Michal Sobotkiewicz
Michal SobotkiewiczKANBO PRODUCT OWNER
He leads the KanBo Technology & Innovation strategy team to map, build and inspire a future we want to work in.

Remote Working has been a hot topic of debate in the recent years, there is no denying its obvious advantages for the employees and Enterprise Businesses.

For employees, remote work is a unique opportunity to conveniently work from the comfort of their homes and to connect with professionals all over the world.

Working Remotely helps Enterprise Businesses get access to talented individuals with diverse skillsets and reduce costs of travel and on-site arrangements.

KanBo is specially built to help large enterprises to perform quality work regardless of physical and geographical boundaries.

This article will present how to build a remote team in a 5-day:

  • On Day one you need to discuss how the change will work by exchanging ideas, clearing concerns and getting people on board
  • Day two is for discussing tasks, projects or initiatives that are in progress and finding relationships between them to create a big picture of what is to be done
  • On Day three you will be moving your projects to the digital realm and creating the digital equivalent of your team. By the end you will have a mapping of all the current initiatives / projects / tasks in the form of KanBo boards and cards structure
  • On the fourth day you are ready to begin working remotely
  • Day 5 is for reaping the benefits of all the hard work you have done since the past few days. You are now working remotely!

The Driving Force Behind Changing the way you Work

Completely transforming the way you work is not an easy process and usually requires an extra push. What has to happen to make remote working one of the options for working in your organization?

There must be a paradigm change!

One of the key elements of change is the catalyst. A factor that makes it necessary to introduce change with a certain urgency, reason and timing. Once we have enabled remote working, how we, as a company, know that the change has been successful?

Success can be measured by the impact of the change on the employees’ performance. A successful change would indicate a boost of performance due to the convenience provided by remote work. Employees can save time and budget by eliminating the need to commute and strike a better work -life balance. Whereas the business can continue even in emergency situations such as a pandemic outbreak or political states of emergency.

The catalyst for change can be a need generated internally as well as an external factor. An event that makes it impossible to perform tasks in the current way. It may concern one employee, a group, a team as well as the whole company.

In short, the conditions for change include:

The Why: Change catalyst – The reasons behind the change.

The What: Description of change – introduction of remote working

The When: Urgency – real deadline or current reason or both.

Now that you have answered the What, why and When, you can move on to the How.

Building a Remote Team in 5 Days

It should be borne in mind that a plan is only a roadmap or a set of processes. For the best outcome, the plan should be monitored and adjusted as the ongoing change is being implemented.

Here is a 5-day action plan, which shows how to introduce remote work.

Day one. Discuss How to Make it Work.

On Day one you need to discuss how the change will work by exchanging ideas, clearing concerns and getting people on board.

Meeting Agenda

Make meetings more productive/Get more out of meetings with the meeting agenda template. Easily clarify the goals of your meeting and inform participants about details such as dates, locations and more. Include all necessary documents and crucial information in advance so people can be prepared to make the meeting a definite success. The meeting agenda template can help you run a smooth-sailing meeting and ensures it never strays from the main agenda.

In a situation where employees are unable to come to the offices and perform their previous tasks, remote working is a natural response. The key is to stay calm, there are many successful companies that work remotely. If they have succeeded, what’s stopping you?

On the first day, organize a videoconference with people who make key decisions, lead teams, manage or have influence on the operations of the company as a whole. This can include:

  • Project leaders or managers
  • Business department leaders or managers
  • IT leaders
  • Organization development dept.
  • Internal Communications dept.
  • Management of the company

So, who should present the action plan? The presenter needs to be someone from the organization. A person who is most involved in these activities and feels the need for change and understands the importance of the project – a stakeholder. The success and speed of the entire operation depends on these first meetings to it is important to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Here are some tips to make the meeting a success:

  1. Introduce the goal of change and discuss the fears associated with the change. Exchange ideas and input to take the operation forward.
  2. Build a coalition of people who are supportive of change and work with those who have doubts. Through these conversations you will learn which support activities will be needed and who can be the ambassador of change.
  3. This is a day to discuss how to make change work, not whether it is necessary. The catalyst of change should be understood by the participants of the meeting beforehand and there should be no more discussion about it.
  4. At the end of the meeting, ask the participants to prepare a list of key initiatives/projects/tasks in which they are involved, and which should be implemented first.
  5. Set a date for the next video conference on the next day.

