Effective Virtual Teams 2008 Keynote

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Effective Virtual Teams 2008 Keynote

  1. 1. Effective Virtual Teams 2008 David Kohrell, MA, MCRP, CISA® PMP® President, Technology As Promised, LLC elearning portal at www.tapuniversity.com email: david.kohrell@tapuniversity.com 402-429-9805 1
  2. 2. Workshop approach • Lot’s of dialogue • When you see the ‘group’ icon, it’s time to talk • We learn more collectively, rather then if the guy up front just keeps talking, talking and talking • But when the guy up front talks it will either be profound or funny. Usually not both. 2
  3. 3. Purpose • Understand concepts associated with virtual teams in project management • Understand tools used to support virtual teams • Learn about practical tips to improve your virtual teams 3
  4. 4. TAPUniversity's Virtual Team Data comes from • Academic and industry best practice articles • A survey of virtual tools and attitudes developed with St Louis University's John Cook School of Business (Cindy LaRouge, PhD) in 2005 – the sample sized is 132 • 219 participants in Effective Virtual Teams workshops since 2006 • Questions and Answers posted and researched at www.linkedin.com 4
  5. 5. 3 things that really bug us... about virtual teams • Email • Lack of, unclear, reversed, unannounced DECISIONS • Endless Conference Calls 5
  6. 6. Overview • Underlying Concepts Explored – Structure of Virtual Teams – Swift Trust & Establishing Rapport – Diverse Team Members – Virtual Team Conflict – Role Clarity and Reducing Ambiguity – Generations 6
  7. 7. Overview • Tools and Techniques – Email – Forums / Boards – Chat – Instant Messaging – Wiki’s/Blogs/Shared Glossaries – Project Team Web Sites / Portals – Video Conferencing – Teleconferencing / Telephony 7
  8. 8. Virtual Team Survey – Top 5 Past Experience Verbatim (n=132) MOST successful – Communication – Common Goal / Objectives – Trust – Preparation Leadership / Management (tie) – Clarify responsibilities & roles 8
  9. 9. Virtual Team Survey Others (n=132) MOST successful – Good team work – Motivated team – Common sense – Industry Experience – Attitude – Knowing each other • Learning about cross cultural gaps • Order • Same personalities • Same schedules • Provide feedback • Ability to use media / tools 9
  10. 10. Virtual Team Survey Past Experience Verbatim (n=132) LEAST successful – Unclear, misunderstood communication – No or lack of leader/management. – Lack of goals/ objectives – No trust – Attitude 10
  11. 11. Virtual Team Survey Others (n=132) LEAST successful – Unmotivated team members – Not being prepared – Chaos – No one on same page – Different priorities – Rewards for teamwork (lack) – Management pressure – Not learning about cross cultural gaps – Inaccurate data provided by team member 11
  12. 12. Structure of Virtual Teams The structure of virtual teams varies in proportion to: # of organizational Virtual Team Complexity units Rating 1, very low to 10, very Group high. x + = Interactions to master (i.e. 1 office to 1 office is = 1 outside and organizations in a tapestry of virtual teams, all your global supply members virtual, chain castles checking in = 10) It’s exponential 12
  13. 13. Structure of Virtual Teams What's your score? # of organizational units _____ Group Virtual Team Interactions Complexity x + = to master Rating 1, very ________ low to 10, very high. outside organizations in __________ your global supply chain ___ It’s exponential 13
  14. 14. Structure of Virtual Teams • What types of virtual teams are out there? – All team members virtual – Sub teams or groups collocated and communicating with other teams virtually • What types of teams are doing what? – Entire Projects, Pieces or Partial/Complete tasks • Team elements: – Size, cultural diversity, autonomy, leadership 14
  15. 15. Swift Trust & Establishing Rapport • How do I trust someone I haven’t met in person? • Examples – We trust air traffic controllers, pilots, TV and movie actors, fire fighters, and several professions without actually meeting them ‘in person’. We trust them to do their job. – Swift trust is the essence of building trust or allowing one to trust another when the interaction may never be ‘face to face’ • So what are some ways to build swift trust? 15
  16. 16. Swift Trust & Establishing Rapport • Ways to build swift trust – Frequency of communication – Integrity of communication – Certainty of communication – Predictability of communication • What can be added? 16
  17. 17. Diverse Team Members • Virtual Teams tend to be more diverse – Multiple locations implies it – Global ensures it • Leverage the strengths of people within and outside your organization regardless of geographic location. – No longer bound to the local silversmith or candlestick maker 17
  18. 18. Virtual Team Conflict • Virtual Teams introduce additional ingredients to team conflict – Time – Distance – Ownership – Communication – What’s other types of conflict have you seen happen in a virtual team? 18
  19. 19. Virtual Team Conflict • PRE-EMPT – Prepare – Risk Assessment – Evaluate Team Pulse – Environmental / Social IQ – Monitor – Prove – Triumph For more go to www.tapuniversity.com 19
  20. 20. Role Clarity and Reducing Ambiguity • Tends to focus on the skill of the leader and individuals – Comfort with technology and tools used • Individual personality and behaviours – Do I have an internal sense of control (locust of control) and sense that I influence and shape the team; not the other way around? 20
