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Digitally Dispersed Workforce Creates Many Challenges


Organizations are facing increasing challenges in handling productivity and collaboration as the world of work becomes more digital.

A survey of 650 knowledge workers by Planview found that teams lose as many as 20 hours per month because of tools that are not integrated or centralized across the organization.

  1. Key findings reveal these challenges facing most teams and projects:Everyone is a project manager. Two out of three respondents reported managing projects without any official project management title, certification or training. These accidental project managers often don’t adhere to project management standards, and thus contribute to the proliferation of fragmented, siloed point tools.
  2. Teams are more varied and virtual. 80% of respondents collaborate across functions, which is a 40% increase from the 2015 version of the survey, while 59% are geographically dispersed; a 30% increase from the 2015 survey.
  3. The project management office (PMO) has a stake in the game, governing 72% of projects across an organization. This top-down focus on standard project management processes means more projects map back to strategic objectives and an organization's bottom line, adding complexity and accountability to projects.
  4. Too many disparate tools are hurting team productivity. Teams use an average of six different tools for collaboration, with email, audio conferencing, web conferencing and spreadsheets at the top of the list. In addition, 25% of survey respondents use different tools.
  5. Productivity is down, as teams are losing more time. Teams now spend more than 20 hours per month trying to overcome collaboration challenges. Collaboration challenges waste more than time: 54% cited missing deadlines, 35% a reduction in quality, and 26% budget overrun.

“The modern team is geographically dispersed and often virtual yet continues to heavily rely on spreadsheets and email alone. Teams can lose almost nine weeks each year to ineffective communication,” said Zach McDowell, Planview product manager. “As it becomes more complex to create today's connected products and services, teams must have access to integrated solutions that bring cross-organizational visibility to progress, bottlenecks, opportunities and outcomes.”

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