Managing projects in one location can be a monumental effort. For companies that need to roll-out the same project often simultaneously in multiple locations, the process can be harrowing. However, some simple best practices can help project managers stay on track even when coordinating a complex project in hundreds of locations.
Here’s how to manage multi-site projects without stress:
Start with a Template
We recommend that project managers start with a master template of a typical project. This can easily be customized for each project but should include as many of the basic details such as schedule, a timeline for delivery, and the resources or teams needed to complete the job.
Another way to cause a breakdown in multisite projects is not establishing a clear team or project leader. Managing remote teams effectively hinges upon planning well and establishing a clear division of labor. With this division comes complete accountability for all of the deliverables from the remote team. Designate a team leader at each site who will serve as the single point of contact for that site.
Keep the Communication Flowing
Keep your remote team in the loop every step of the way. Clearly defined expectations, targets, milestones, and tasks should be clearly assigned, communicated, and visible by remote teams to ensure they have a solid understanding of when specific tasks should be completed and by which resource or member of the team.
The biggest threat for failure on multi-site projects is when teams are not clear about their status. It can be very easy for deadlines to slip but if you’re a retail chain that is rolling out a new POS or security system…deadlines are critical.
Ensure your project information is accurate and up to date, allowing managers, customers, vendors and other key people to view and update information in real-time from anywhere. Communication meltdowns can be avoided with proactive tools and processes that will ensure everyone is on the same page every step of the project.
Keep an Eye on Your Bottom Line
Expenses incurred from multisite projects can quickly spiral out of control and can have a dramatic impact on your company’s overall success. Ensure your remote teams are accurately entering time, expenses and task updates in real time to allow up-to-date tracking and monitoring of the financial and “time health” of your projects before a problem is discovered.
As with any project, the more accurate and up-to-date the financial data is, the more proactive you can be with ensuring profitability and hitting deadlines. Compound this for multisite projects and it’s clear why expenses need to be managed quickly and accurately. Having your remote teams enter time and expenses via spreadsheets or standalone report can be catastrophic to your profitability.
Important considerations for managing multisite projects:
- How will time zone differences affect your success?
- Will you need to factor currency conversions for expenses incurred in various locations?
- Are there different laws for overtime incurred?a
- Does each site have the necessary resources needed to complete the project on time?
- What is the cost of each project at each location?
- How will you monitor the status of each project in real time?
- Are there unique reporting requirements based on the customer’s, or local ordinance, requirements?
Can your system do all this?
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TimeLinx delivers innovative project & service management software as a complete solution that perfects the sell-track-manage-support-bill cycle that services organizations must have to delight their customers; TimeLinx brings the cycle together in a single application that offers less frustration, better project management, complete reporting, and improved profitability – all specially designed for Infor and Sage.