Effective Management Of Virtual Teams For Slide Share


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Your tech talent is separated by city blocks, by time zones, or by oceans--so how do you best facilitate successful project completion? Keith MacKay describes strategies, techniques, and tools for working with teams that are rarely (if ever) in the same place at the same time. After managing 1000+ projects, Keith has strong opinions on what works and what doesn\'t. Come join this lively session to learn from others\' experiences and to share your own.

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  • I’m here to share my experience so you can profit by it. While we’re on military quotes…
  • On the plus side, less frequent communication means you hear that much less complaining.
  • work at home:Luckily, the lack of a commute often gives them an extra hour or two in their day, plus they don’t have the water cooler time, so even with the extra distractions at home, responsible people can often get more done.TEST AND REVIEW (and hope they haven’t read the Four-Hour Work Week)Professionalism—I have an office at home with a door that closes, and I go in there to work. I come out for the restroom or to grab lunch or a drink. I generally dress business casual when working at home—the uniform sets the tone for myself. I’ve got my kids trained on how to come visit when they get home from school.Managing Volunteers – Drucker. Even worse when virtual. I was President of the MIT Club of Boston—this is a 1300+ member group of MIT Alumni in Boston area. Volunteers get excited about an idea, but need care and feeding to get the idea to the finish line. Sometimes, they just need reminders. Other times, they need peer accountability.Accountability—follow-up. Important.Microcredit industry – repayment rates as good as pre-meltdown commercial banks. Why? Accountability to the group. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS! Most people do actually care about the group’s perception of them.
  • Effective Management Of Virtual Teams For Slide Share

