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Managing Virtual Project Teams

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This was a presentation I built and delivered for an annual Project Management Symposium in 2009. I borrowed heavily from a presentation I did in 2008 at the SAPPHIRE convention in Orlando, but I ...

This was a presentation I built and delivered for an annual Project Management Symposium in 2009. I borrowed heavily from a presentation I did in 2008 at the SAPPHIRE convention in Orlando, but I changed up the stories a bit and linked into some great content by Penelope Sue Greenberg, Ralph H. Greenberg, Yvonne Lederer Antonucci from the Kelly School of Business 2007 titled “Creating & Sustaining Trust in Virtual teams”.
its now on my blog at http://bloomportu.wordpress.com/

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  • Thanks Martin! Tuckman helped me pull it all together in a framework, but the result might have a been a little too academic for the business users. In hindsight, I would keep Tuckman, but pull out a bit of the theory.
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    Managing Virtual Project Teams Managing Virtual Project Teams Presentation Transcript

    • 1
      Managing Distributed (Virtual)Project Teams
      Shawn Grubb (PMP)
      September 2009
      Project Management Symposium
      PMSU
    • 2
      Objective
      Map stages of team development & Trust
      How to develop trust in VT during stages
      Share a few stories I picked up
      My Ask: help develop a skill…
    • Values: Character – Integrity & Courage, Family & Faith
      Passions: Learning – Leading – Coaching – Solving – Strategizing
      Strengths Finder: Strategic – Futuristic – Command – Competition – Self-Assurance
      Shawn Grubb
      1995
      1990
      Born!
      Raised!
      Graduate: SAP
      University Alliance
      Operations Mgmt.
      Mgmt Info Systems.
      ERP Systems Mgmt.
      Career #1: Radio Music & Media
      Youngest of 4:
      -F: Mechanic
      -M: Homemaker
      KALF
      KARZ
      K9FM
      KLRS
      SOLD!
      Founder & Owner: Top Notch Entertainment ( 6 employees, $100M NOS)
      KPPL
      2000
      2001
      2004
      Married
      Hasnaa!
      Career #2: SAP IT
      GBS CLFS – Move to OH
      Career #3: Pharma Product Supply
      Manage a Global Team of 12 SAP BEs
      Morocco SAP Implementation
      Core Logistics
      Italy Plants & DCs
      Core Logistics SAP:
      Dreieich Germany
      Band II
      Core Logistics
      SAP: Blois FR
      PM: Patheon CM
      Longjumeau France
      Core Financials SAP:
      NA Accounts Payable
      Project Manager
      Italy Platform II
      Core Logistics SAP:
      Bournemouth UK
      Move to France
      2005
      2007
      2009
      Band III
      SERPAT Company Benchmark!
      Manati Puerto Rico 9.3 of 10
      Recognition
      Shares!
      Recognition
      Shares!
      PM: Vita L&A
      Barcelona ES
      Guest Speaker:
      “Managing a G-BPX team”
      Career #4:
      Move to GBS BPM
      IT Portfolio Manager
      Flowed to Longjumeau FR to help decommission the site
      Expanded team of 12 to include Pharma & Personal Healthcare Portfolio, PMO and SERPAT COE.
    • Values: Character – Integrity & Courage, Family & Faith
      Passions: Learning – Leading – Coaching – Solving – Strategizing
      Strengths Finder: Strategic – Futuristic – Command – Competition – Self-Assurance
      Shawn Grubb
      1995
      1990
      Born!
      Raised!
      Graduate: SAP
      University Alliance
      Operations Mgmt.
      Mgmt Info Systems.
      ERP Systems Mgmt.
      Career #1: Radio Music & Media
      Youngest of 4:
      -F: Mechanic
      -M: Homemaker
      KALF
      KARZ
      K9FM
      KLRS
      SOLD!
      Founder & Owner: Top Notch Entertainment ( 6 employees, $100M NOS)
      KPPL
      2000
      2001
      2004
      Married
      Hasnaa!
      Career #2: SAP IT
      GBS CLFS – Move to OH
      Career #3: Pharma Product Supply
      Manage a Global Team of 12 SAP BEs
      Morocco SAP Implementation
      Core Logistics
      Italy Plants & DCs
      Core Logistics SAP:
      Dreieich Germany
      Band II
      Core Logistics
      SAP: Blois FR
      PM: Patheon CM
      Longjumeau France
      Core Financials SAP:
      NA Accounts Payable
      Project Manager
      Italy Platform II
      Core Logistics SAP:
      Bournemouth UK
      Move to France
      2005
      2007
      2009
      Band III
      SERPAT Company Benchmark!
