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JIRA Resource Planning Tips How to Manage Work Overload with ActivityTimeline
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How to Manage Geographically Dispersed Teams?

How to Manage Geographically Dispersed Teams

The modern world is used to remote work and teams dispersed worldwide. There are many ways of remote management for companies of all sizes: small, medium-sized businesses, and huge corporations.

It is widespread, that people on the same team are in different corners of the world, so there is a strong need for proper management and synchronization.

In this article, we will discuss the challenges of managing geographically dispersed teams. Also, as an example, we will take the most popular software Jira and show how the right app can help with planning.

Challenges of Managing Geographically Dispersed Teams

Tsedal Neeley, senior associate dean of faculty and research at Harvard Business School, said that geographically dispersed teams, also known as remote or virtual teams, face many challenges including structure, process, language, identity, and technology. These challenges can impact team productivity, communication, and overall success. We also created a list of some common challenges of managing geographically dispersed teams:

  1. Time Zones Barriers: Team members may be spread across different time zones, making synchronous communication through team meetings difficult.
  2. Coordination and Collaboration: Coordinating tasks and projects across different locations can be challenging, especially for complex projects that require close collaboration.
  3. Accountability and Productivity: Monitoring and ensuring that team members are productive can be more challenging when they work remotely.
  4. Leadership Challenges: It can be difficult for project managers to provide effective leadership, see team dynamics, and support remote workers, especially when they don’t have direct visibility into their work.
  5. Team Building: Building a strong team culture and fostering a sense of belonging among geographically dispersed team members can be challenging.
  6. Work-Life Balance: Remote team members may struggle to establish clear boundaries between work and personal life, leading to burnout and decreased job satisfaction.
  7. Legal and Compliance Issues: Compliance with local labor laws and regulations, tax implications, and other legal considerations can be complex when managing a globally dispersed team.

To effectively manage geographically dispersed teams, organizations and leaders must invest in communication tools, and project management tools for planning and managing resources that establish clear processes and guidelines, promote a culture of trust and accountability, and provide training and support for remote work.

Remote Management in Jira 

Despite being a great instrument for different operations that arise during the working process, it’s not easy to manage a remote team in Jira.

It’s impossible to recognize the individual’s location which may lead to misunderstanding and inability to set the proper holiday schemes, confusion with the time zones, issues with synchronization, and problems with communication.

Managing Remote Teams with ActivityTimeline 

ActivityTimeline provides a possibility to manage dispersed teams efficiently.  

Managers often face the problem of finding the right resources to handle some tasks, and in the case of dispersed teams, this task is getting even more complicated, because people are not in the same office, and you cannot get acquainted with all of them personally. In such a situation, you must rely on the software to help you find the right resources.

ActivityTimeline allows finding the needed person or team quickly. If you have your Dynamic teams set up, you can easily find people with a needed skill or position. Just create a position, assign it to employees and after some configuration with Dynamic Teams, the app will automatically create the right team based on position.  

So, every time you need to find someone for the development work, just choose a Developer’s team and all of the developers will be automatically added to this team. In such a way, you will be able to see how each of them is loaded and has time to take more work.

It doesn’t matter whether employees are located in the same country or city, you can quickly find a needed person to complete some tasks.

The other way is to create teams, based on location – geographical ones.  It is very flexible to manage such teams with the help of ActivityTimeline as you will see all of the team members based in the same place. Users can also create dynamic teams for this objective but in combination with the “Skills” feature. Create a skill with the name of the specific country and assign it to individuals who live there. After that create dynamic teams based on such skills.

The same person can be in both general and geographical teams. After the aforementioned configuration, teams will be set up automatically. For example, Freya Müller is located in Germany and works as a QA Engineer. She is included in the QA team, based on position, but if you need to have members of the German team, just choose it and Freya will also be included in that team, as she has a skill label – Germany.

Reporting and Remote Teams 

With the help of the ActivityTimeline users can create various reports for teams of every type.

When you manage teams that work remotely, it’s hard to see whether people in a specified region are over or underloaded. One of our reports helps with this issue.

For example, if you know that there still is some space in the Indian office, but you see that all people are fully booked there, you can make a decision to hire additional people for this office.

You will also receive a better understanding and comparison of the workload of various offices and will be able to understand which office needs more or less work.

ActivityTimeline Summary Resource Workload Report for Teams

Holiday Management for Dispersed Teams

Holiday management is an integral part of our working life and we cannot omit the fact that we need to set up proper holiday schemes in order not to disrupt the workflow. Case with dispersed teams is very common, and it’s easy to visualize holidays for teams on the Timeline.

We can create custom holidays for teams based in different locations and assign those holidays to a specific team. After that, even if persons are in the same general team, for example, “International Team”, a timeline will reflect the right holidays for each of them.

Holiday Management for Dispersed Teams in ActivityTimeline

In order to discover how to set up holiday schemes with ActivityTimeline check out our previous article with useful tips and manage your teams even more effectively.

ActivityTimeline removes all borders and makes teams feel, that they’re just sitting in the office, despite being far away from each other.

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