I am currently heading three different projects which are all composed of students from various universities and colleges around Toronto, ON and Waterloo, ON.
In each of these projects I am facing issues with communication with the team members, issues with meeting deadlines, and issues with healthy project collaboration.
The three projects I'm leading are:
- A redesign of a website for a university student-run synthetic biology organization.
- An advertising and recruiting campaign for the same organization.
- A project to get quality speakers for a business conference.
All of these teams consist of three to four students and no one lives close to each other. All meetings are generally done over Skype and our main forms of communication is email and Facebook messages.
Communication is hard because of distance and the lack of frequency of which we communicated (about three times a week). During the week where there's little communication, assumptions form about direction and responsibility and random delays occur as a result slowing the team. Deadlines, which I set, are hard to meet for each team for the previous reason and because each of us has full-time coop placements or school to deal with as well as any other commitments. Collaboration is very hard because of both of the previous and as a result of poor collaboration the quality of our product/service is declining.
I really just need help to make all of these projects work. I figure that since there are similar issues in each project and since I am the common factor I must be the problem. I'm willing to change whatever I need to to become a better project manager.