Virtual Team Best Practices


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I worked on a team project which is to "apply skills necessary for effective high performance team leadership and participation." This was an assignment from Management Theories and Principles II. The project consisted of completing a PowerPoint presentation based of the "Dilemma of Teams" and the solutions we offer to the GM 500 students who are just beginning their Master's Program. Our goal is to focus on an orientation presentation for incoming GM 500 students. The PowerPoint must be 12 slides ore more not including title and reference pages.

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  • Hello, today we will share with you some tools that will help you to avoid conflict within your group assignment that you will participate in Unit 4.
    The purpose of this presentation is to prepare you on how to handle conflict that may arise within a virtual team. After this presentation you will have an better understanding on key qualities that are needed in order to succeed within a virtual team environment, what causes team dysfunction, and how to overcome team conflict. It is important to listen to the information within this presentation because it will help equip you with the tools and traits to succeed as a team player within your school project. These tips will also benefit you throughout your career and will help shape you into a more effective manager.

    In this presentation we will be reviewing some team dilemmas that you may experience and also share with you some effective team qualities that will help you succeed within your virtual group assignment. We will help prepare you with what you can anticipate and provide you with different solutions that will help you to overcome these issues. We will also supply you with reasons on why adapting these practices will benefit you to a successful outcome. We will end with a review of key topics to help guide you to a wonderful virtual team experience.

  • Within any group assignment, a team can experience issues such as trust and conflict. Trust can emerge from your personal relationships or your past experiences with team projects. Conflicts within your team may arise, which typically do within a team environment and usually it begins with a breakdown in communication. A team leader can encourage commitment by asking questions to get participation from each member and listen at their ideas. Another great way to encourage commitment and also to help hold team members accountable is by having an After Action Review (AAR) for each team member. This will help team members understand their roles within the group, keep them on track, and also help them understand the end goal for the team. This will help you to follow-up with each of your team members and to also answer any questions that they may have. When members put their personal goals ahead of the team, this also usually causes issues within the team (Daft, 2014). An AAR will also help keep team members focused on the end result. Team cohesiveness is another key trait that will help your team members to stay focused on the teams end results. These dilemmas can effect your teams’ cohesiveness, productivity, and can delay your team to attaining their goals. All of these dilemmas can exist because of the different personalities that each team member possesses, but there are qualities and solutions that will help to create an effective team.
  • Building trust is essential in all groups that you participate in. Some would inform you that in a small team building trust would be more difficult but this is not the case. Trust depends on reliability for virtual teams. One reason is that virtual teams generally have time constraints that requires establishing trust earlier within their project which is necessary for success. It is suggested that time is provided for each member to interact socially, whether that be in a formal or laid back situation (Carroll, 2007). This interaction will help your team members to get to know each other and to start to form bonds that will help you lay down a starting foundation for trust.

  • Conflict may arise within your team assignment. Healthy conflict is good for a team project, but unhealthy conflict will delay meetings and also will impact your teams’ final product.

    There are steps that can be used to avoid conflict within an organization that can be applied to your team project. First, the manager or team leader must be able to answer a few questions including:
    What do I have to do?
    How do I do it?
    How will I interact with others to do it?
    Why should I do it? What’ s in it for me? (Kahai, 2008).

    There are ways to address conflict before it starts and it involves a social time for your team members. You can also make a plan that allow others to contribute their ideas to the group which will help them to take more ownership over the responsibilities. It is nearly impossible to know every thing about your team but completing an Action Review Plan (AAR) can assist in making a proactive approach rather than reactive.

  • Your team members may be uncertain that the other members might not have all of the necessary skills needed to complete the task. Because of this issue, a leader must make it clear as to what skills and resources are needed (Virtual teams and challenges) and then follow thru and deliver this to the team. This quality can also benefit you within your career, for example t is a good idea to provide all members with a resume of other members or a LinkedIn profile that can afford the same information as a written on. In fact, a LinkedIn profile is a better representation of the facts about a person on your team.
  • An After Action Review (AAR) is an effective tool for improving team processes. This is a process that shows your team members what they should work on during and after the review. It will show them their progress, the time schedule left, and where they have gone wrong. This makes it easier to address problems as they arise or even prevent problems altogether. This process will help hold team members accountable for their responsibilities within the team project.

