Virtual teams - get the best out of them


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Virtual teams - get the best out of them

  1. 1. Virtual TeamsGet the best out of them (c) All rights reserved
  2. 2. What is a virtual team?● Separated by ○ Space ○ Time ○ Cultural boundaries● Interaction primarily by means of electronic media● Face to face meetings seldom or never take place● A virtual team ○ Has a common goal ○ Is limited in size ○ Shares responsibility for the task ○ Individuals are measured by results not the effort (c) All rights reserved
  3. 3. Why virtual teams?● Business conditions make it necessary● Technology makes it possible. (c) All rights reserved
  4. 4. The Golden Rule Never write if you can speak Never speak if you can nod Never nod if you can wink ~ Martin LomasneyIt works for politicians not in projectsIf it’s not written down, it doesn’t exist (c) All rights reserved
  5. 5. Means of communication● Conference call ○ Know how the mute works● eMail ○ If you send 1 email with several unrelated questions, typically one gets answered. If items are unrelated, send separate mails. ○ If your email is more than a page long, maybe you need to put that info to a document – word, excel or PowerPoint and summarize in the email● Instant messaging ○ Somewhere between an email and a telephone ○ When an instant message dialogue reaches 5 minutes, its probably time to pick up the telephone● 1 – on – 1 phone call ○ Don’t use a speaker phone. Though convenient, other side experiences lot of noise. ○ If more people must participate, join a bridge ○ If person does not answer, leave a voice mail or instant message on communicator. If its after working hours, send an sms.● Collaboration tool – Remote desktop, Webex ○ Learn how to use them. They are really powerful software (c) All rights reserved
  6. 6. No water cooler The biggest problem with the virtual environment is that there is no water cooler (c) All rights reserved
  7. 7. Effective virtual team meetings● The basics of great meetings still apply ○ Have an agenda and publish it to all BEFORE the meeting ○ Make sure the “other” side understood what you said – ask them to summarize to confirm the understanding ○ Issue a MOM about decisions and action items – even if its just a mail● Replace visual cues ○ Others cant see you nodding in agreement or shaking your head in disagreement. Verbalize what you want to say ○ If you need to have a side conversation with someone locally, state it.● Share the bad times ○ Many virtual meetings cross time zones ○ If possible share the time zones ○ If not, make sure the other person understand why its not possible (c) All rights reserved
  8. 8. Effective virtual team meetings...● Use screen sharing to share notes ○ Provide a common visual reference point – share your desktop ○ Helps everyone see what is being said..and also remember more effectively. ○ Facilitates further discussion ○ Avoid issues of mis-hearing● Don’t use virtual meetings for things they are not designed to handle ○ Multi hour virtual meetings are hard – split them ○ Issues that are contentious or have major impact on people e. g. asking someone to come on weekend. ○ In such cases, talk with the local manager or GL and he may be in better position to communicate such things (c) All rights reserved
  9. 9. Leadership“motivation and evaluation is more difficult in a virtual team” ● Virtual team managers focus solely on the output but need to act as coach as well ● Manager needs to be sensitive to other signals because behavior of team member is less visible “ It’s difficult to interpret delays, unreturned calls, hesitancies. Mole hills become mountains, oversights look like insults” (O’Hara-Deveraux & Johansen) (c) All rights reserved
  10. 10. Thank YouRead the blog post for the articleVisit for more articles which might interest youwww.managingtheproject.comStay connected (c) All rights reserved