      Manati Puerto Rico 9.3 of 10
      Recognition
      Shares!
      Recognition
      Shares!
      PM: Vita L&A
      Barcelona ES
      Guest Speaker:
      “Managing a G-BPX team”
      Career #4:
      Move to GBS BPM
      IT Portfolio Manager
      Flowed to Longjumeau FR to help decommission the site
      Expanded team of 12 to include Pharma & Personal Healthcare Portfolio, PMO and SERPAT COE.
    • Values: Character – Integrity & Courage, Family & Faith
      Passions: Learning – Leading – Coaching – Solving – Strategizing
      Strengths Finder: Strategic – Futuristic – Command – Competition – Self-Assurance
      Shawn Grubb
      1995
      1990
      Born!
      Raised!
      Graduate: SAP
      University Alliance
      Operations Mgmt.
      Mgmt Info Systems.
      ERP Systems Mgmt.
      Career #1: Radio Music & Media
      Youngest of 4:
      -F: Mechanic
      -M: Homemaker
      KALF
      KARZ
      K9FM
      KLRS
      SOLD!
      Founder & Owner: Top Notch Entertainment ( 6 employees, $100M NOS)
      KPPL
      2000
      2001
      2004
      Married
      Hasnaa!
      Career #2: SAP IT
      GBS CLFS – Move to OH
      Career #3: Pharma Product Supply
      Manage a Global Team of 12 SAP BEs
      Morocco SAP Implementation
      Core Logistics
      Italy Plants & DCs
      Core Logistics SAP:
      Dreieich Germany
      Band II
      Core Logistics
      SAP: Blois FR
      PM: Patheon CM
      Longjumeau France
      Core Financials SAP:
      NA Accounts Payable
      Project Manager
      Italy Platform II
      Core Logistics SAP:
      Bournemouth UK
      Move to France
      2005
      2007
      2009
      Band III
      SERPAT Company Benchmark!
      Manati Puerto Rico 9.3 of 10
      Recognition
      Shares!
      Recognition
      Shares!
      PM: Vita L&A
      Barcelona ES
      Guest Speaker:
      “Managing a G-BPX team”
      Career #4:
      Move to GBS BPM
      IT Portfolio Manager
      Flowed to Longjumeau FR to help decommission the site
      Expanded team of 12 to include Pharma & Personal Healthcare Portfolio, PMO and SERPAT COE.
    • Values: Character – Integrity & Courage, Family & Faith
      Passions: Learning – Leading – Coaching – Solving – Strategizing
      Strengths Finder: Strategic – Futuristic – Command – Competition – Self-Assurance
      Shawn Grubb
      1995
      1990
      Born!
      Raised!
      Graduate: SAP
      University Alliance
      Operations Mgmt.
      Mgmt Info Systems.
      ERP Systems Mgmt.
      Career #1: Radio Music & Media
      Youngest of 4:
      -F: Mechanic
      -M: Homemaker
      KALF
      KARZ
      K9FM
      KLRS
      SOLD!
      Founder & Owner: Top Notch Entertainment ( 6 employees, $100M NOS)
      KPPL
      2000
      2001
      2004
      Married
      Hasnaa!
      Career #2: SAP IT
      GBS CLFS – Move to OH
      Career #3: Pharma Product Supply
      Manage a Global Team of 12 SAP BEs
      Morocco SAP Implementation
      Core Logistics
      Italy Plants & DCs
      Core Logistics SAP:
      Dreieich Germany
      Band II
      Core Logistics
      SAP: Blois FR
      PM: Patheon CM
      Longjumeau France
      Core Financials SAP:
      NA Accounts Payable
      Project Manager
      Italy Platform II
      Core Logistics SAP:
      Bournemouth UK
      Move to France
      2005
      2007
      2009
      Band III
      SERPAT Company Benchmark!
      Manati Puerto Rico 9.3 of 10
      Recognition
      Shares!
      Recognition
      Shares!
