Remote Collaboration

Remote Collaboration

Collaborating remotely, whether you’re in another country or just across town, isn't always easy. Yet, with some thoughtful planning and synchronised ways of working, it can be a highly rewarding experience. Over the years at Tigerspike we’ve embraced remote working in many forms. Sometimes we’ll have teams across different offices working on the same project, other times teams will include people working from home. And on almost all of our projects there will be times when we need to collaborate remotely - and effectively - with our clients.  Recently we created some guidance, hints, tips and resources for our global team to help make remote collaboration more successful. In light of the current, continually evolving situation with COVID-19, many people are suddenly finding themselves in a situation where they need to work remotely. So we thought it would be good to share our guidance to a wider audience. We hope you find it useful and that it can help improve a few more people’s working lives whilst we navigate these unprecedented times.

The Why


Tigerspike is deploying projects with geographically distributed team members. When collaborating remotely we've experienced both successes and challenges, and those learnings have been applied to our approach.

Challenges in Remote Collaboration

After speaking to people across our business who regularly collaborate remotely, we identified four common challenges that people can regularly experience.

Communication Issues


Lack of team bonding and trust leads to misreading of intent, making assumptions, and miscommunications.

Inefficient Use of Time


Lack of planning around managing work hours across time zones can lead to frustration, mistrust, blockers, and/or working overtime.

Technology Frustrations


Poor quality of video conferencing and network issues make synchronous communication difficult.

Feeling Excluded


Omitting remote workers from conversations and decisions puts the burden of being remembered on the remote employee and leads to a sense of exclusion.

The Approach


Success with collaborating remotely means we must have a common approach.

This is an overview of our approach that can be followed on projects with distributed teams, as well as an outline of the structures that need to be in place to support the approach.

Remote Collaboration_Tip 1

Providing time for the team to develop relationships will allow them to build empathy, trust, and emotional bonds, which will set them up for effective communication and collaboration.

Remote Collaboration_Tip 2

Setting expectations around when and how to communicate as a team each day, taking into account time zone differences, will build trust, facilitate collaboration, and avoid miscommunications.

Remote Collaboration_Tip 3

Defaulting to digital tools and digitizing will ensure all team members have access to the same information.

Supporting Structures

What needs to already be in-place for successful remote collaboration.

Mindsets for Successful Remote Collaboration

Attributes and attitudes of successful distributed team members and team leaders.


Communication Protocol

Global standards for how to communicate synchronously and asynchronously.


Project Management Processes

Project Plan, Single Source of Truth, Meeting Notes, Team Roles & Responsibilities, Task Visibility & Allocation and Decision Log.


Parity and Consistency in Global Toolsets

Hardware, software and connectivity reliability.

The How


Materials for learning about the approach, references for distributed teams, and answers to your questions:

Introductory Materials

These materials are to help onboard employees regarding the approach to distributed teamwork in preparation for actually applied it to projects. This content was originally intended for an internal audience in Tigerspike — but feel free to download, adapt and use it as necessary for your own needs.

Introductory Video


A 7-minute introduction for all team members to train in the Tigerspike approach.

WATCH

Introductory Deck for Senior Management


Similar to the Introductory video, but with a business focus for Senior Managers.

Choose your format:


A detailed look into the Approach & Supporting Structures — it's the whole package

Training Deck

Successful remote collaboration begins in project planning and set-up. This deck is for Project Managers and Senior Management to learn how to implement the Tigerspike approach to distributed team projects. Again, feel free to adapt this content — and the following reference documents — for your own needs.

Choose your format:


A high-level overview of the Approach and the responsibilities of individual team members.

Reference Documents

Distributed Team Project Checklist


The Approach translated into a checklist for use by Project Managers when setting up and planning for a project with a distributed team.

Download:

Mindsets for Successful Remote Collaboration


Reflecting on these questions helps team members align to the attitudes and attributes of successful collaborators.

Download:

Communication Protocol


Tigerspike's standards for communicating synchronously and asynchronously.

Download:

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If you'd like to discuss this in more detail or have any questions please get in touch.

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