Managing virtual project teams makes sense. Virtual team management is a relatively new global phenomenon. While most company managers are trained and experienced in managing teams in typical office settings, virtual team management is a relatively new global phenomenon. This indicates that, no matter how much experience we have in this field, we may always learn more. In this article, I am going to talk about some tips on managing virtual project teams.
Virtual team managers, unlike typical office managers, must rely heavily on technology to interact, communicate, and manage projects while attempting to preserve a feeling of togetherness and collaboration. Isn’t it straightforward?
- 1 + 1 + 1 =10 (positive synergy)
- 1 + 1 + 1 =2 (negative synergy)
Characteristics of High-Performing Teams
- Have a shared goal in mind.
- Use individual skills and expertise to their full potential. Have responsibilities that are balanced and shared.
- Keep a problem-solving mindset.
- Encourage risk-taking and innovation by accepting diversity of opinion and expression.
- Establishes high personal performance goals
- Associate with the group
Managing virtual project teams
Let’s find below 5 useful tips on managing virtual project teams!
Of course, it isn’t that simple. Here are our top five suggestions for managing virtual teams, whether you’re a rookie manager or an experienced one searching for fresh ideas:
1. Write it down.
You’ll need to explicitly establish your expectations – sometimes known as ground rules – before employing virtual team members or starting a new team project.
This should include a thorough onboarding process for new employees, as well as defined expectations, guidance, and goals for the whole team. Ascertain that team members are aware of both their own and their colleagues’ responsibilities.
According to Kristi Hedges, a leadership coach, speaker, and author, a virtual team manager should focus more on defining the duties themselves rather than how individuals actually complete their job.
“Be explicit about expectations for timelines, resolution of team issues, availability, and even communications,” she said in a Forbes piece. “Then get out of the way,” says the narrator.
2. Make meetings worthwhile
You won’t be able to hand out hard copy reference materials or share a single physical document for remark and review because your meetings are virtual, so you’ll have to plan beforehand.
Important documentation, links, or relevant reference materials should be emailed ahead of time, allowing your team plenty of time to study them before the meeting.
Set clear start and finish hours for meetings, and adhere to them. Prepare an agenda, and if you expect particular contributions from team members, let them know ahead of time to avoid putting them on the spot or wasting time in the meeting.
Even if you’re having a video conference, keep in mind that you won’t be able to interpret body language as quickly. Make sure everyone gets an opportunity to reply or participate in the topic, whether you moderate the meeting or ask a team member to do so. Name the person you’re chatting with and check in regularly to evaluate reactions and emotions.
Allow time for informal conversation if time permits, and involve all attendees as much as feasible. To ensure that this happens, including an open forum at the end of each agenda as a recurrent feature to assist your team get to know one another better. You might take it a step further by including team-building exercises in your virtual meetings. A successful team is one that works well together.
3. Provide the appropriate tools
One of the most essential things you can do for your team is to provide them the collaboration tools they need to successfully communicate, schedule projects, exchange information, and finish tasks.
You should also ensure that they have access to video cameras, shared file directories, high-speed Internet, and audio conference capabilities.
If your employees are having trouble staying organized or being effective while working from a distant location, provide assistance!
This may take the shape of personal organizer services or access to books and other resources. See our blog on Top Virtual Team Resources To Improve Your Team’s Efficiency for a list of virtual team resources.
4. Maintain a personal touch
Many effective business encounters happen on the spur of the moment in a typical office environment… in the break room, during lunch, or maybe during informal talks in the parking lot.
Because virtual teams do not allow for such interactions, managers must prioritize regular and effective communication. When feasible, plan frequent video conferences, personal phone conversations, and periodic face-to-face meetings in addition to emails and texts.
If your team members aren’t from the same city or region, be aware of time zones and cultural variations, since work habits might differ significantly.
According to the Steelcase study, work cultures in the United States and the United Kingdom are comparable but significantly different from nations like Italy, China, and Spain. If you have team members from other nations, make an effort to learn about their cultures.
“Same but Different: Mapping the Patterns of Work Cultures,” research that analyzes 11 nations, takes a deeper look at some of the worldwide cultural variations that might influence your team.
5. Rejoice at your accomplishments
Virtual team members don’t have to miss out on the pleasure when it comes to celebrating successful projects or personal accomplishments. It is your responsibility as a team manager to promote morale and ensure that your staff feels valued!
Plan an in-person outing if your team members reside in the same region (or are ready to go). A team-building event (such as an outdoor obstacle course), a retreat, or a special supper at a fashionable restaurant are all possibilities. Whatever you choose, bringing your team together to celebrate achievements can help keep those positive attitudes alive.
Don’t worry if your team can’t physically be together. According to Wayne Turmel, a CBS Money Watch contributor, you may still have fun with a little ingenuity. To begin, he recommends just asking your staff what they want. Find out what kinds of incentives can make them happy or appreciate you!
Take away for virtual teams:
- Even if it’s only a token conference call, make sure everyone is involved in the celebration.
- Make your vacation a shared experience.
- Send a party in a box to the remote participants, complete with a treat or a token unique to the project/team, and
- Try internet gaming or social gatherings.
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