Creating Better Teams Anytime, Anywhere

Janis Rizzuto

Janis is an award-winning journalist and editor who has covered many industries beyond project management, including health care, financial services, higher education and retail sales.

Diverse, distributed teams add risk and complexity to projects. Here are five tips — culled from a new report by Forrester Research senior analyst Mary Gerush — to help project managers bridge cultural, geographic and organizational gaps among team members.

These days, if there’s one thing that companies have in common it is that work gets done by team members who do not share common ground.

With outsourcing and contracting at an all-time high, people from a variety of geographies and cultures and organizations often come together to tackle projects, which creates challenges for the project managers who must lead them.

“Today’s modern team is no longer in the same building,” says Mary Gerush, a senior analyst with Forrester Research, specializing in application development and project management. “Teams are diverse, distributed and having to connect in different ways.” The complexities of this “new normal” environment led Gerush to research ways to operate better within it. She compiled her ideas in “Best Practices: Five Strategies for Leading Diverse, Distributed Teams to Success,” a report released Oct. 29.

The bottom line is that better people skills will be required of those who seek great results from these teams. “There is increased recognition that developing, delivering and supporting …

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"America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up."

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