If your day is spent assigning tasks to your virtual assistants and you’re finding you don’t get the time to get to the all-important task of driving the company forward, then it’s time to appoint a virtual project manager.

It’s not a healthy situation for your small business if you are micro managing tasks that someone else could be doing. This ties up time that could be better spent on the growth and future direction of your company.

The project manager should be very clear about what the outcome needs to be when it comes to virtual project management. The system needs to be outcome driven not task driven. The assistants need to be given tasks not merely to keep them busy, but to actually contribute to the overall outcome required by the business.

Increase the project manager’s sense of responsibility by allowing her to spend up to a certain amount, say $500, without your approval. You have trained her up so that you know the spending will be sensible, so you can allow her to make these purchases without your authorisation. This is another way your time can be freed up while at the same time giving her a greater sense of autonomy.

Keep the number of people working under a project manager to a relatively small number. Any more than seven people managed by one project manager are going to create problems. Time to give each one their one on one meetings and sufficient supervision will not be possible if there are more than seven people in the group.

It is a good idea to have the project managers in the office with you, each having their group of assistants underneath them. The project managers work with those assistants who are closest  to their area of expertise.

Observe your virtual assistants and find the ones who are on top of their work and have very good communication skills. Over time, these are the people you should be promoting to project management status. It is always preferable to choose your virtual project manager from within your existing team rather than bringing in someone from outside. They have a greater understanding of the work and have already built up a rapport with the other assistants after a number of team meetings and so on.

Take a semi hands off policy with your project managers, allowing them to organize their teams and assign tasks to the various assistants. However, there should be some quality control, and you can exert  this by holding daily meetings with your managers. A site priority sheet could be used to good effect where each assistant has a list of the tasks they are working on and you can keep abreast of their progress through these.

Knowing the when, what, how and why of hiring a virtual project manager for your small business can be a great start. Your virtual team will run more efficiently and you can concentrate on growing your business.

Knowing the advanced guidelines of hiring a virtual project manager for your small business is a great start, but remember that there is a lot more to find out about effective project management today. Click here if you want the best outsourcing tips and techniques from the expert.

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