    1. 1. Effective Management of Virtual Teams – The Good, The Bad, and the UGLY<br />Keith MacKay, TechnoFacto<br />Keith@KeithJMacKay.com<br />
    2. 2. Juggling = pm (metaphorically)<br />Must keep ALL balls in the air<br />Drop one, derail the works<br />Juggling and PM: disciplines<br />Learnable techniques<br />May understand theory, but practice required for success<br />…and, yes, half the people you deal with as a PM will also think you’re a clown. <br />
    3. 3. Who Is *This* Clown?<br />MIT, Brain & Cognitive Sciences<br />Co-founded a team-based robotics competition at MIT, now a class for credit<br />Over 1000 projects since ‘84<br />Developer, BA, PM, Managing Director,CTO, Founder, Advisor<br />Co-author of QUE Office book<br />Past-President – MIT Club of Boston<br />Instructor, Northeastern University Online MBA<br />Mentor MIT Class “Solving Complex Problems”<br />Virtual/distributed teams<br />In-/out-sourced, on-/near-/off-shore<br />Teams (and/or I) have variously been in Europe, India, China, Japan, Uruguay, Canada, and all over the U.S.<br />
    4. 4. Village Software<br />Outsourced software design/development<br />Onshore<br />Offshore<br />Outsourced PM<br />Insourced PM<br />
    5. 5. On Experience<br />“Fools say that they learn by experience. I prefer to profit by others' experience.”<br />-attributed to Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898)<br />
    6. 6. What I’ll cover<br />Overview plus Tested Tips and Techniques for:<br />Better Management of Virtual Teams<br />Cultural Differences/Factors to Consider<br />Language Challenges<br />Tools to facilitate productivity with remote teams(or local ones, for that matter)<br />
    7. 7. PM Abhors a vacuum<br />Never enough time<br />Always more to do<br />Project expands to fill available space<br />A la George Carlin’s “Stuff”<br />By definition, virtual teams mean more to do…<br />
    8. 8. Is it worth it?<br />Ideal Case:<br />Supplemental skills<br />Lower Overall Cost<br />Diversity<br />Different strengths<br />Different education<br />Maybe different infrastructure and resources<br />Round-the-clock<br />6-heads-are-better-than-1<br />“Anything worth doing well is worth doing badly at first”<br />Must Make Investment<br />Time, energy, systems<br />Must Pivot as Needed<br />Review<br />Correct<br />Must Manage and Support your People<br />
    9. 9. MANAGING VIRTUAL TEAMS<br />Peter Drucker:Managing Professionals = Managing Volunteers<br />Almost all of the downside of your live teams<br />Conflicts<br />Power struggles<br />Miscommunication<br />Ensuring motivations are aligned<br />[Your favorite challenge here]<br />
    10. 10. Additional challenges: virtual teams<br />Less frequent communication<br />Slower team cohesion/longer ramp-up<br />They may have no advocates other than you<br />Harder to monitor<br />Accountability<br />Microcredit example<br />How do you get it?<br />Relentless follow-up<br />Daily concalls<br />Test and review<br />
    11. 11. Add’l Challenges: Work-from-home<br />Do your people work well from home?<br />Professionalism<br />Separate work space<br />“Uniform”<br />Distraction<br />
    12. 12. You must be a Translator/diplomat<br />PMs/BAs have always had to speak multiple languages and do translation<br />Originally, between biz wonks and tech geeks<br />Now, cultural factors added to the equation<br />Thinking about how to communicate with your *specific* audience matters<br />Message often needs repackaging depending on the listener<br />
    13. 13. Cultural factors<br />Breakfast cereal rollout in India<br />As of 2007, 30% growth/year<br />And yet, initial rollouts failed<br />“I have a doubt”<br />Different visual cues<br />“Face” and respect<br />
    14. 14. Translation for “I Have a doubt”…<br />Not in a million years.<br />Hahahaha!<br />Are you kidding?<br />You have flipped.<br />Your elevator doesn’t go to the top.<br />You’re not playing with a full deck.<br />Lost your marbles!<br />You are out of your mind.<br />Nuts!<br />Not possible.<br />No way!<br />
    15. 15. PM *is* Communication<br />Every issue I’ve encountered came down to a people issue or a communications issues<br />Clarity<br />Brevity (Thomas Jefferson quote)<br />Parenting is good prep—establish standards and rules while remembering to have fun<br />REMEMBER: PM really equals “People Management” (you manage people, not projects)<br />
    16. 16. Language<br />
    17. 17. Language factors<br />Multi-cultural teams, variety of languages<br />An ear for accents helps--exposure<br />Communicate in writing<br />less pressure = more understanding<br />Multi-modal communication reinforces<br />Establish language standards<br />Well-commented code--in Vietnamese. Didn’t help my team of U.S. developers…<br />Code page standardization<br />
    18. 18. Tools for virtual teams—START HERE<br />Meticulous Project Documentation<br />No software will solve existing problems here<br />Complementary Skills Mix on Team<br />No software will solve existing problems here<br />Diplomacy<br />No software will solve…<br />You get the picture. Start with solid PM.<br />Having *A* tool is more important than the specific tool<br />use what works for you—but use SOMETHING<br />A little discipline can save a lot of time and effort<br />
    19. 19. Maturing market for Tools<br />Scheduling<br />Communications<br />Remote Access/Screen Sharing<br />Document Sharing/Tracking<br />Document Collaboration Tools<br />Bug/Incident Tracking<br />Process/Project Tracking<br />Source Code Control<br />
    20. 20. Scheduling<br />Free web apps: Doodle, TimeBridge, Tungle<br />Pro: simple<br />Pro: free<br />Con: Don’t distinguish live/f2f vs phone<br />Con: Don’t handle physical location (some meetings need to be in-person, and people are free but not in same location)<br />Con: Rescheduling is a pain, no automated apologies, etc.<br />Con: Don’t allow prioritization of conflicts<br />
    21. 21. Communications<br />Synchronous<br />Telephone <br />Videoconferencing<br />Web Meeting<br />Synchronous or Asynchronous<br />IM/Chat (Trillian)<br />Web-Based Phone Services<br />Asynchronous<br />Email<br />Wiki<br />Facebook Wall<br />Twitter<br />
    22. 22. Phone & Videoconferencing<br />Phone<br />FreeConferenceCall.com<br />Video—Corporate<br />Polycom<br />Tandberg<br />Video—Free or Cheap<br />Skype<br />iChat<br />ooVoo<br />
    23. 23.
    24. 24. Web Meeting<br />Webex<br />GoToMeeting<br />DimDim.com<br />AT&T Web Meeting Service<br />Yugma.com<br />Vyew.com – Free option (advertising supported)<br />
    25. 25.
    26. 26. Web-Based Phone Services<br />Skype.com<br />Fring.com<br />Google Voice<br />Ribbit.com<br />Phonebooth.com<br />Ringio.com<br />
    27. 27.
    28. 28. Asynchronous communications<br />Email – use appropriately!<br />Wiki – for sharing/documenting<br />SocialText/Microblogging, etc.<br />Facebook Wall – can be useful with Facebook group to create community<br />Blogs – Useful for team and for outsiders. Am going to start using this more.<br />Twitter – meh. Has its uses, but it’s a broadcast mechanism. Command/control doesn’t work well in team-building.<br />
    29. 29. Remote Access<br />“Screen Sharing”<br />LogMeIn.com<br />GoToMyPC<br />Remote Desktop<br />VPN<br />
    30. 30. Document Sharing/collaboration<br />Document Sharing/Tracking<br />SharePoint<br />SocialText<br />Document Collaboration Tools<br />Google Docs<br />Wiki<br />
    31. 31. Bug/Incident Tracking<br />Mantis<br />RMTrack<br />Bugzilla<br />BugTracker.NET<br />
    32. 32. Process/Project Tracking<br />Microsoft Team Foundation Server<br />Project<br />GoPlan<br />Basecamp<br />
    33. 33. Source Code Control<br />Subversion (SVN)<br />Microsoft Team Foundation Server<br />Git<br />Perforce<br />CVS<br />
    34. 34. Have a good story or a tool to recommend?<br />Send me an email!<br />Keith MacKay<br />Keith@KeithJMacKay.com<br />Twitter: @KeithJMacKay<br />