Recommendations for effective management of virtual teams
The previous sections have endorsed the fact the managing a virtual team is much more challenging task than managing a team in conventional organizational settings. However, the principles of managing remain the same. It is essentially the way the team leader tackles situations or circumstances that proves his effectiveness as a manager. Since team members are situated in different time zones and coordinating messages and tasks can be difficult, the manager should adopt a well-planned management strategy to tackle these issues.
Based on the analysis and discussion in the previous sections the following strategic recommendations are made to ensure effective management of virtual teams: 1. Establish clearly defined goals and objectives for the team members – these objectives should be achievable, measurable, and relevant to the task. 2. Communicate these goals and related work terms in clear and precise terms to individual team members – an email detailing the expected performance levels, accepted error rates, set work procedures, communication protocols should be sent to each team member eliciting their response and feedback, if required.
3. Ensure resources required to complete the task are made available to the team members. 4. Consult team members on a preferred time for daily briefings – for
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Online forums can be used to discuss the impending crisis and how best to resolve the situation. This is not only effective in gathering individual opinions and feedback of all members but will also assist in involving others in the decision making process raising their self-worth and increasing team bonding. 6. The team leader should assign specific roles and responsibilities to others within the team to increase work effectiveness and boost individual capabilities.
7. Online training and development modules should be implemented to train the members on work processes and pass information on specific cultural and social background to improve mutual understanding. 8. Maintain transparency in communications with team members and highlight the achievements with suitable rewards and recognition programs. 9. Have online fun sessions that can act as ice-breakers within team members.
Team leaders of virtual teams should be sensitive to differences in language, culture, time zones, and business practice and take appropriate action at the onset of team formation, or risk team dysfunction and suboptimal performance (Bell, 2002). References: 1. Thompsen, Joyce A. 2000. Leading virtual teams. Accessed on 24th March 2009 from http://www. qualitydigest. com/sept00/html/teams. html 2. Parrish, David. 2003. Ideas and Tools – Leading virtual teams. Accessed on 24th March 2009 from http://www. d. parrish. dial.
pipex. com/managingvirtualteams. html 3. Communicaid. 2007. Managing virtual teams. Accessed on 24th March 2009 from http://www. communicaid. com/cross-cultural-training/culture-for-business-and-management/managing-virtual-teams/index. php 4. [email protected] 2007. Five triggers to watch for when managing virtual teams. Accessed on 24th March 2009 from http://knowledge. emory. edu/article. cfm? articleid=1095 5. Levy, David L. May 2005. Offshoring in the New Global Political Economy. Journal of Management Studies. 6.
Holbeche, Linda. (2005) The High performance Organization. 1st edn. Oxford: Elseiver Butterworth-Heinemann. 7. Influencing Skills. 2008. British Council Library. Management journal database. 8. Christiansen, James A. 2000. Building the innovative organization. 1st edn. New York, St Martin’s Press. 9. Brown, Katherine M. , Huettner, Brenda, James-Tanny, Char. 2007. Managing virtual teams: getting the most from wikis, blogs and other collaborative tools. Wordware Publishing Inc. 10. Lojeski, Karen-Sobel & Reilly, Richard R. 2008.
Uniting the virtual workforce: transforming leadership and innovation in the globally integrated enterprise. John Wiley & Sons. 11. Fong, Michelle W. L. 2004. E-collaborations and virtual organizations. Published by Idea Group Inc. 12. Mowshowitz, Abbe & Turoff, Murray. 2002. Virtual organization: toward a theory of societal transformation stimulated by information technology. Greenwood Publishing Group. 13. Warner, Malcolm & Morgen, Witzel. 2004. Managing in virtual organizations. Cengage Learning EMEA. 14. Bell, M. 2002. Leading an interna