  • Teams can have a hard time coordinating around each other’s schedule. This is especially true of virtual teams. Lack of communication and not taking ownership of your tasks and responsibilities are issues commonly addressed in an AAR. When your team members know that an AAR is being done during and after the project, a more results-oriented process is created. Your team becomes closer and attempts to “beat that challenge”. It motivates every member of a team to producing a results-oriented environment that is conducive to better team work, increased productivity and innovation, and increases morale and enthusiasm throughout the company (Sasso, 2008).

  • Some issues that you can anticipate within your group experience are communication, trust issues, and interdependence. Steps have to be taken to eliminate these dilemmas when developing the team. Establishing an open line of communication is very important when your first enter a team project. A good first step would be to establish which method is the best way for your team to communicate, for example you can chose to communicate through the discussion board and also through email. This way each person is contacted twice. A great way for your team to eliminate trust issues is for them to get acquainted with each other by storming. Storming is a great method to use so that everyone is allowed to get to know each other and their personalities. Interdependence is a great practice for your team and since your are going to be working as a team you can anticipate that it will happen. Sharing goals will help your team to communicate with one another and also help your team to hold each other accountable during your assignment.
  • There are many ways to help resolve conflicts that may arise within your group. Some reasons are that there is a lack of follow thru which is due to the fact that many members do not know what is expected of them or what the actual goal of the virtual team is. The team member that is leading the team needs to clearly define the roles of each team member so each of you know what you are responsible for. This creates clarification and helps you to know what is happening within your team. When you know what is expected of you and what is needing to accomplish, the overall team project seems much less daunting and you are able to focus on the task presented to you. So a great tip would be to have the leader state the expectations of the team. Clearly defined or list the team objectives to also ensures that the team knows what is going on. Many times, due to lack of cohesiveness and leadership, virtual teams fail because of no one knows what is needed and there is no one monitoring progress and encouraging everyone to continue doing their best. Having someone in the team taking on the socioemotional role can make a huge difference in helping the team stay motivated and committed to the project (Daft, 2014). Having in place a clear and understandable list of objectives and what each member is responsible for accomplishing will help contain any dilemmas that may arise.
  • Just like any healthy team relationship, there needs to be a free exchange of ideas and bilateral communication. For your team to operate at an optimal level and achieve its goals, everyone needs to be able to communicate regularly. The project is a team function. In order for one portion to succeed, the other contributors need to know what is going on and what the direction the assignment is going towards. Many times, the goals and objectives change since the implementation of the project. If so, this needs to be communicated to the team (DeRosa, 2010). As part of the SMART process, the ‘A’ portion is aligned. In order to have the goals and objectives aligned, this means that they need to be communicated (DeRosa, 2010). From day one, there needs to be a process in place so that a tone is set and everyone knows where they stand and how this project is going to be communicated and managed. Many prefer to work alone, and this is normal. A lot of people like to tackle projects solo and answer only to themselves. For a team project, we want to make sure we do not isolate ourselves. Make every effort to be accommodating and forthright when communicating ideas. Some studies suggest that the amount that team members contribute in terms of communication is directly related to the quality of the team itself. “Networks often provide critical resources and social support to the team members” (Saonee, 2011). Good strong leadership, and a commitment to communicating with each other can help the team work together and communicate consistently.
  • Adapting these tools can help guide you into a having a successful team experience. It is important to learn how to work in a team environment because employers are not only looking for individual contributor to hire, but they are also looking for employees that can work within an team setting to ensure the goal of the company is not only met, but exceeded. To help succeed within your career as a manager, you must know how to handle conflict amongst your peers and your team. By adopting these effective team qualities, your team will be taking a proactive approach to allow you to obtain an optimal level and help you guys to achieve your goals. Learning from our past experiences of the dilemmas that we faced can help your team to have an enjoyable experience and you will be able to apply these qualities to your career.
  • These team projects are being given to use for a reason. They are to prepare us for the future. Here is a review of some key tips that will help you to start your team assignment off right. Establish what type of communication methods your team will be using. Clearly define each of your team member roles. Use the After Action Review to help your team stay committed to the assignment and also to help hold each other accountable. Finally remember that healthy conflict is good, but to make sure everyone remains respectful and open to all team members ideas. These tips will help your team to produce a great end result that is of high quality.