Day two. Where are we now?

Day two is for discussing tasks, projects or initiatives that are in progress and finding relationships between them to create a big picture of what is to be done.

Start off the second day by talking about the progress of your achievements and initiatives. Let everyone present their key tasks and tell you how important they are. At this point, look for and talk about the relationship between projects and tasks. This is not the time to present whose project is more important, but to show the situation as it is. Since it is not possible to meet up and discuss all this in person, encourage an open conversation about work and tasks what can block the execution and what resources are needed for its execution. At this stage, let everyone take notes on their own as they will prove to be valuable in the coming days.

The discussion should serve as a reminder that work will look very different from now on. From that moment on, the word “collaboration” takes on a new meaning. Collaboration is no longer about discussing work over coffee or meeting colleagues in person. It all about sharing knowledge in an open and transparent way and trusting each other – no matter what the medium of communication. As a remote team, collaboration, trust, transparency and responsibility are the only values that will bind you together and allow you to work in harmony to keep the business afloat.

Day three. Transferring your Work to the Digital Realm.

On day three you will be moving your projects to the digital realm and creating the digital equivalent of your team. By the end you will have a mapping of all the current initiatives / projects / tasks in the form of KanBo boards and cards structure.

In order to make your work more accessible to a remote team, it needs to be transferred to the digital realm. KanBo assists you in creating a digital twin on your physical work with its rich set of features and intuitive structure. Here are some KanBo structures that mirror real-world entities:

  1. Initiatives / Project Portfolio = Board Collection
  2. Initiative/portfolio project group = Board Group
  3. Project = Board
  4. Task = Cards
  5. Employees = KanBo Users

As you can see, KanBo creates a reflection of the real-world to make the transition much easier.

This shift to the digital world is necessary for your newly launched remote team. KanBo’s system will allow you to create an action plan that suits your business and allows your team to work harmoniously. Remote work will unlock your team’s full potential and turn it into a self-organizing team that does the necessary work without the need for continuous control or rigorous supervision.

Day four. Kickoff remote work.

On the fourth day you are ready to begin working remotely.

Now that your projects and initiatives have been mapped to the digital realm, you are all set to start work in a remote environment.

The shift to KanBo will allow you to view all your projects and related information in its latest form at all times. This creates a consistent picture for everyone in your team, to ensure that everyone is on the same page. The knowledge that is created is now placed in the right contexts, so it reaches the right people and there is no information overload. You can create teams by adding the right people to a given project you give them a place where they can freely collaborate and share their knowledge according to the context in a very natural way. Each project can be divided into stages according to your expectations, style of work or project methodology.

By arranging the KanBo Boards and placing information there, you ‘furnish’ your new working environment. Only now, instead of furniture, you place all the knowledge there and set it up accordingly. It is knowledge and coordination, not furniture, that you will need from now on to carry out your tasks.

Business Roadmap

Build a business roadmap with goals & milestones, and communicate your company’s or product’s vision. This template features timeline, Gantt chart and Kanban view and other useful functionality.

Fifth day. You’re working remotely!

Day 5 is for reaping the benefits of all the hard work you have done since the past few days. You are now working remotely!

From this day on, work feels different. Your office is the virtual world of KanBo. Instead of rooms you have boards, instead of furniture you have accumulated knowledge.

You conduct discussions in the context of tasks surrounded by relevant information without wasting time finding it or chasing people that might have it. You add documents to tasks/contexts and work on their digital versions so any changes you make are immediately visible to others. You find single instances or entire contexts of information using the KanBo Search function. Notifications come automatically and are visible in the notification center. You can keep track of key aspects that are relevant for you. Assign responsible people and co-workers, set deadlines and priorities and much more inside the KanBo board.

What about your personal work contexts? All the tasks that have been assigned to you appear in your MyBoard. MyBoard is an area that shows each employee’s personal work and allows them to manage it in their own way.

All this and much more can be achieved in one digital environment dedicated to remote work. Now everyone has the same picture of work and task completion – Available 24/7 from anywhere on any device.

Conclusion

The 5-day action plan is optimized to introduce remote work on a short notice. The combination of an agile change implementation method, a fully committed team and the robust remote work features of KanBo make it possible to shift to remote work in a short period of time.