Tag Archives: Communications

Face Time

images5You manage by objectives and your manager does too, right? Of course you do. Nobody manages knowledge workers by face-time any more, watching when employees show up at the office and noting the minute that they leave in the evening. But if one did manage employees by face-time and felt the need to know that they were at their desks all day, could one do it with telecommuters?

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Multi-Tasking in Project Meetings

In my many years in the technology industry, I’ve spent thousands of hours in meetings, most of them as boring as all get-out. During this time I’ve seen many interesting changes. I’ve seen meeting presentation technology evolve from flip charts and story boards, to overheads, to video projectors, and most recently, to laptops in front of each participant. I’ve seen virtual meetings evolve from a rarity to a common occurence. But, one thing that has persisted in all the years is people not paying attention. Continue reading

Communicating Effectively in Virtual Teams: Part 4 of 4

In this final part of my series on communications in virtual teams, I will discuss the most important medium to evolve so far during the computer revolution: e-mail. Pretty much everyone has an e-mail address these days, and many of us have several. E-mail is the primary information channel in corporations across the globe. It allows us to send everything from short text messages to detailed project proposals with product specifications to anyone, anywhere on the planet, at any time. It is a non-real-time mode of communication as messages are queued up in one’s inbox for reading when convenient. Continue reading

Communicating Effectively in Virtual Teams: Part 3 of 4

In this part of the series on optimizing virtual team communications, I’ll cover Instant Messaging, or IM as it is commonly called.  IM has evolved a great deal from the early consumer versions in the mid 90’s. It is now recognized as an important additional channel of communications in the corporate world, filling a hole between the telephone and email. A phone call requires extra time for greetings and salutations and often includes casual, non-work chit-chat. For this reason, those of us under pressure to meet critical deadlines will use IM to get an answer to a quick question rather than make a phone call. The other option we have is email, but most people do not reply to email immediately, so urgent questions go unanswered. Continue reading

Communicating Effectively in Virtual Teams: Part 2 of 4

In part one of this series I talked about the problems with speakerphones in virtual teams.  In this installment, I’ll discuss the problems with another type of phone, the Cell. 

Most modern cell phones have a built-in speakerphone feature, and will therefore also have the problems mentioned in the previous article when used in this mode.  I won’t repeat the problems and recommendations for speakerphones here, but cell phones do have several other nasty problems that I will discuss.  They are: latency, dropouts, and signal fade.   Continue reading

Communicating Effectively in Virtual Teams: Part 1 of 4

We all know that effective communication is critical to every well-executed project. Everyone involved in getting that next product to market must constantly exchange bits of information with many people. Everything from project proposals to release-to-manufacturing documents must be created, discussed, edited, reviewed, approved and distributed.  All of these information exchanges require clear communication for the outcome to be a good one.

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