    As the global economy becomes more and more level, and new countries are becoming more competitive, we will be finding ourselves working in these capacities regularly. No longer are the days of the traditional board room meetings, and the work room designated for everyone on a team to get together in a room to hash out ideas. We are now working with people all over the country, and the world. Virtual teams are becoming the new standard. We would do well to make the most of these exercises so that we can get as much experience now as possible. This can only help us. Taking these tools and being able to apply them in our careers will separate us from the rest and show we are capable. This online master’s program is designed to help prepare us for advancement. Working in virtual teams is a critical component to securing that advancement.
  • Virtual Team Best Practices

    1. 1. Team Dilemmas Effective Team Qualities What to Anticipate Solutions How will this help you? Overview
    2. 2. Lack of Trust Fear of Conflict Lack of Commitment Avoidance of Accountability Inattention of Results
    3. 3. Trust Building Trust Trust Depends on Reliability Uncertainty is a Common Barrier
    4. 4. Healthy Conflict Remove Uncertainty Create Ownership Conduct an Action After Review (AAR)
    5. 5. Commitment Check for Existence › Significant Resources › Relevant Support Teams encounter changes quickly
    6. 6. Accountability After Action Review(AAR) › Helps Assess Team Progress › Improve Project Process › Prevent Issues
    7. 7. Results Orientation Ownership of Task AAR Performed › Motivates › Increase Productivity › Increase Morale
    8. 8. Communication Email & Meetings Trust Issues Get Acquainted Interdependence Share goals
    9. 9. Clearly Define Roles State Expectations List Objectives Establish Goals Together
    10. 10. Communicate Regularly Healthy Relationship Free Exchange of Ideas Bilateral Communication SMART Process
    11. 11. Successful Project Proactive Approach Learn from someone else's experience
    12. 12. Communication Method Establish Roles After Action Review (AAR)
    13. 13. After action review. (n.d.). Retrieved from Leading Virtually: al- team-tools-after-action-review/ Carroll, B. (2007, December 5). Building trust in virtual fields. Retrieved from Leading Virtually Web site:
    14. 14. Daft, R.L. (2014). Management 11th ed. South-Western, Cengage Learning. DeRosa, D. M., Lepsinger, R. (2010). Virtual Team Launch Kit. In Virtual team success: A practical guide for working and leading from a distance. San Francisco, CA, Jossey-Bass.
    15. 15. Kahai, S. (2008, August 26). How do I begin to improve the functioning of my virtual team? Retrieved from Leading Virtually Web site: do- i-begin-to-improve-the-functioning- of-my- virtual-team/
    16. 16. Saonee, S., Manju, A., Suprateek, S., & Kirkeby, S. (2011). The Role of Communication and Trust in Global Virtual Teams: A Social Network Perspective. Journal Of Management Information Systems, 28(1), 273-309
    17. 17. Sasso, A. (2008, January 31). Overcoming virtual team challenges: After Action Review. Retrieved from Leading Virtually Web site: ming-virtual-team-challenges-after- action- review/ Virtual teams challenges and solutions. (n.d.). Retrieved from Leading Virtually Web site: i- begin-to-improve-the-functioning-of-my- virtual- team/