  21. 21. Generations and Virtual Teams • Baby Boomers (1945 to 1964) • Generation X (1965 to 1979) • Generation Next (Y & Millennial - 1980 to present) 21
  22. 22. Requirements and Project Basics • Managing virtual projects effectively involves and requires the same amount of specification and definition as ‘face to face’ projects – What is distinctive is how much information can be communicated through various virtual mediums. – For example, how would you specify and manage the creation of a ‘fish pond’ virtually? 22
  23. 23. Technology & Tools - Media Richness 23
  24. 24. Technology & Tools - Media Richness . Various technologies have various levels of media richness. Media richness means communication media have varying capacities for resolving ambiguity, negotiating varying interpretations, and facilitating understanding 24
  25. 25. Technology & Tools - Media Richness Media is said to be very rich when it provides (a) the availability of instant feedback;   (b) the capacity of the medium to transmit multiple cues such as body language, voice tone, and inflection; (c) the use of natural language; and  (d) the personal focus of the medium.   Face-to-face communication is the richest communication medium in the hierarchy followed by telephone, electronic mail, letter, note, memo, special report, and finally, flier and bulletin. Effective managers make rational choices matching a particular communication medium to a specific task or objective and to the degree of richness required by that task 25
  26. 26. Technology & Tools - List Individual/Group/Text • Email • Forums / Boards • Chat • Instant Messaging • Wiki’s /Blogs / Shared Glossaries 26
  27. 27. Technology & Tools - Layers Tools Participant Mode Time range Email Individual to Visual Synchronous to Instant Messaging Group Asynchronous Forums / Boards Wiki’s/Blogs/Shared Glossaries/ Forums Chat Project Team Web Group to Visual Asynchronous Sites / Portals Individual Teleconferencing / Group Auditory Synchronous Telephony / Video Conferencing Visual 27
  28. 28. Picking the Right Tool at the Right Time • We want – to share our stuff – to see where we are at. – to see how our project is doing. • What are the best tools and technologies to use in different circumstances? – The Qsort exercise later in the day will help us explore when is best to use email versus video conference or conference calls versus discussion boards 28
  29. 29. Technology & Tools A deeper exploration of technologies • Telephone/Conference Calls and Telephony • Video conferencing • Binary • Wiki’s • Project portals – Heavy (project triple constraint – scope, time and cost - is supported; PDM/critical path; multiple projects and multiple resource assignments – Light (coordinates some but not all of the project triple constraint.) 29
  30. 30. 7 best practices for virtual teams • Ensure communication is transmitted, received and understood • Increase the frequency of interaction and decrease the amount of information exchanged • There are no silver bullet tools Do become proficient in what you got though • Limit the number of innocent bystanders • Tame your electronic tigers – email, vmail, etc • Span the generations from Gen Next (1980 to 2008) to Baby Boomer (1945-1964) • Mix methods (e.g. phone and web conference) 30
  31. 31. Take Care of those 3 things Email - organize • Use another method to confirm – (assume 50% of your emails sent outside your organization... are missed). • Folders or Not (don't go ½ way) – Folders – inbox is only temporary • Archive (MS Outlook) – Not – you better index (Google) – Either way do you really need “ack's”, duplicates inbox/sent and newsletter posts? 31
  32. 32. Take Care of those 3 things Email - style • Communicate no more than 10 lines (500 characters) in a message – If you need more – Link – When you link, reinforce good behavior (find something fun to reinforce an open, the equivalent of donuts and coffee at meeting) • Don't scold or reprimand with email • What's missing? 32
  33. 33. Take Care of those 3 things Decisions • Lack of – Clarify what can and can not be decided on a web conference, conference call, video conference or email. • Unclear – Push in-depth discussions to a parking lot – faster than in a face to face setting. • Reversed – If you do call for a decision and “vote”; then stick with it • Unannounced – Ensure your virtual knows what the decisions are – avoid wealth and poverty pockets (Chicago and Madras are in the loop / Phoenix is not) 33
  34. 34. Take Care of those 3 things Conference Calls • Think in a 30 seconds and 10 minute mindset – (keep conference calls < 45 minutes) • Use a visual reference point – from most engaging to least engaging – video – web conference, – shared document / folder, – email • Remember – avoid innocent bystanders • Forward action items within 15 minutes of concluding the calls – Better yet, scribe as you talk 34
  35. 35. More tools after this event • TAPUniversity – access additional information at the TAPUniversity Community. www.tapuniversity.com • Participate in an Effective Virtual Teams online or 2 day workshop to apply these skills • Contribute your own best practice ideas • Look for the “Effective Virtual Team Guide”, Quarter 3, 2008. 35

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