We’ve discussed in our previous posts about why delegating is important and how setting up processes can help make this task easier. Now it’s time to look at how you’re going to handle your virtual assistant with project management tools and set yourself up for success with patience and clear communication.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT TOOLS
There are many project management tools you can use that will help you not only define and break down your projects and tasks but will help you track the project through to completion. Using a project management tool is a great way to start delegating tasks to your team and gives you the ability to track progress as you go. You can send messages to the group or individuals you’re working with and follow the timeline that you set. Some popular options are:
Asana: A collaboration software that helps your team get work done. Along with being easy to use it can connect with other applications you already own and have access to reporting features. There are free and paid options and it’s mobile-friendly.
Basecamp: Basecamp is a popular project management system with a variety of tools (like to do lists, calendars, file storage, message boards, etc.). There are free and paid options.
Wrike: Wrike offers simple, intuitive project management. It’s easy to create projects and assign them to others.
Zoho Projects: This is project management tool that offers a lot of the standard project management features. If you’re using Zoho as your database, this is a great little add-on to consider. It offers a project stream and group chat feature. There are free and paid options and it’s mobile friendly.
If you haven’t used one before, do some research first to see what is going to work best for you and your virtual assistant. It may take a little time to get up and running, but being able to track progress is important when working virtually.
Patience, Clarity & Communication
Once you have your tools in place, the true key to a successful relationship with your virtual assistant is to be clear…on everything. This means giving clear instructions, having clear expectations, and communicating that effectively. Your new VA is not going to swoop in, know your every thought and be able to take half your workload off your plate on the first day. Take time in the beginning stages of your relationship to answer some questions with your virtual assistant:
- What are your expectations for your VA? What are you hoping to accomplish?
- What does your timeline look like? Are you willing to put in more time, in the beginning, to set yourself up for success?
- What tasks are you going to delegate to your VA to get started?
- What form of communication will the two of you use on a regular basis?
- How often will you check in with each other: daily, weekly?
Having patience as you get started with your virtual assistant is critical. It’s important to take the time to decide what you’d like them to do and how you’d like them to do it. It’s also important that you or someone on your team has the time to train your virtual assistant.
If it seems like you’re off to a rough start…give it time. Aside from clashing personalities, workflows can be changed, duties reassigned and misunderstandings rectified. Taking time, having patience and clear communication will help set you up for delegating success!