Leading and Developing a Virtual Team

Managing from Home and Remote Management
Knowledge Center

Dalahn Colley
Entrepreneur, United States

Leading and Developing a Virtual Team

A virtual team - also known as a Geographically Dispersed Team (GDT) - is a group of individuals that work across time, space and organizational boudaries with links strengthened by webs of communication technology (source: Word IQ, 2010)".
There are many advantages to creating a virtual team by bringing together contributors through the use of company intranet, groupware applications, email, teleconferencing, phones, computers and other technologies.
On the other hand, the absence of face to face interaction may contribute to misunderstandings and conflict.
The challenge for the management of a virtual team is to create a cohesiveness usually reserved for successful collocated teams. The manager must create a tier of collaboration, productivity and communication that spans cultures, time and distance...
Success can be achieved when the virtual team leader addresses these questions:
- What is my role as a virtual team leader?
- How can you build high-quality relationships when people seldom, if ever, see each other in person?
- How can I enhance the performance of my virtual team?
- How can virtual relationships be managed more effectively using the company's existing communication technologies?
- Is it possible to manage performance and ensure accountability at a distance? (source: Kerber, Buono, 2011).

  Fernando de Diego
Project Manager, Spain

GDT Geodispersed Teams Perform Poor

Managing that kind of teams is still an issue. New videoconferencing technologies help a lot as do new messaging applica...

  P.E. Pernet
Consultant, France

Virtual / Distributed Teams

I would suggest you attend this free online seminar Leading Virtual Teams - Managing when People are at a Distance by Je...

  Lito Fadera
Management Consultant, Philippines

Tip for Geographically Dispersed Teams: Have a Meeting Each Day

@Fernando de Diego: I have been a member of a project management team that spans three countries for more than five year...

  Purathatil Krishnan
Manager, United States

Virtual Teams need Cultural Intelligence

Virtual teams often involve diversity in ethnicity, culture and - most importantly - thinking. With adequate curiosity a...

  John Minett
Director, United States

Cross Cultural Teams - Trust is a Fundamental Issue

These comments have been very useful. Placemaker associates is a start-up company that focuses on public involvement in ...

  Peter Durrant
Director, Australia

Geographically Dispersed Teams - Email is not communication

Hi Dalahn I am working from home in Perth and interact with Adelaide and Sydney. Over 10 years two different companies...

  David Whitfield
Professor, United States

Communicating with a Virtual / Geographically Dispersed Team

To communicate with a virtual team: - Expectations of all the team and all team members must be clear; - Rationale for...

  Joachim Armbruster
Coach, Germany

More Information on Virtual Teams?

The 5 questions asked by Kerber and Buono are good, the answers would be even more interesting. Any ideas about that? An...

  Bill Boynton
Teacher, United States

Opportunity to Learn from a Variety of Experiences and Backgrounds

A "virtual" team is still a team of people that needs to be addressing the same objectives of team performance. Everyone...

Business Consultant, India

Virtual Team Concept still in its Infancy although Fast Spreading

The virtual team-culture value-connect cauldron is a tricky business which deserves a very deep psychological study. The...

  Srikumar Varma

Managing Virtual Teams

Video conferencing and teleconferencing is all right if the people are more or less of the same origin although settled ...

  Miguel Sacramento
Business Consultant, Brazil

Virtual Teams - Geographically Dispersed Team : Create a Shared Dream

It doesn't matter where people are working if they are sincerely sharing a common vision. That is what leadership is all...

  Arif ur Rehman
Professor, Pakistan

Virtual Teams - Tomorrow's Challenge

We are sitting atop a universal collaborative commerce community and global corporate dialogue culture. Virtual teams ar...

Entrepreneur, United States

Virtual Teams Have to Encompass Many Elements

Virtual global cross functional teams are something I'm also familiar with from my online MBA. They present many challe...

  Emad Adeeb Eskander

Summary Tips for Managing Virtual Teams

Here's a summary of tips for managing virtual or geographically dispersed teams that have been mentioned so far: 1. Cre...

  Nguyen Tri Hue
Project Manager, France

Multi-cultural Aspects and Control

As a team leader, you need to understand the multi-culture paradigm of your team. Trust and control are important topic...

  P.E. Pernet
Consultant, France

Do Tuckman's Norming Stage First

@Nguyen Tri Hue: I think the specificity of virtual teams is that 'Norming' should not be the 3rd, but the 1st phase in ...

  D. Kerns
Student (Other), United States

The Six Cs of Global Collaboration

Greetings all, the financial services organization that I work in is a (global) virtual organization. When I work in the...

  Cintia Rodriguez, Peru

Web 2.0 and Virtual Teams

I agree that leadership is a key to success. Nowadays Web 2.0 offers a variety of tools to help team leaders success in ...

  Peter Bond, United Kingdom

Is a Virtual Team Really a Team? If not Can it Be Made So?

Dalahn, (nice name). Virtual 'teams' are all the rage aren't they? Unfortunately, practice has got somewhat ahead of the...

  Samuell Yew
Project Manager, Malaysia

My Experiences in a Geographically Dispersed Team

Kudos to all contributors to highlight the correct pros and cons and the challenges faced. As a participant in a GDT pro...

  Cintia Rodriguez, Peru

Google Plus, the Use of Hangouts and Team-working Online

@Peter Bond: I recommend, from personal experience, the use of Google Hangouts. For me, it is even better than Skype. In...

  F. Krynauw
Project Manager, South Africa

Success Case of Virtual Team in South Africa

I have just completed a manual of 6 volumes and 1500 pages on operational procedures in SA Post Office in a record time ...

  Jack Van Den Heerik
Project Manager, Belgium

Managing a Global GDT: The Need for Efficient and Effective Communication

I certainly agree with most of you and would like to stress that the key element of success in managing a global GDT is ...

