limitations and overlapping features of different applications (including scheduling, project management, and document management software)
  • 5. 4. Conduct Structured Meetings Have a specific agenda & send it out ahead of time Ensure the team remains on topic during the meeting Capture risks, issues & action items (and assign owners) Follow-up after the meeting with a summary email
  • 6. 5. Leverage Video when Needed Use webcam conferencing during sensitive meetings to avoid the negative effects of non-visual communication Use more sophisticated video conferencing technologies (like Cisco TP) to conduct meetings when stakes are high (e.g., negotiation discussions with customers)
  • 7. 6. Determine a Range for Time-Zone Differences Determine a “prime-time” range for meetings that include geographically dispersed team members Document time zone differences and ranges in the communication plan
  • 8. 7. Use Email Effectively Keep emails short – no one likes long messages Don’t bury action items (highlight them using bullets) Use different subject lines for new email topics Use “Reply-All” and “CC” sparingly
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