How To Best Manage Virtual Teams
Managing a virtual team can be extremely challenging. Not being able to interact with individuals directly can be frustrating and very inefficient when stress levels are high. No matter the stresses, the final deadlines must be met. Learn the ways of a great virtual project manager to meet deadlines with little stress and maximize efficiency from each member of your virtual team.
A great communications plan and team operating agreements can keep things running smoothly during a virtual project. Team operating agreements resemble ground rules for meetings except that they are guidelines for all aspects and every step of the project. Team operating agreements are rules for how to work together, the resolution of issues, the updating of status reports, meeting deadlines and the consequences of missing them, the assignment of work, and a variety of other things. To improve your skills, check out some learning management software programs online.
Communication management plans details the communications that must transpire between team members and the team manager. Additionally, the frequency of these communications, the medium for these communications, the nuances of communications will be outlined in these plans.
Selecting the most appropriate technologies can eliminate many speed bumps virtual teams encounter when working on a project. Leaky and ineffective tools for communication can halter assignments and cause many headaches and stress for all parties. Look to find the right tools for your project and do not cause any more pressures the situation and your virtual team.
Make the virtual space fun for team members by being as personable as possible and making for a good host. Virtual team leaders should have daily five-minute virtual chats with each team member to keep things light and airy. Create a virtual water cooler by opening open chats where team members can play games and tell jokes. Have competitions that are fun so work can be done and team members can challenge themselves and others. And lastly, get to know all of the virtual members a little bit in order to relieve some tension and promote comfortability.
Lastly, running effective team meetings with designated start and ending times where every virtual team member can contribute. Virtual meetings should not be monologues. Prompt virtual team members by asking their input on directions and ideas presented by the manager and other members of the team.
Be aware that completing a project with virtual team can create quite a hardship, but be patient and friendly, easing the minds of each of the team members and eliminating as many stresses as possible.