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Managing Virtual Teams -Quick Start Guide

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  • 1. WELCOME Managing Virtual Teams Work Anywhere Learning Resource Center Quick Start Series
  • 2. Managing Virtual Teams Quick Start Guide
    • Learning Objectives
      • This Quick Start Guide is intended to provide you with the key concepts and management fundamentals associated with Managing a virtual team,
    • After this course
      • Identify the 5 management fundamentals associated with leading virtual teams
      • Apply virtual team management fundamentals back in your everyday work environment
    Approximate time to complete this Quick Start Guide: 10 – 15 minutes
  • 3. What Is A Virtual Team?
    • A Virtual Team is a group of individuals who work across time, space, and organizational boundaries.
    • Virtual teams typically have complementary skills and are committed to a common purpose, have interdependent performance goals, and share an approach to work for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.
    • Successful virtual teams leverage advances in technology and organizational practices to enable employees to work seamlessly across an integrated network of places including: home, satellite offices, telework centers, customer / partner sites or any other workplace outside the main office.
    :: :: Managing Virtual Teams – Quick Start Revision A - 2008
  • 4. Enabling the Virtual Organization
    • Fact: There is no silver bullet to successfully manage virtual and dispersed teams. Instead, success is largely dependent on purposeful, disciplined implementation of many good practices, most of which are already part of skilled managers’ competencies.
    • Fact: The quality of the manager becomes increasingly important as the team becomes more virtual.
    :: :: Oct 2008
  • 5. Five Fundamentals
    • There are five Management Fundamentals that every manager should have in their toolbox to help bridge the distance when leading virtual teams
    • Proactive management
    • Respect and trust
    • Rigor and discipline
    • Ownership and accountability
    • Fun
    Oct 2008 :: ::
  • 6. Proactive Management
    • The difference between ‘just’ managing and ‘successfully’ managing is being proactive
    • Clearly establish team vision and goals
      • Align with company strategy and goals
      • Use face-to-face meetings to communicate new elements or key changes
    • Develop and nurture team relationships
      • Emphasize importance of team members getting to know one another
      • Expand relationships; include personal interests along with professional
      • Encourage input and dialogue; respect for one another
      • Establish team protocols and processes and manage diligently
    • Coach and mentor
      • Get to know your employees and treat them as individuals
      • Give unexpected rewards when employees have performed extraordinarily
      • Send handwritten notes thanking staff for their work
      • Find opportunities to understand what really matters to your employees
    Oct 2008 :: :: 1
  • 7. Developing Respect and Trust
    • Foster a culture of two-way communication. Communicate frequently and in different ways. Respect and trust erode when employees do not interact or talk with each other.
    • Optimize employees’ strengths and motivations
      • Get to know your employees
      • Leverage their strengths by assigning tasks that optimize their skills
      • Acknowledge accomplishment; verbally, figuratively and financially
    • Value the individual
      • Follow through with commitments. Honor the sanctity of the 1:1. This may be the only time your employee has to talk with you. Don’t take it lightly.
      • Practice authenticity. Read and comment on routine reports. Make your employees feel their work matters.
      • Write personal, handwritten notes to show interest and understanding
      • Go out of your way to visit with employees where practical. You need to stay sufficiently ‘in touch’ with your team.
    Oct 2008 :: :: 2
  • 8. Managing with Rigor and Discipline
    • Document team output
      • Establish routine for capturing output from team discussions
      • Formalize a team archive for easy storage and retrieval of information
    • Establish and enforce protocols and etiquette
      • Proactively negotiate team rules that are equitable to all and meet the majority of your team’s needs, not just the outspoken individuals
      • Document and communicate to all
      • Rigorously enforce all team rules
    • Manage meetings in efficient, disciplined manner
      • Establish fixed times for routine team meetings allowing members to adjust their schedules
      • Periodically or as appropriate, consider alternating call times to align when employees in other time zones are ‘fresh’
      • Keep conference calls interactive, never more than 60 minutes
      • Don’t be afraid to end early if finished; don’t waste your team’s time
      • Use technology (e.g., IM) to enhance effectiveness of meetings
      • Engage employees on calls asking questions in the middle of presentations
    :: :: 3
  • 9. Establishing Ownership and Accountability
    • Consistently assign action item ownership to specific individuals
      • Make assignments clear and avoid group ownership without individual accountability
    • Assure clear visibility of ownership and progress using team processes and collaboration tools
      • Use a ‘scrum’ process for meetings asking each member on a routine timeframe; what have you accomplished, what do you plan to accomplish and do you need any help?
      • Use collaboration tools like wikis to show individual progress on assignments
    • Understand and address root cause under-performance
      • Get to the bottom of an issue; understand the details before taking action
      • Take action early, not necessarily immediate termination
      • Consider the possibility of alternative assignments or roles as there may have been a miss-match of skills or abilities from a capable, motivated employee
    Oct 2008 :: :: 4
  • 10. Importance of Having Fun
    • Memorable events, even if low budget, cement relationships and make being part of the team fun and invigorating
      • Carefully plan events to balance work and fun activities
      • Include spouses or significant others, where appropriate
      • Encourage employees to extend their stay, if possible, to make the most effective use of travel and stimulate other interests
    • Encourage employees to interact outside of work in special organized activities such as:
      • Sports Days where employees jointly attend events
      • Cultural Days where employees share in artistic type activities
    • Cultivate a culture of fun and making jokes
    • Develop traditions like special event songs or virtual celebrations; don’t be afraid of being creative
    Oct 2008 :: :: 5
  • 11. Check Your Understanding
    • Check your understanding of the essentials managers need to employ to successfully manage remote and dispersed teams by matching fundamentals with the correct action listed in the adjacent box.
    Oct 2008 :: ::
    • Actions
    • Documenting team output, enforcing protocols and etiquette and managing meetings
    • Optimizing employee strengths and motivations and valuing the employee
    • Rigorously assigning ownership to specific individuals, providing clear visibility for ownership and progress and understanding root-cause under-performance
    • Conduct memorable events, encourage employee interaction outside work and establish traditions
    • Setting goals, nurturing team relationships, coaching and mentoring
    • Fundamentals
    • Proactive management
    • Developing respect and trust
    • Managing with rigor and discipline
    • Establishing ownership and accountability
    • Importance of having fun
  • 12. Quiz Results Oct 2008 :: ::
  • 13. Conclusion
    • Although challenging, remote, dispersed or virtual teams can be successfully managed
    • Virtual management is not accomplished by a single, comprehensive action
    • Instead, implementation of many good, however small or seemingly insignificant, management practices in a rigorous, disciplined manner is the key to success
    Oct 2008 :: ::
  • 14. Congratulations
    • You have successfully completed the Managing Virtual Teams – Quick Start.
    Oct 2008 :: ::
    • Available Quick Start Courses
    • Managing a Virtual Team
    • Performance Management for Remote Staff
    • Building Effective Teams
    • Effective Virtual Meetings
    • Managing Team Communications
    • Setting Expectations
    • Building & Managing Team Affiliation
    • Additional Telework Resources
    • Work Anywhere Program Site
    • Regional Work Anywhere Policies
    • Manager’s Forum
    Manager Quick Start