      PM: Vita L&A
      Barcelona ES
      Guest Speaker:
      “Managing a G-BPX team”
      Career #4:
      Move to GBS BPM
      IT Portfolio Manager
      Flowed to Longjumeau FR to help decommission the site
      Expanded team of 12 to include Pharma & Personal Healthcare Portfolio, PMO and SERPAT COE.
    • 7
      Agenda
      Who am I and why should you listen
      Planning the Perfect Virtual Project
      The Tuckman Model of development
      Forming – Storming – Norming - Performing
      Characteristics of the stage
      What leaders should do in the stage
      What's trust got to do with it
      Practical steps to build trust in that stage
      Q&A
    • 8
      Stolen!
    • 9
      Planning
      Walk before you run
      Experience working on a virtual team?
      Select the Project Manager
      Be on a successful virtual project team
      Lead a successful project at home
      A poor PM in a Physical environment is going to be worse in a Virtual one
    • 10
      Planning
      Select the right members – The team
      Go deeper than the role and function
      Have they worked on a virtual project?
      “how can she possibly know what we do here?”
      Interpersonal skills
      Ambiguity and stress
      Arrange for needed Training:
      Sharepoint, IM, Livemeeting, Outlook scheduling
      English for Native English speakers
    • 11
      Stages of team: Tuckman Model
      Bruce Tuckman, Psychologist
      Naval Medical Research Institute
    • 12
      Stages: Forming
    • 13
      Stages: Forming(pretending to get along with others)
      Characteristics:
      Most uncertain and ambiguous time
      The forming of the team takes place
      Independent - motivated - uninformed
      Usually on their best behavior
      Seek to understand the work
    • 14
      Stages: Forming(pretending to get along with others)
      What to do:
      Need to be directive during this phase
      Set some ground rules early
      Rules lead to reduction in uncertainty
      increase trust (there is something tangible)
      Actions:
      Be explicit about your thoughts
      Start meetings on time
      Observe deadlines
      Lay out your expectations
      RM: how to work with me .doc
    • 15
      Tangent: Trust
      Trust: Factor for overcoming barriers
      Necessary for
      Effective communication
      Obtaining Goals
      Developing higher performing team
      Quickly resolving issues
      Need for trust in Global teams are magnified
      It’s easy to blame someone you may never see
      Mis-understandings are too common
      Communication has to be more deliberate
    • 16
      Tangent: Trust
      How does trust fit into the virtual team?
      Normally trust is high to start
      Hard to maintain in the virtual world
      Hard for people to “see” themselves as a team
      PM sitting in CA, but leading ES project
      Interactions often are purely business
      After call banter, hallway talk,
      Lack of rich communication:
      Verbal vs. verbal + physical communication
      Tone, volume pitch and rhythm?
      Lots of room for noise
      Lack of understanding = trust?
    • 17
      Stages: Forming(pretending to get along with others)
      How trust fits in: Swift Trust
      Two sources of trust
      Personal endorsements
      Someone I trust tells me I should trust you
      Something I heard about you tells me I should trust you
      Role based information
      I understand your position, I can make assumptions
      I understand your role, I think I know what you will do
    • 18
      Stages: Forming(pretending to get along with others)
      How to build Swift trust
      Personal endorsements
      Meet each member in advance – take notes
      Follow each introduction with an endorsement
      what have they done that was significant?
      Where have they worked, how long in the role, level of expertise
      In the absence of personal endorsements:
      Standard P&G intro: Name, location, function,
    • 19
      Stages: Forming(pretending to get along with others)
      Trust based on role based assumptions
      What are they here to do?
      What level are they, function?
      Stereotypes: country, voice, role in meeting
      Bonus: Virtual Teambuilding exercise
      At the second meeting, have each person introduce another person
      Builds trust, encourages connections, and starts to “gel” the team
    • VT: Predictability
      Add text here
      • VT: Sense of Order & Dependability
      • Why: Virtual teams need structure regularity
      • How: team meetings
      • Establish team meetings & keep them!
      • Never cancel a standing meetings
      • Rotating meeting owners avoid OOO
      • Why not: You will be bombarded with “are we having a meeting on today?” messages
    • 21
      Stages: Storming
    • 22
      Stages: Storming (Real u+ down to business + tempers)
      Characteristics
      Competition of ideas
      What is the work, what are the issues
      How do we work: tools, meetings, processes
      Open up & confront ideas and perspectives.
