Knowing how to establish a virtual team is very important. The success or failure of a virtual team is largely dependent on how well the virtual team leader can establish the team at the beginning. The very first step in developing a virtual team is to pick competent people to comprise it.
Many leaders make the mistake of picking incompetent people to be members or their team, or they choose friends or family members, and this is always a mistake. Incompetent people will kill the project long before it gets completed, and family members or friends tend to be much less effective than strangers. One method for picking competent people is to test them prior to allowing them to become members of your team.
If they can pass this screening process, then this means that there is a good chance they will make effective members of your team. For instance, a virtual team leader could give a minor project to a potential team member in order to determine the speed and efficiency with which they can get the project done.
If the candidate can successfully complete the project within the deadline specified, then this means that it is very likely that they will be effective communicators once they are members of your team. Another thing that you should pay close attention to is communication.
Develop Virtual Team Communications
Communication is the most important factor in successfully developing a virtual team. If the virtual team leader is unable to maintain strong communications with the other members of the group, then the team will far apart.
Therefore, it is absolutely essential that you establish the ground rules for communication early on. You should establish rules for communication, particularly in regards to how fast every member should respond to inquiries from other members. Because virtual teams are often comprised of people who work in different time zones, it is best to make sure everyone communicates within a timely manner.
It is also important for the virtual team to make sure everyone has a stable internet connection and communication tools. In some countries, the internet connections are a lot less stable than others, and many firms who have outsourced projects to foreign countries have found that some people are constantly offline due to connection failure. Stable communication tools are critical if a virtual team is to become and remain successful.
As you are establishing your virtual team, it is important to keep in mind that there are some assumptions that you should never make, as they could endanger the success of your team. The first of these assumptions is the belief that the members of your team may be left alone since they are self directed.
The second of these assumptions is that since you are working remotely, there is little need to build a bond of trust with the other members of the team. In regards to the first assumption, people in general want leadership, particularly leadership which can allow them to reach desirable goals.
When a leader does not take the time to at least monitor the progress of their team members, this can reduce their morale, particularly at the beginning of the project. While this doesn’t mean that virtual team leaders need to micro-manage every aspect of the project, regular communication is crucial.