Project Management

You Don't Have to Settle for Virtual Performance from Virtual Teams -- If You ACTIVATE Them Properly

Joe Wynne is a versatile Project Manager experienced in delivering medium-scope projects in large organizations that improve workforce performance and business processes. He has a proven track record of delivering effective, technology-savvy solutions in a variety of industries and a unique combination of strengths in both process management and workforce management.

We experts at gantthead were recently assisting a member with a common issue for project managers. Her question was:

"I'm looking at how the JPACE model translates into a virtual environment. I was wondering if you've used it in this context and/or if you think it would work without face to face communication. It just struck me initially that the need for strong approvals and the stated need for individual motivation during the activate phase may be somewhat thwarted in a virtual environment." -- Emma G., Australia

Emma is correct, the management of virtual teams is different than face-to-face teams. That's not surprising. What is surprising is that what you might assume about virtual teams would more than likely be wrong! We'll deal with these misconceptions as we look at management strategies.

One of the strengths of gantthead's JPACE model is the grouping of a key set of project activities into an ACTIVATION Stage. Getting started correctly will eliminate many problems later. Activation is even more important with virtual teams. So what are the strategies necessary to properly activate a virtual team? You must:

  • Take advantage of initial optimism.
  • Define work procedures internally.
  • Prioritize training on interaction tools.
  • Plan an effective kick-off meeting.

Take Advantage of Initial Optimism

Contrary …


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"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one."

- Mark Twain