Thursday, December 10, 2009

Virtual Teams

Anne Fisher of Fortune has a very good article on making virtual teams more effective at IBM. In addition to the points that Fisher makes, managers should consider what I call the "three Rs" of successful virtual teams.

First, what are the ground RULES by which the teams will operate? How will they communicate with one another? What are the shared norms of behavior? What will be expected of folks in terms of availability, response times, etc.?

Second, what are the ROLES of each team member? Making sure each person has a clearly defined role can be especially critical for a virtual team.

Finally, what are the RESPONSIBILITIES of each member? How is the task divided among the members? What are the interim deliverables? One challenge with any team is the diffusion of responsibility: when everyone is responsible, no one is responsible. Making sure accountability is clear proves especially critical with virtual teams.

1 comment:

Sibilla83 said...

My name is Sibilla and I am a DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) student from Germany. My thesis is going to be about virtual teams…but the exact issue/ topic is still unclear. Since a DBA is a practitioners Doctor my topic should be of very high interest to the “real business world”. Therefore, I think this is exact the right place to ask all of you: Can you think of a topic within the area of Virtual Teams that is of high interest to industry and needs further reseach???

About any kind of ideas/ support/ help or even an offer for a cooperation* would be of high interest to me!

*cooperation: You have a virtual team that runs a project shortly? Or a problem in a Virtual team and you want an analysis to find a solution? From these information I can create a case study for my thesis and you will get the results/ outcome of it!

Thanks in advance, Sibilla