What kinds of tasks fall into each quadrant? Therefore, what kinds of communications norms do we need?
To the extent team members are working autonomously on tasks which remain static, there is little need for a lot of cross-team communications. Communications should be: Minimalist. Local. Compliance oriented where necessary. Automated whenever possible.
The danger for virtual teams is that the "disconnected" feeling of a distributed team sometimes leads to over-reporting as a strategy to give people the feeling of "knowing what's going on." Sometime team members generate a lot of reporting in order to make sure the team leader "knows" that they are working. This kind of communication creates sludge in the team's arteries. It is a common cause of information overload which can sometimes result in team members avoiding engaging in the communications which actually are important to the team.
The team needs to agree on a strategy to defend itself against communication sludge! Be on the lookout for what can be eliminated.
2 of 5routine/interdependent
Team members need to provide enough information to each other about areas where their routine work is interdependent to enable them to coordinate. Communications should be: Standardized. Organized. Easy. "Pull" v. "Push" (You go get what you need when you need it rather than having it pushed at you automatically). The danger for virtual teams is that because we have technology which allows us to exchange and store large amounts of information, we do it because we can without really addressing whether doing it adds value.
The team needs to agree on a strategy to manage and coordinate this communication. Choose a few, processes for exchanging critical information and make a commitment to sticking to agreements about when and what will be produced by each member of the team.
When individuals (or sub groups) on the team notice changes emerging in the work they have...
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