Virtual Teams Project Management Comic Relief
You may recall our recent post describing a scenario not uncommon to most dealing with virtual teams project management – multiple complications with an added network failure while balancing technology management and leadership to liven things up. If you didn’t get a chance, you can read it here, Virtual Team Comic Relief: Just In Time For Cocktails, before continuing with Part 2 below. (We don’t want to spoil the story for you.)
So the question posed in Part 1 was “What occurred during the 30-minute call?” How is it possible to solve a client’s issues in just thirty minutes? True, thirty minutes isn’t a lot of time if you think about it. That’s not even enough time to perform a simple task like washing and drying a load of laundry. So, what did occur during the call to cover all of the points and guarantee a successful outcome?
Well, that’s kind of a riddle. It’s not so much the call, but what occurred around the call that kept it within 30 minutes and created the result this virtual team and, ultimately, the client desired. The success factors in this story involve the efficient use of the following tools for virtual teams project management:
• Staff – Only three team members were needed in the client meeting and two out of the three were offsite, though the remaining team members were on alert.
• Time – During the client meeting, both remote attendees were free to make contact with team members without disrupting the meeting. This allowed the team to set responses to client needs in motion while the manager/team leader gave his full attention to the client – all before the meeting with the client ended (and the network malfunctioned).
• Resources – Clearly this team knows how to leverage the benefit of their virtual structure by transforming into a solar team extending their productivity with a 24-hour workday and by utilizing several communication options.
• Communication – You’ll notice the communication with this team never stopped, but was always purposeful. Our research demonstrates frequent communication is common in high performing virtual teams.
• Planning – Regardless of the network failure, this team was organized to succeed. And, this is the point you have all been waiting for…the 30-minute call! The call would have occurred whether the client requested new information or not. It was always part of the plan. The call would either have been a virtual celebration for a great client meeting or a touch point to ensure everyone was on track with results, which it turned out to be.
In this scenario, the manager would have opened the call with a brief network update before quickly moving to a report from John and Seiko detailing the action plan from that very moment to the release of the deliverable including required team members and scheduled hand-offs. The manager would know from the report what was accomplished up to that point. The how and why of those accomplishments would be discussed on a different call, if at all. This call is about future action. After presentation of the report, the manager would quickly provide feedback on critical items before releasing the team – all within 30 minutes using a good tactic for virtual teams project management.
Does all of the above seem realistic? Has it generated any ideas for your own virtual team? Let us know your thoughts on virtual teams project management. And, join us next Friday, April 4 for a new installment of Virtual Team Comic Relief.