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Critical Success Factors for Virtual Teams

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Information about Critical Success Factors for Virtual Teams

Published on May 13, 2007

Author: jvbree

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Presentation from 2001 about the success factors for virtual teams, based on interviews in 12 multinational organizations.
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Critical Success Factors for Virtual Teams Workplace Forum: working across physical and virtual worlds Jeroen van Bree, Martien Vlietman, Rixt Wierda London, 21 May 2001

Outline Our study Virtuality defined Drivers for virtual teamwork Critical success factors

Our study

Virtuality defined

Drivers for virtual teamwork

Critical success factors

Our study Multiple case study: 12 organizations Shell, Boeing, Xerox, Hewlett Packard, Philips, Ahold, Unilever, Heineken, Oracle, Baan, The Vision Web, IBM On average 2 interviews per organization with members and facilitators of virtual teams Objective: exploring current practices and success factors

Multiple case study: 12 organizations

Shell, Boeing, Xerox, Hewlett Packard, Philips, Ahold, Unilever, Heineken, Oracle, Baan, The Vision Web, IBM

On average 2 interviews per organization with members and facilitators of virtual teams

Objective: exploring current practices and success factors

What is a virtual team? Separated by space time cultural boundaries Interaction primarily by means of electronic media Face-to-face meetings seldom or never take place

Separated by

space

time

cultural boundaries

Interaction primarily by means of electronic media

Face-to-face meetings seldom or never take place

Examples of virtual teams Product development teams Knowledge transfer teams Management teams Project teams

Product development teams

Knowledge transfer teams

Management teams

Project teams

Virtual teams vs. virtual communities A virtual community is a network of people with a common interest or who are active in the same professional field, supported by communication technology A (virtual) team distinguishes itself from a (virtual) community in the following respects: a team has a common goal a team is limited in size a team shares responsibility for a task

A virtual community is a network of people with a common interest or who are active in the same professional field, supported by communication technology

A (virtual) team distinguishes itself from a (virtual) community in the following respects:

a team has a common goal

a team is limited in size

a team shares responsibility for a task

Drivers for virtual teamwork Involve the best people in a project, regardless of their location A production process that is spread out over the world Sharing knowledge across boundaries Reduce travel time and travel expenses Work more efficiently Efficiency drives virtual teamwork, technology makes it possible

Involve the best people in a project, regardless of their location

A production process that is spread out over the world

Sharing knowledge across boundaries

Reduce travel time and travel expenses

Work more efficiently

Michael Heim http://www.mheim.com ‘ Today’s computer communication cuts the physical face out of the communication process. Even video conferencing adds only a simulation of face-to-face meeting.’ ‘ The face is the primal interface, more basic than any machine mediation. Without the direct experience of the human face, ethical awareness shrinks and rudeness enters.’

Efficiency vs. effectiveness Effectiveness Efficiency High Team Group Virtual Group High Low Low Virtual Team Leadership Competences Technology Setting objectives Communication Team- culture

Pyramid of virtual team success Success Factor Precondition Leadership Competences Technology Setting objectives Communication Team- culture

Technology (1) standard tools: mobile phone and laptop for anyplace/anytime net access standard applications: e-mail and teleconferencing also in use: electronic schedules Intranets for sharing documents and knowledge videoconferencing: very expensive, not available on the workplace, quality low, added value limited real-time tools: application sharing and shared whiteboard increasingly being used

standard tools: mobile phone and laptop for anyplace/anytime net access

standard applications: e-mail and teleconferencing

also in use:

electronic schedules

Intranets for sharing documents and knowledge

videoconferencing: very expensive, not available on the workplace, quality low, added value limited

real-time tools: application sharing and shared whiteboard increasingly being used

Technology (2) equal technology support for all team members is essential ICT needs to support: communication collaboration coordination information sharing opportunistic interactions “ the preponderance of face-to-face interaction, roughly 90%, are opportunistic, not scheduled” (Kraut, 1993)

equal technology support for all team members is essential

ICT needs to support:

communication

collaboration

coordination

information sharing

opportunistic interactions

Setting objectives “ a virtual kick-off is not a kick-off” objectives need to be set in a face-to-face meeting goals are more important in a virtual setting, because: the multi-cultural nature of virtual teams implies different norms and values adjusting the direction of the team is more difficult

“ a virtual kick-off is not a kick-off”

objectives need to be set in a face-to-face meeting

goals are more important in a virtual setting, because:

the multi-cultural nature of virtual teams implies different norms and values

adjusting the direction of the team is more difficult

Competences required competences: English language skills self-management discipline being results-oriented additional competences: technical skills networking skills social skills competences should be taken into account when selecting team members

required competences:

English language skills

self-management

discipline

being results-oriented

additional competences:

technical skills

networking skills

social skills

competences should be taken into account when selecting team members

Leadership “ motivation and evaluation is more difficult in a virtual team” virtual team managers tend to focus solely on output, but need to act as a coach as well manager needs to be sensitive to other signals, because behavior of team members is less visible “ It’s difficcult to interpret delays, unreturned calls, hesistancies. Mole hills become mountains, oversights look like insults” (O’Hara-Deveraux & Johansen)

“ motivation and evaluation is more difficult in a virtual team”

virtual team managers tend to focus solely on output, but need to act as a coach as well

manager needs to be sensitive to other signals, because behavior of team members is less visible

Communication “ people find it much easier to reject something by e-mail than in a face-to-face meeting” ‘ rules of engagement’ are more important, because correcting behavior is difficult the medium should be aligned with the message based on the media richness

“ people find it much easier to reject something by e-mail than in a face-to-face meeting”

‘ rules of engagement’ are more important, because correcting behavior is difficult

the medium should be aligned with the message based on the media richness

Media Richness Theory (Daft & Lengel) Richness of a medium direct feedback natural language multiple signals personal touch lean rich face-to-face telephone e-mail letter memo newsletter chat virtual world shared whiteboard

Team culture “ cultural differences are magnified” trust is more difficult to establish in a virtual team, but is essential face-to-face meetings are necessary to create a common ground team culture (practices) should be created to supersede national cultures (values)

“ cultural differences are magnified”

trust is more difficult to establish in a virtual team, but is essential

face-to-face meetings are necessary to create a common ground

team culture (practices) should be created to supersede national cultures (values)

Summary virtual teamwork offers opportunities for organizations to work more efficiently the technology in use still has its shortcomings effective virtual teamwork requires a new way of working, with close attention to: communication (people) management values and goals

virtual teamwork offers opportunities for organizations to work more efficiently

the technology in use still has its shortcomings

effective virtual teamwork requires a new way of working, with close attention to:

communication

(people) management

values and goals

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