Insights

PM TIPS FOR COVID-19 WFH

#NewNormal

The key to success in a crisis, like this COVID-19 pandemic, is preparation. According to an American Bar Association article published back in 2019, "cloud usage bumped up very slightly, from 52% to 54.6%, an increase of approximately 4%. The details of the results suggest that there continues to be misunderstanding and confusion about what cloud services are—something we've seen in prior years." For example, only 36.2% of respondents from firms of more than 500 lawyers answered ’yes’ about cloud usage." (Kennedy, 2019). We can confidently say that many organizations are not truly prepared to work from home. But since we are now faced with a new normal: working from home or WFH, these project management tools can help:

       1. Gantt Chart

A Gantt chart is a visual presentation of assignments and projects. These charts come in bar graph/calendar presentation for a clear view. Gantt charts let you delegate tasks to various team members and fit them into a timeframe for completion. They help businesses stay on target for deadlines, reassign duties accordingly, and stay on top of projects from task to task and week to week. You can share a Gantt chart with everyone in your firm, so everyone knows when we require to meet, when our next conference call will be, what our deadlines are, etc. Fortunately, there are many tools available to help. Check these out:

Monday
Smartsheet
Zoho Projects
Project Manager
HubSpot

2. The Kanban Board

The Kanban board visually depicts work at various levels of a process using cards to represent work items and columns to represent each stage of the process. Cards are moved from left to right to show progress and to help coordinate teams performing the work. A Kanban board may be divided into horizontal "swim lanes" representing different kinds of work or different teams executing the work.

Kanban is a straightforward way to keep track of what are we working on, what projects pending, and what projects have been executed. It is easy to do one at home. All you need is a large board (or wall), markers, and post-its.

You can also find many options online. Here is a list put together by Capterra (capterra.com):

      3. Video Conferencing

To stay connected, we need more than telephone calls. Video conferencing is, we believe, essential at this time. Here is a list of the most popular software used for conference calls from OWLLabs:

Zoom
Google Hangout
UberConference
TrueConf Online
Skype

Applying these tools will help us stay in touch with our clients and our co-workers. It will permit us to serve our firms' goals and standards better and keep working with a schedule, allowing us to be more productive.

One of the biggest problems of operating from home are the distractions to our routine. Not all of us can focus the same way as we do in the office, therefore it is crucial to create an environment that will help us to focus and be efficient. These tools can help. Right now, more than ever, we need to use all resources available and be creative and innovative in ways that will allow us to deliver the same level of service and value to our clients. Let’s use the tools available and ease our burden of working from home, without ever ignoring our clients’ privacy and our firm's responsibilities to protect their data.

Finally, every morning, make your bed!


Resources
2018 Cloud Computing, Dennis Kennedy, January 14, 2019.
https://www.americanbar.org/groups/law_practice/publications/techreport/
ABATECHREPORT2018/2018Cloud/

https://www.top10.com/project-management/gantt-comparison
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The 100 best free video conferencing tools to choose from, Katherine Boyarsky, March 2nd, 2020. https://www.owllabs.com/blog/video-conferencing-tools