Use CPR When Building a Virtual Team
This week’s video cliff note focuses on building a virtual team from Chapter 6 on “Getting Deliverables Out The Door” explaining the meaning and importance of administering and implementing CPR. Yael has recently written for IEE Technology and Society Magazine “Getting Deliverables Out the Door with Your Virtual Team – Administering CPR” where she explores the topic in more detail.
Cliff Note # 7 focuses on CPR, a planned, systematic approach for building a virtual team that will help to keep things on track so that small issues do not grow and derail the team’s efforts. In order to move deliverables along, a relevant and comprehensive tool kit should be designed when building a virtual team. It is not an easy task given the paradox that exists in the virtual workplace, both opposite approaches are needed; a structure and flexibility.
CPR stands for C=Communication Plan, P=People Plan, R=Risk Management Plan. Below find an outline for virtual team processes with CPR tips from A Manager’s Guide to Virtual Teams
- It’s important to develop the right Communication Plan by selecting the appropriate communication tools and processes. Organize the criteria of your plan by considering questions such as: Who is the stakeholder? Why communicate? What needs to be communicated? When and how to communicate?
- In order to successfully get deliverables out the door, it’s critical to engage the right people in the right way. CPR People Plan focuses on the internal people component. Learn about your team as much as you can. Mapping team key information helps in making informed decisions about maximizing their efforts. By observing how the team functions you can create the best circumstances for collaborative teamwork.
- Before creating a Risk Management Plan every team manager should identify and analyze the possible “what if” scenarios thoroughly before deciding on priorities and assigning ownerships for risk strategies.
Ask these basic questions for building a virtual team:
- What could negatively or positively affect the project?
- What is the likelihood that this situation will occur?
- How will it impact the project?
- What can be done to mitigate its adverse effects?
Chapter 6 of “A Manager’s Guide to Virtual Teams” explains each of the elements of CPR and gives the reader an outline for virtual team processes to work with CPR. Many virtual managers have thanked Yael for setting them on the right path – and we hope you too, will find something of value in these pages.
“I call it CPR because in the virtual space, especially when managing deliverables for virtual teams project management, sometimes things can go awry, and sometimes it’s outside of our control and so what do you do when your project, despite all good intentions, good efforts and a great team starts to go awry. You want to administer or perform CPR as you would on a patient who might be needing resuscitation so:
C stands for communication plan.
P stands for people plan.
R stands for risk management plan.
Many effective managers already do this probably unintentionally. They think about it. So what is my communication plan, who are my stakeholders, how do I make sure I have a project sponsor, how do I touch base with the stakeholders or project sponsors, what are the ways that we want to interact with the team, how do we want to overcome some of the challenges of the communication elements that we discussed earlier? So having a Communication plan in place is very important for building a virtual team.
The People plan has to do with more than just knowing who my people are, their skills and their names. For really understanding almost like beyond the first level or second level, understanding what motivates them, what are they excited by, what additional skills or capabilities do they have, what are their hobbies, what are their outside interests. So having a people plan and in fact what I often do with virtual managers and there are a couple of those in the book I put together, write down the name of your people and take a spreadsheet or even just a piece of paper, write down the name of the people on your team and then think about what motivates this person because people are motivated by different things. What capabilities do they have because there might be more ways that your team could participate and also it will also help you to see who do I want to touch base with. So a Communication plan, a People plan and the third is a Risk management plan.
The risk management piece, so for insurance folks are very familiar with that, it’s the ‘what if’ scenario. We all want to have that risk management piece in the virtual space. So having an approach and keeping things on track, and then making sure that the small issues don’t grow, that’s what CPR is all about, keeping virtual teams project management in check.”