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Benefits and deployment of a multi-site team

Benefits and deployment of a multi-site team

Posted by Benjamin Hermitte, on Wednesday 20 March 2024

If you want to extend the reach of your business and increase efficiency while maintaining quality and consistency, you need to deploy a multi-site team. Any fast-growing and fast-expanding business will find it difficult to manage everything from a single location. The best solution is to implement a multi-site approach. However, this requires the remote management of teams and the use of appropriate technological tools.

To help you in your approach, we suggest you learn more about multi-site teams. This will help you to assess the relevance of such a solution to your company’s specific problems.

What is a multi-site team?

A multi-site team is a team whose members are spread over several sites. This means that employees can be remote working, working in a regional office or branch office abroad.

The structure and objectives of multi-site teams depends on the situation of the company. However, managing these teams requires an adapted work organisation and management style. Members of a multi-site team may come from different regions, cities or even countries. It is therefore essential to maintain the coherence of the teams and to unite their energies around common projects.

This approach relies heavily on remote collaborative working tools and fluid communication. It is thus possible to effectively lead such a team as long as an action plan is in place, each employee understands what he or she is responsible for, and management has taken the time to define the objectives.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this approach?

Multi-site project management has benefits and drawbacks. To fully benefit from this approach and achieve ambitious goals, it is necessary to understand them first.

Advantages

A multi-site team has significant advantages, particularly in terms of promoting collective intelligence and getting talented people to work together:

  • Access to the best talent: Managing multi-site teams is ideal for unearthing talent wherever it is found, even on the other side of the world.
  • More flexibility: By working across multiple geographies, teams gain agility and adapt more easily to market expectations.
  • Better time coverage: If you opt for multi-location, you will be able to offer 24/7 customer service.
  • Diversity and innovation: Innovation is encouraged by the varied skills of the multi-site teams and this contributes to the achievement of objectives.
  • Spreading the risk: In this way you can also spread the geopolitical, economic or natural risks that could slow down your activities.

Disadvantages

Although there are numerous advantages to implementing a multi-site strategy, it is critical to consider the drawbacks of managing such a team.

  • Communication difficulties: Communication problems may arise when leading a team due to language or cultural barriers.
  • Coordination problems: Coordinating teams, tasks and projects across multiple time zones can be tricky.
  • Isolation of staff: Lack of proximity to teams can lead to some members feeling isolated and commitment can suffer.
  • Complex management: Each site may have its own problems and priorities. This makes it difficult to manage teams, as supervision lacks visibility.
  • Technology costs: To support communication and information exchange, it is necessary to invest in an appropriate technology infrastructure, which is expensive.

How to deploy a multi-site team effectively?

Managing a multi-site team is complex, as we have just seen. However, any company that succeeds in meeting this challenge can benefit from valuable assets. Let’s look at the 8 steps to successfully deploying such a strategy.

1. Set clear objectives.

To begin, set goals for each of the sites involved, as well as for the entire multi-site team. This is critical for team motivation and cohesion. As a result, ensure that each team member understands their role and responsibilities.

2. Select the right people.

Not every employee is eligible to join a multi-site team. The ability to be autonomous and communicate effectively is the primary skill of such teams. Candidates must be adaptable and especially open to change.

3. Deploying collaboration tools

Communication is one of the pillars of these teams. It is therefore critical to have the appropriate technological tools. Platforms for video conferencing, messaging software, and project management systems must be implemented.

4. Encourage smooth communication.

You can use a collaborative platform to ensure that all members communicate on a regular basis. This type of tool is ideal because it combines all of the features you require while also encouraging team members to participate.

5. Manage differences.

Misunderstandings, poor communication, and even tensions can result from the geographical distribution of the members. These result from linguistic or cultural differences. To meet this challenge, either increase awareness of these problems or offer intercultural communication training.

6. Support management

Sometimes more stress is put upon multi-site team managers. Therefore, it is advisable to show them compassion, offer support, and walk alongside them as they complete specific training. Intercultural competence, conflict resolution, or managing remote work are some examples of this.

7. Establish processes.

To manage your work effectively, it is essential to establish clear and transparent processes for everyone. In this way you can better manage projects and potential conflicts.

8. Continually adjust.

Of course, these are only the first steps toward your multi-site team’s success. We recommend that you implement performance monitoring through the use of appropriate performance indicators. If you notice any tensions or problems, you must readjust and reassess your strategy and processes.

In summary, multi-site teams foster growth, innovation, and responsiveness. However, there are also significant challenges such as employee engagement and conflict management. To overcome these challenges, it is strongly recommended to invest in a technology infrastructure and training that is adapted to these issues.

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