Tag Archives: Virtual Teams

Update on Key Communications Technologies for Virtual Teams

As someone with a great deal of personal experience working in virtual teams and having managed a collaboration technologies research team for several years, I am very familiar with the obvious as well as subtle problems with the collaboration tools available today. As  I am sure you know, there are just way too many tools from which to choose. For this post, I’ll touch on my recent experience with just a few examples of those that provide communications (auditory, visual and data). Continue reading

A Great Time to Practice Telecommuting

strike

photo by gak

We are a week away to a possible BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) strike in the San Francisco area…again. If your people can’t get to work, what will you do? Your competition elsewhere in the world is not encumbered by your particular transportation woes! They will take this opportunity to move ahead of you while you are shutdown because your people struggle to get to the office to man (people?) the phones or work on that critical project.

So, what better time than right now, this week, to practice your emergency plans for business continuity for natural disasters and the like. Surely you have such plans already in place just waiting to be triggered! Well, okay, if you don’t, at least ask as many of those affected by the pending strike to work from home one day this week. See how things go. Fine tune your processes and telecommuting technologies. It is better to be ready to activate your plans or at least be aware of your potential problems than to scramble to keep things together when disaster strikes.

For tips on how to run teams virtually, or how to better work remotely as a telecommuter, check out the rest of this site.

The Future of Virtual Project Teams, part 2

rocketIn the first part of this series I talked about how future project leaders may select team members for their projects. In this installment, I will discuss the future of virtual team spaces, which include real-time tools that facilitate ‘in-person’ sharing of information and the online workspaces where project documents are stored. Continue reading

The Future of Virtual Project Teams

rocketI always enjoy imagining what the future will be like for all sorts of things: transportation, energy, architecture, space exploration, and the everyday chores of life. Perhaps it is my lifelong interest in science fiction, or perhaps I just want to believe that a better world is possible. One thing is for sure: all great productivity improvements start with people imagining how things can be better. So, let’s explore the future of teams. Specifically, virtual project teams, since that is my specialty. Continue reading

When meeting face to face isn't better

Have you ever done affinity diagramming? That’s the brainstorming exercise in which each participant in a conference room is given a pad of sticky notes and asked to write as many ideas as possible about an issue or solutions to a problem on them, one idea per sheet. After a few minutes, the meeting facilitator invites participants to arrange their notes on a board or a wall, placing similar ideas together. After a few minutes of elbowing and toe stomping and dropped bits of paper, the stickies end up clumped together and some major answers emerge. It’s a very powerful technique for thinking as a team. 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