Many of us have used video conferencing as part of our work – usually in addition to face-to-face meetings with colleagues and business partners. In contrast to the past, what is needed now is real virtual collaboration; as it is currently the only way to manage day-to-day business or projects.
Although the necessary infrastructure (network, communication tools, camera) is often available and you are somehow able to organize yourselves via telephone and video conferencing – entire projects require more than just Skype or Zoom meetings.
As consultants for People Management and New Work we have been working and collaborating with our clients in virtual settings for a long time. Through both the international nature of our work and our increased environmental awareness, we have refocused our consulting approach and can fully virtualize projects.
Rather than directly transferring existing methods to online tools, we combine new and proven methods for better work in a virtual space.
Analyze existing working formats
Moderate and support virtual working formats
Select and setup of collaboration tools
Transfer to new methods and tools
Train and coach employees
In addition to individual projects, the aim is to make virtual work a normal part of daily business. This does not only apply to workshops and meetings, but all aspects of day-to-day work.
Agile project management on a collaboration platform
Intensive preparation and virtual moderation of workshop and breakout sessions
Conduct focus group workshops using digital tools (e.g. Remesh or Mentimeter)
Enable project participation through necessary training and material
Coach during technology setup
Virtualize workshops (partially), especially for international participants
Integrate feedback and interaction possibilities via tools such as Mentimeter
Optimize accessibility via remote procedures
Support change management to increase acceptance
If the cooperation between employees, leadership and decision-making, creative work and steering the core business function virtually, then companies are well equipped for the future. In that case, added value can be created with digitalization; this is not possible through the sporadic use of virtual technologies. Dissolving silos through the cooperation of experts in different locations, solving problems ad-hoc, analyzing and utilizing data – in many respects the new working world is better than before.
The first step is to think and act in a new way, to open up the possibilities of digital collaboration within and beyond company boundaries. This requires an approach that not only involves the application of new technologies. It must also include the culture and business model, thereby taking your employees along on this digital journey.
Translate and communicate the corporate strategy regarding digitalization
Derive future skills and competence requirements when using new technologies
Establish virtual working formats for project work, leadership, planning, etc.
Manage change to increase acceptance and commitment
Change culture to increase willingness to change, use of new working methods and technologies
Identify and select techniques and tools for virtual collaboration
Enable and coach employees
Digital fitness cannot be achieved overnight. The entire organization will need to adopt new ways of working and begin using modern tools. The key to this lies in people management. We can help find and implement the right measures for you and your organization.
We are continuously gaining experience and optimizing our tools. To give your virtual work endeavors a kick-start, we are giving you insight into our toolbox. Some documents you may find useful are available for download here.
Currently, you can find Quick Cards for direct project use, they contain comprehensive checklists, which steps to consider during the preparation, execution and follow-up stages of virtual sessions.
Additionally, insights into our toolbox will give you access to examples of concrete workshops/interventions. Included in our Virtual Collaboration Guide are full project planning, project kick-off workshop, roadmap workshop, SWOT analysis, and an experience journey map. The toolbox contains instructions on how to use the most important tools. Our excerpt contains notes on project planning and virtual collaboration with MS Teams and Miro.