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Challenges of Virtual Teams

for IS class

João Jerónimo

on 12 November 2010

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Transcript of Challenges of Virtual Teams

The Challenges of Virtual Teams Virtual Teams A group of people linked in a common purpose (usually conducting tasks), spread around the world and connected trough some kind of IS Almost all of us have been in virtual teams! "Please do chapter 2 while I revise chapter 3..." "Do you think our answer to question 4 is right ?" "I think the teacher said something about this in the theoretical classes..." "OMG its 4am and we still have 5 questions to answer..." "When was the deadline again ?" "If only we had started this before..." "Did you correct that paragraph I told you to ?" "Ok let's send this and never look at each other again..." Our usual Virtual Teams We schedule a time to be online;

We gather on MSN;

We delegate tasks trough IM;

We help others and ask for help through IM;

We repress and get repressed through IM;

We agree and ask for agreements through IM; Things I've been doing with my Virtual Teams Using Collaborative editing tools (Ex: Google Wave and now recently Google Docs);

Using Skype for call-conferences;

Task Management and Time Tracking (failed, lack of discipline); What about Virtual Teams in real companies ? They use Groupware software which usually includes:
Task Management;
Time Tracking and Calendars and Agendas;
Collaborative editing tools;
Project Management;
Document Management;
Real time Chat/Call Conference/Video Conference Examples of Groupware So... Does it really work ? What happend with our Virtual Teams ?

We only gather virtually when it's not possible to gather in reality;

We get distracted by Facebook and other people on MSN;

We get distracted by our own music;

Some of us stay the whole day eating while working;

Once I saw an episode of HIMYM while working for a Marketing Plan (please don't spread the word...)

We can't point out things easily and it's harder to explain stuff; The Problems http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_collaborative_software Misunderstanding from poor communication

Incompatible communication preferences

Differences in work ethic

Lack of clarity and direction

Frequent second-guessing

Deficient sense of ownership and commitment Inability to ask the right questions

Difficulty with delegation

Hidden incompetence

Mismatched skills/needs

Distrust and suspicion

Diminished productivity

Lack of empathy and personal connection In general, team performance tends to drop with increasing member dispersion. Virtual Teams with high levels of task processes are able to outperform colocated teams with similar levels of those same processes despite the physical separation of their members.

That is, the overall effect of dispersion can be beneficial, depending on the quality of a team’s task-related processes. The Challenge Virtual workplace mental emulation with induced coma:

Lie down;

Press the button;

You're having a very realistic dream you're in an office with your team;

In reality, you're in a coma, you're being fed by serum (wirelessly transmited into your blood);

You don't feel hungry, you don't feel tired, you just keep working until............... Thank you Sources http://www.netage.com/virtualteams/
http://sloanreview.mit.edu/the-magazine/articles/2009/summer/50412/how-to-manage-virtual-teams/ Top 10 Best Practices in Managing Virtual Teams
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