Virtual Team Success

Virtual Team Success takes the results of the authors’ 2008 global research study and gives readers steps for surviving business in a virtual world.  In this hands-on guide for virtual teams, Darleen Derosa and Richard Lepsinger offer techniques to overcome the challenges of virtual teams, make virtual teams equally as effective as face-to-face teams and take advantage of global markets and technological advancements.

These techniques include:

  • Scheduling an in-person meeting with all team members prior to the project kick-off.  At this meeting, discuss goals and assessed priorities.
  • Team organization. Team members need to know to whom they report and who reports to them.  These roles need to be continually assessed to ensure clarity and communicate changes when they occur.
  • Be proactive in spotting conflict and disengagement. Differences in opinion can lead to a lack of cooperation and engagement, thus disrupting the success of the team and project.

Virtual Team Success outlines the factors that differentiate high performing and low performing teams. High performing teams have a few core members with advisory boards for collaboration, while low performing teams are larger and more difficult to manage.

In high performing teams, members are not cross-functional. These teams use shared processes for decision making. The members are committed and engaged. There is an atmosphere of trust among the team members; they collaborate; and there is a transparent flow of communication and information sharing.

The authors provide a helpful model for enhancing team performance and success called the RAMP (Relationships, Accountability, Motivation, Process and Purpose) model.

Common obstacles for virtual team success are the multi-location set up and misuse of technology. However, effective team leaders find ways to overcome these challenges.

Successful leaders have the ability to effectively manage change, foster an atmosphere of collaboration, communicate team goals and direction, have strong interpersonal communication skills, and empower team members.

Skill development and targeted technology training is essential for successful teams and collaboration.  Furthermore, knowing the right mix of technologies is pertinent for virtual team success.

This easy-read is great for all levels of a company, from overhead managers who are looking to start virtual teams, to team leaders, and individual team members.  The book not only gives detailed outlines of steps to implement, but also concludes each chapter with a summary take-home message, making the details easier to absorb.

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