      Quick storm:
      strong expertise, tolerance for ambiguity, objectives
      Long Storm:
      Too many experts / opinions, no clear “A”, concensus
      Empirical research:
      more expertise / longer stage
    • 23
      Stages: Storming (Real u+ down to business + tempers)
      Watch out: Maturity needed here
      People uncomfortable with Ambiguity
      Tend to focus on minutiae to evade real issues
      How will xxx work!
      Easily divert discussions & challenge patience
      TvN:
      Details not all worked out; get ideas and push on
      Courage; take some personal risks “I will own”
    • 24
      Stages: Storming (Real u+ down to business + tempers)
      What leaders should do
      Contentious, unpleasant and painful
      Cultural conflicts, misinterpretations, damage
      Recognize how people respond to conflict
      Strong opinions, disengage, only one solution
      Tolerance of ideas and opinions is required
      Create a safe environment;
      Encourage exchange of ideas
      Reward new and different ideas
      Encourage all participants
      Reward & Encourage inter-team feedback
    • 25
      Stages: Storming (Real u+ down to business + tempers)
      Watch outs:
      Tolerance & patience or else
      Destructive, de-motivating, damaging
      PM needs to have an open door policy
      Recognize the need for a decision
      Bring to a close with concrete decisions
      Agree not to revisit decisions
      Use the issues list:
      Lower priority items still needs to be agreed
      What needs worked out
    • 26
      Stages: Storming (Real u+ down to business + tempers)
      How trust fits in: Cognitive assessments
      Competency; ability to deliver the project
      how do the members participate in the debates
      Do they bring new ideas / fresh perspectives
      Are they subject matter experts?
      Integrity:
      Do they work beyond their own view?
      Do they encourage others to give their view
      Are they transparent / cogent?
      Do they work to move forward?
    • 27
      Stages: Storming (Real u+ down to business + tempers)
      How to build trust
      Give opportunities to showcase strengths
      Encourage each other to recognize each other’s ideas
      Pull in the sideliner; doing that encourages everyone
      Watch for positive and negative communication patterns & provide feedback
    • 28
      Stages: Storming (Real u+ down to business + tempers)
      Storming is necessary but dangerous
      If done well:
      Team will therefore resolve their differences
      Be able to work with each other comfortably
      Will not feel they are being judged
      Will be comfortable sharing opinions and views
    • VT: Phone Conferences
      Add text here
      • VT: effective use of phone conference
      • Expect multi-taskers
      • Don’t surprise people
      • Wallace what do you think of that?
      • Signal a need for people to listen back in
      • “Javier, what do you think about blah blahblah”
      • Sam and Soufiane, you need to hear this one
      • Mui, this one might touch you
    • 30
      Stages: Norming
    • 31
      Stages: Norming (comfortable + trust + productivity)
      Characteristics:
      Team adjust behavior to each other
      Know each other better, views change
      Work habits seem more natural / fluid.
      Utilize rules, values, methods, tools, taboos
      Motivation increases
      Team gets more acquainted with the project
    • VT: English for English Speakers
      Add text here
      • VT: English for English speakers
      • Slang, sports, television,music
      • Broken phone
      • J.B. Document
    • 33
      Stages: Norming (comfortable + trust + productivity)
      What leaders should do
      Be the leader, but take a careful step back
      Watch outs:
      Threatened by responsibility, revert to storming
      Norming becomes too strong:
      Lose their creativity
      stifle healthy dissent
      exhibit groupthink
    • 34
      Stages: Norming (comfortable + trust + productivity)
      How trust fits in: Cognitive assessments
      Competency; ability to deliver the project
      Perspective of competence and reliability
      Expertise is accepted, Trust in decisions made
      Trust in the process, people start using the tools
      Integrity:
      Trust to “do the right thing” becomes stronger
      May not agree on the how, but the what is clear
    • 35
      Stages: Norming (comfortable + trust + productivity)
      How to build trust
      Model trust in peoples integrity
      I trust you will make the best decision
      Stefano, I am going to leave this one to you to work out
      Kim, you made a good decision, thanks
      Once decisions are made, TRUST THEM
      (you type “A” people you… )
    • 36
      Stages: Norming (comfortable + trust + productivity)
      How to build trust
      Continue to encourage social relationships
      Model: get to know people (according to culture)
      Think of your current core teams
      Do they have kids? How many do they have?
