More virtual teams fail, and will continue to fail, as a result of poor management on the part of the leaders. If you do not know how to properly manage a team, your idea will never get off the ground, regardless of how brilliant it is. There are a number of things that project managers can do to ensure their virtual teams are running with a high degree of efficiency.
The first of these steps is to create a portal for communication. The easiest way to do this is to simply generate a team blog. In this blog, your team members can feel free to post their thoughts on anything they are interested in, and all the other members of the project can read the posts. Instead of working in isolation from the other members of the team, the group will be capable of interacting with each other seamlessly.
If you are the leader of a virtual team, it is important for you to keep in mind that you are the HR person. You will need wear a number of different hats, including that of the Creative Director, Corporate Director, and the Sales Manager. Your role in Human Resources is crucially important.
You will want to take the time to make sure your team members are confident and that their morale is strong. If this is not the case, then the project will begin to decline. If any form of negativity should begin to surface throughout the course of the project, it is absolutely essential for you to fix the problem as soon as possible. If a small problem is allowed to become a big one, the consequences for the project could be disastrous.
Assisting Virtual Team Group
To be truly effective at managing your team, you must be able to do more than just give out orders. Truly good leaders are able to actually assist their people in properly reaching their objectives.
While this does not mean that you need to micro-manage the members of your group, it does mean that you should create a map which can allow your team to find the best and most efficient way of completing their projects.
Exposing the members of your team to fresh experiences and sharing your thoughts will show the members of your team that you are committed to working with them over the long term. Another important aspect of properly managing your team is to meet face-to-face every so often.
Granted, this should only be done if the team has the resources to afford it. For example, if you are overseeing a team which successfully completes a project, it would not hurt for the team to celebrate by getting together.
All the digital communication in the world does not replace the feeling of shaking someone’s hand in person. In addition to this, the productivity level and morale of the team will be boosted dramatically if the group is allowed to meet in person.
The success of a virtual team is heavily dependent on how well its leaders can manage it. If the leaders are unable to properly manage the team, then this team will largely become a failure.
No matter how much technology changes, human psychology does not, and this means that old fashioned leadership qualities are just as important with virtual teams as it is with physical ones.
This is also why it would not hurt to read a few books on leadership and management in order to learn how to properly lead a team. Once you are able to combine great leadership and management qualities with effective communications tool, your virtual team will have the foundation to succeed.