-2

I'm trying to manage multiple projects with teams in 3-4 different time zones and it's doing my head in. I'm pretty sure we have looked at literally every online scheduling tool and there doesn't seem to be one that does the trick so I'm just wondering if we've missed something obvious or if perhaps we're going about this all wrong.

A perfect solution would be something so simple - A calendar or list where you can input milestones under a master time zone, but then there would be some sort of view toggle that would allow you to view and edit in other time zones to ensure that we aren't scheduling things out of hours or on public holidays etc.

There are a million online Gantt solutions out there that look great on the surface, but most fall short becuase they only accept milestones for a specific date, rather than a time on that date. On the flip side, even something really robust like Asana or MS Project for example, only allow for a single time zone that is set automatically.

We considered using a local solution, i.e, giving each project it's own Google Calendar and then using a local calendar app like Busycal which allows for easy toggling, but it's a very ham-fisted solution and not really a PM tool as such and hard to share to third parties like our clients.

Are we chasing a unicorn here, or missing something totally obvious or niche? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

5
  • 1
    Why are you trying to schedule things to the hour? If "End of business day in timezone X on August 2nd" means the milestone will be considered to be too late, put it a day earlier. A milestone is not like a meeting that things must happen then, but it is more like a deadline that things must happen before that point in time. Jul 21 '20 at 11:48
  • 1
    Questions about tools are off-topic at pm.se. More details in on-topic.
    – Tiago Cardoso
    Sep 10 '20 at 21:36
  • @TiagoCardoso If it's off-topic, why wasn't it closed?
    – Mast
    Oct 29 '20 at 9:54
  • @Mast - I really don't remind why. Usually I wait for the community to cast some close votes to give opportunity to salvage some good questions lost inside an off-topic question. This case seems impossible.
    – Tiago Cardoso
    Oct 30 '20 at 0:14
  • @TiagoCardoso Thank you for clarifying!
    – Mast
    Oct 30 '20 at 8:14
1

While it seems we could create something in Microsoft for this (not MS Projects, but PowerApps), Ashok may have the right answer here. Unless you are trying to schedule something (a project) to be done by end of that time zone's day, for example, or schedule them a meeting at a certain time, requiring them to finish editing the Chapter1 of a book at 12pm and then finish editing Chapter2 at 2pm, it seems like a lot of management on your end.

Most of the day would be checking with progress and figuring out what to do now that they missed the deadline. You wouldn't have time to actually be there and support each team. You would need assistant managers in each time zone if this level of detail was absolutely required.

Disclaimer: We are a Microsoft Partner. We help businesses start and maintain their company as business consultants providing business and website services; and this is only our advice.

0

Trying to hand-off piecemeal tasks across time zones is not a good idea

Welcome to pm.stackexchange!

What you have is not a tool limitation!

If you have multiple teams in multiple time zones, try to keep whole projects at each location with fully self-contained teams (it is possible some of the team members may be remote). This is important because teams should understand the business goals in the project charter and be able to make the adjustments and trade-offs necessary to accomplish the business goals.

You can manage dependencies and hand-offs across project teams, but it is not practical to do it more granular than, say, a week. If Team-1 promises something this week, Team-2 can plan to use it from next week. Even this has to be followed-up very closely by you.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.