How to manage cloud migration remotely

These days, everyone on the cloud migration team is dispersed all over the city or country. This presents some challenges, but I see more opportunities.

How to manage cloud migration remotely
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It’s Monday morning standup, and 22 faces spread across your screen on yet another Zoom call. The focus is on the day’s tasks, as well as looking at problems that need solving.  

Unique to this experience is that just seven months ago, all of these faces were present in the same conference room, before COVID-19 sent them home to work remotely. 

One of the more common question I get lately is how to manage a remote migration team and do so without allowing schedules to slip? It’s really not as hard as it sounds; indeed many aspects are easier. Let me offer some advice to those who are tasked with managing remote teams and those who are on remote teams.  

First, get your collaboration tools in place. No matter if it’s Slack, Teams, Yammer, or something else, there needs to be a mechanism for instantaneous communications and real-time collaboration on tasks. Text messages won’t do here. Communication tools should be integrated with migration tools, capable of launching migrated application testing from the collaboration tool and returning results directly to the team.  

Of course, you can go overboard with tools and use too many. Complexity leads to confusion, which leads to mistakes. You’ll need to find a balance. 

Second, take network security to the next level. One of the benefits of everyone sitting in the same building is that everyone is protected by the same security mechanisms: firewalls, local encryption, and even security management tools.  

Working remotely means the same security is spread across networks and firewalls out of your direct control. Managing a remote migration team requires a focus on security management and putting technology in place that can manage heterogenous networks(including a variety of home networks) as well as—or better than—when everyone was within the enterprise. 

Finally, it’s all about the objectives, not stalking. Gone are the days when leaders walked around looking over everyone’s shoulders, sometimes to watch the screen change suddenly.  

Those who try to continue such control over remote workers won’t find any positive outcomes from this leadership style. Indeed, turnover will likely increase, and more so when employees realize that they don’t have to carry the dreaded cardboard box out of the building, since they are not allowed in the building.  

Those leading migrations, remote or not, need to get over the whole control thing. Focus on expected productivity. Agree on what’s expected and how employees will be measured. Productivity will likely increase, considering that staffers don’t feel watched, and also are no longer spending hours commuting each week.

These aren’t exactly secrets, but I’m seeing these mistakes kill migration efforts. With a bit of forethought, you’ll find you can actually move faster.  

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