The Art of Managing Virtual Teams: Eight Key Lessons

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The Art of Managing Virtual Teams: Eight key Lessons
Charles Wardell
Summary
In today’s world, it is not enough just to have a virtual team in place. What is more important is how manage them and maximize the benefits of such a structure. In this article, Charles has stated eight key lessons that he believes are vital for effective virtual team management. These lessons are: 1. First learn to manage a regular team before jumping into a virtual team. Also, emphasis should be on managing people and not the budget. 2. Set clear goals and deliverables at the beginning of the project after brainstorming with all team members. 3. Do not make any assumptions. State all details so that everyone is clear and on the same page. 4. Communicate as much as possible. Increased communication in a team indirectly nurtures trust in the team. Use all mediums to communicate and lay emphasis on personal interaction and voice conversations over email. 5. Make contacts. Network with other employees to exchange learnings and assistance when required. 6. Reward well. Incentives and recognition are performance boosters and should be provided on project and individual performances. 7. Keep an eye for any conflicts. Watch out for obstacles and hindrances in the team. Encourage voice communications over email and resolve any conflicts if they arise effectively. 8. Learn from the past experiences through feedback.

How can I apply ideas from this reading in my work?
There are a few key lessons that I had missed out or overlooked in my previous work experience and take as learning from this article. One is of not making any assumptions. While working with teams across different locations, I assumed various information that was common sense/general knowledge to me but wasn’t the same for the other team members. This led to different interpretation of the task at hand and hence required rework when all assumptions were cleared. I now know the importance and plan...
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