      People get to know one another personally
      Regional or national events (news clipper for country)
      I saw there was a big storm in your area, was it bad?
      Watch outs:
      Sensitive to political / religious situations
      Family situations “can I ask about….”
      Admit, you are learning…
      Emotional bonds start to build
    • 37
      Stages: Norming (comfortable + trust + productivity)
      Global Godfathers
    • 38
      Stages: Norming (comfortable + trust + productivity)
      Benevolence (affective trust)
      Personal experiences vs. cognitive trust.
      Confidence in a partner based on:
      Feelings generated by the level of care
      Amount of concern the partner demonstrates
      Reliance on a partner based on emotions
      It is characterized by:
      feelings of security
      perceived strength of the relationship.
      Venture beyond available knowledge?
    • VT: Extreme FB
      Add text here
      • VT: Seek Extreme Feedback
      • Need the pulse of the virtual team
      • Leadership trust by Extreme Feedback
      • “Leadership opinions are often very strong – If the own opinion or pov is incongruent it is hard / impossible to convince the leader”
    • 40
      Stages: Performing (team + goal + efficient + cooperative)
    • 41
      Stages: Performing (team + goal + efficient + cooperative)
      Characteristics: High performing teams
      Team
      Function as a seamless unit: smooth & effective
      No inappropriate conflict, little supervision
      Team members have become interdependent.
      Members:
      Motivated, knowledgeable, & able to decide
      Competent, autonomous, and confident
      Dissent: expected, allowed, and channeled
      Not all teams reach this stage
    • 42
      Stages: Performing (team + goal + efficient + cooperative)
      What leaders should do
      Celebrate success
      Virtually this is done via power of you awards
      Awards page complete with photos and awards
      Hand written letters delivered by post-mail
      Make progress transparent
      Publish the GANTT chart
      Publicly congratulate milestones
      Encourage others to congratulate (reward)
      Release members from local tasks
    • 43
      Stages: Performing (team + goal + efficient + cooperative)
      How trust fits in
      Integrity gives way to benevolence:
      Relationships are built, a sense of care develops
      We have a relationship, you will help me
      Go on holiday, I will finish for you over the weekend
      What if you don’t have benevolence?
      Transactional Relationships (that’s not my job)
      Examine your relationships with your team
      Provide a foundation for understanding
    • VT: Why do they do what they do?
      Add text here
      • VT: Understand why they do that?
      • Mediterranean example live with SAP
      • Don’t follow job aids, always late
      • S. Plate: why do they do what they do?
      • No process or the process does not work.
      • French example in Longjumeau
      • Taking forever to get to resolution
      • Descartes – the process, not the resolution
    • 45
      Summary: Trust on Virtual Teams
      Forming
      Swift Trust: Introduce people, virtual intro exercise
      Storming
      Ability: Showcase talent, encourage peer feedback,
      Norming
      Integrity: “I trust you”, model personal connections
      Performing
      Is “Benevolence” in your culture?
    • 46
      Objective
      Map stages of team development & Trust
      How to develop trust in VT during stages
      Share a few stories I picked up
      My Ask: help develop a skill…
    • 47
      Questions?
    • 48
      The End!
    • Sources:
      “Creating & sustaining trust in Virtual teams” Penelope Sue Greenberg, Ralph H. Greenberg, Yvonne LedererAntonucci. Kelly School of Business 2007
      “Communicating in Virtual Project Teams” Harvard Management Communication Letter, 2000
      “The Art of Managing Virtual Teams: Eight Lessons” Charles Wardell, Harvard Management Update, 1998
      “How will you make your team a team?” Paul Michelman, Harvard Business School Publishing 2004
      “Trust Makes A Team Go ‘Round” Judith A Ross, Business School Publishing, 2006
      “Long-Distance Relationship Troubles” Michael O’Brien, HRExecutive.com, 2009
      “Frontline Leadership” Lt. Colonel Diane Ryan, Harvard Business Review Voices, 2009
      “How the Right Measures Help Teams Excel” Christopher Meyer, Harvard Business Review, 1994
      “Managing Multicultural Teams” Jeanne Brett, Kristen Behfar, & Mary C. Kern, Harvard Business Review, 2006
      “Why Some Teams Succeed (and So Many Don’t)” Harvard Management Update, 2008
      49