Virtual Teams and Remote Work Teams
In the past, “virtual teams” referred only to those teams that were formed in a formal business environment. They would often be comprised of talented individuals who worked together under the guidance of a senior manager. These virtual teams often worked together in an attempt to achieve some kind of a common goal. “Virtual teams” also tended to function in larger teams with an executive leader at the head of the virtual team. This person possessed authority over all the other members of the virtual teams, and he or she exercised power and authority over the entire team. Often times, the virtual team was led by the corporate executive vice president.
More recently, “virtual teams” have come to mean various aspects of project management. Virtual teams can take the form of geographically dispersed teams, which are made up of people who are geographically dispersed over a wide area. A virtual team can also be made up of digitally located teams, who may be located in different countries or different parts of the world. Project managers may find themselves with virtual teams, which consist of team members all located in different parts of the world. And virtual teams can even be comprised of team members which are located in the same city, but who are otherwise geographically dispersed.
One of the more popular types of virtual teams is remote work teams. Remote work teams comprise a collection of individuals who are all located in different geographical areas and who work closely together on a particular project. While most of the time these virtual teams are composed of highly talented individuals, there are still some situations where they are composed of individuals with less than stellar credentials. Regardless of whether or not the virtual teams that are comprised of remote work team members possess the skills necessary for effective leadership, they can present a significant challenge to project managers when they are geographically dispersed.
Project managers have a number of challenges to face if they wish to successfully use virtual teams and remote work groups as tools for collaboration. The first challenge that they must overcome is trying to effectively communicate with these geographically dispersed teams. While most people who participate in virtual teams and remote work groups can communicate easily over the Internet, it is important for them to be able to effectively get their points across in a manner that is useful to their geographically dispersed colleagues. This means that they must have a good understanding of the different physical locations that the team members actually work in, so that they can give informed suggestions to their boss. If the project manager wants to ensure that the teams are operating effectively, he or she will need to ensure that each team has access to a printer which can be shared throughout the workplace.
Another major challenge facing project managers arises when they attempt to make decisions about technical issues which are of concern to one or two members of the virtual team, but are of little importance to the other members. For example, there might be a specific issue which a team member knows nothing about, but which is of great importance to another team member. In order for the issue to be addressed properly, it is necessary for the team members to have an understanding of the technical issues that affect them. To do this, the team must first be able to communicate with each other on the specific technical issues that affect their particular niche, and then they must be able to explain the technical issues to the other members of the team clearly, so that all of the team members are working together to address the issue.
Of course, in the face of the challenges presented by having multiple locations, multiple technologies, and multiple times zones, virtual teams and remote work teams face another major problem: the issue of overlapping productivity. If a team works on a solution to one problem, but is unaware of the issues which are causing the other problems, they may be effectively useless because they have not discovered the root cause. In order for productivity to be maximized, the virtual teams must first be brought together into a common workspace, such that all of the members of the team have a good understanding of the problems which are causing the problems, and how they can best find a solution to them. Once the team has located and worked out the problem, then they must make sure that the solution is applied in all of their efforts. more information on virtual teams.