Global teams can make amazing things happen. In this post, we offer a project management primer including four ways to keep your global teams running at peak performance.
If you’ve never had the pleasure to work with a multinational team, you really should. The wide variety of ideas generated across multiple, diverse teams can itself solve complex problems.
Perspectives can be expanded and teams can feel more empowered to work together to solve challenges even quicker. There are a variety of ways to make it happen, but we've addressed four here we've seen work well with our global teams.
Why does this matter, anyway? At Engineer.ai, we help global entrepreneurs, enterprise and builders connect with other globally-minded creatives and developers. The better we can communicate, the more we can all accomplish together. Additionally, embracing multiculturalism and globalization will only serve to make businesses thrive.
#1 Listen actively, then summarize
There is a lost art of listening, it seems. In the era of mobile technologies, listening seems obsolete almost. It’s not.
The main joy of talking to someone who speaks the same native language and was born in the same part of the world is clear. You believe you understand this person innately. You won’t often repeat what this person is saying--to confirm you understand what they’re saying. Because you’re sure you understand everything they’re saying.
Or so you think. Whether you’re negotiating or doing every-so-often project status updates, it’s important to both listen to your teammates, as well as re-confirm through the process what you believe they’re trying to tell you at this moment. This is a good practice for general life--because listening and re-confirming keeps everyone on the same page through project updates.
Successfully delivered projects absolutely depend on listening and summarizing Not just for your next Builder project, but also your other professional connections.
#2 Schedule ‘in-person’ status update meetings regularly
In order to connect and communicate, you need to make time for updates. The best way to make time--schedule it! A regularly-occurring or, “standing” weekly meeting update helps you connect around prospective problems and bug-fix updates for the technical of us. There are numerous free options for face-to-face meetings including Skype and Zoom. During the meeting, remember recommendation #1 from above.
#3 Best use your ‘meetings’ tool--an agenda
If you have Zoom, you can record meetings and have a central location for all your meeting exchanges just in-case you forget what you talked about. Speaking about your best meeting agenda tool--whether you’re working with someone in your office or halfway across the world--a meeting agenda! What better way to get on the same page than actually looking at the same. Actual. Page.
There’s nothing quite as powerful as a to-do list and meeting agendas offer just that. An organized way to stay on-task with why you’re both here in the first place. Simply put, better meetings start with great agendas no matter where you are in the world. On top of your meeting organizer, Google Drive offers a suite of complementary tools to ensure your meeting minutes are available to everyone from the meeting.
#4 Prioritize, always
The thing we’ve learned being in startup-mode (with an epic set of investors for our Series A) is how to prioritize to find out what’s the most important task to do--today. What’s the highest value task I can do today to move my project forward? The #BuilderGeneration knows this adds lots of value to your team. After staying in tune with project deadlines and deliverables, a good team will ensure its’ highest value tasks are being completing successfully. This means you should address your highest priority task in your standing meetings.
As to who’s leading this task of staying on priority, your leadership will impact how priority is established. At Engineer.ai, we use AHA and Slack to ensure every team member considers what’s their priority--today and everyday.
What about you?
There are many ways to effectively communicate with global teams. Have some of your own best practices? We would love to hear them! Do tell across our channels on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (or comment below)! We’ll have many more subjects on the Engineer.ai blog coming for the #BuilderGeneration in 2019, so stay in touch.
Header image thanks to Rawpixel.com.