Lecturer, Afghanistan

Geographically Dispersed Teams don't Necessarily Underperform Normal Teams

@Fernando de Diego I think in due time many people will attend in this kind of teams like also on 12manage. It is a good...

  Nguyen Tri Hue
Project Manager, France

Multi-cultural Aspects & Control

@P. E. Pernet : thank you for the clarification of the norming phase. From my understanding Tuckman's model details the ...

  Kathy Zandbergen
Director, Canada

Simple Approach from Canada (besides Incorporating Those Above)

I work in an international company but I'm lucky in that most of my team is national. So I only deal with 3 timezones. A...

  Francesco Cuoco, Italy

Dispersed Teams a New Approach

Management of such a team is the challenge today: we need to overcome all the communication issues and allow the team to...

Teacher, India

Virtual Team is Indeed a Boon!

It is indeed a wonderful idea and with the hi-tech tools available now, if it is properly understood and implemented in ...

Entrepreneur, United States

Visual Contact and Trust

When working together remotely it would be good to be able to see the people who one is communicating with, preferably m...

  Dali Horeshka
Business Consultant, Albania

Critical Concerns to Virtual Team Functioning

Based on my experience there are three critical critical concerns to allow a virtual team to function properly: - Creat...

  Arif ur Rehman
Professor, Pakistan

Remote Teams can Become Hub Teams

@Kathryn Pawley Steiner: Geographical disparity does create cross cultural and relational problems, per se, where it may...

  Kurt Ludikovsky
Consultant, Austria

It's All About the Goal

I can second all what has been said here, and still don't see a solution. I have run a virtual team with 23 country org...

  Felix ahonzo, Ghana

Things to Consider in Managing a Virtual Team

In my view, these are the main things to consider in managing a virtual team 1. Allocation of tasks and time line 2. C...

Student (University), New Zealand

GDT and Virtual Team Dynamics, Glass Half Full

Much good and diverse opinions on this topic here! There's Too much room for cultural faux pas in large virtual teams. ...

Entrepreneur, United States

Building Relationships and Establishing Trust in Virtual Teams

@Arif Ur Rehman: I have become accustomed to communicating remotely. For almost 2 years I communicated remotely as an MB...

  Arif ur Rehman
Professor, Pakistan

The Virtual Trust in Virtual Teams

@Kathryn Pawley Steiner: Contrasted to your 'low financial risk environment' mine is riddled with corruption. Yet profes...

  Sim Poay See
Material Analysis, Malaysia

We are discussing Virtual Teams in a Virtual Team!

This is a great topic and I feel that we are having a virtual team right now to discuss the same topic about "virtual te...

  Arif ur Rehman
Professor, Pakistan

Evolving a Practical Model for GDT's

@Sim Poay See: Over the coming weeks, while scanning the rudimentary literature (from my perspective) that I may possibl...

Teacher, India

Exchanging Views on GDT and Virtual Teams Sans Personal Faiths

I really appreciate the contribution of Mr. Arif Ur Rehman in these columns and submit that as professionals in the fiel...

Entrepreneur, United States

Standards for Global Cross Functional Teams Established by Organization

@Arif Ur Rehman: Arif, this discussion with all participants contributions and perspectives is interesting. I've been em...

  John limpus

Virtual Teams are the Way of the Future

The reality is that virtual teams are the way of the future. It is not always possible or feasable to get people togethe...

  Francesco Cuoco, Italy

Tools for Dispersed Virtual Teams

Surely virtual teams are the feature. The question is what to do to improve them and again I think communication is the ...

Teacher, India

GDT as a Social Group and Network for Effective and Efficient Services Marketing

GDT is a good and effective concept of getting connected with people across the globe and another way of social networki...

  Arif ur Rehman
Professor, Pakistan

Geographically Dispersed Teams and Global Marketing Efforts - Finding the Key

@Venkatesh: GDT and global marketing win if efforts are directed in an open, free, ethical and, more importantly, unders...

  Dali Horeshka
Business Consultant, Albania

Well-forged Objectives and Plan Make Geographically Dispersed Teams Functional

I just discussed with one of my colleagues engaged in the management of local capacity building team within Albania. The...

Entrepreneur, United States

Geographically Dispersed Teams Must Involve Relationship Building

This discussion certainly is interesting, with sevarl underlying complexities that can be simplified once relationships ...

  Arif ur Rehman
Professor, Pakistan

12manage as a Global Platform for Debates

Dear All: the on-going debates, dialogues and discussions on 12manage are fundamental to understanding relations and pre...

  abraham garshong, Ghana

Requirements for Virtual Teams / Geographical Dispersed Teams

@Emad Adeeb Eskander: excellent summary! In my view a critical point for virtual teams to be successful is having occasi...

Teacher, India

GDT and Views Thereon

@Kurt Ludikovsky : your points are highly relevant in present day. But the team selection for any project of long term o...

  Irene Brunner Jucker, Switzerland

Leading Dispersed Teams

In my experience, coaching competencies (in the sense of listening carefully and asking the right questions) are key to ...

  Connie Liu
Project Manager, China

Best Practices in Managing Overseas Teams

There are many areas that both sides need to consider: - Communicate effectively and timely to which leave is effecti...

Consultant, United Kingdom

The Importance of Small Talk in Virtual Teams

Small talk is often a missing ingredient in virtual teams. In teams where all of the members share a common office space...

  Anneke Zwart
Student (University), Netherlands

Best Practices to Managing and Developing Effective Virtual Teams

Ferrazzi just published an interesting article on this subject in the Harvard Business Review. He writes that in a world...

  Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

Productivity of Telecommuters and Flexworkers

See also the discussion Factors Determining the Productivity of Telecommuters and Flexworkers....


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