As businesses continue to expand globally, working teams and their
managers are increasingly getting separated by many miles and different
time zones. Though, the virtual concept has many advantages to it, but
at the same time, it presents a number of managerial challenges for the
organization. Online working pattern makes the work being done less
formalized and even the companies don’t have clear policies on how to
manage virtual project teams.
Today, leading a project team simply means leading people located at
different offices, in different countries and different time zones.
Usually people assume that an effective leader leading physically
present teams well can easily manage the virtual teams. But that is not
true in all cases. Such leaders may also fail to manage virtual teams.
Such teams have different kind of issues and challenges and here
effective leadership plays the key role. Most common challenges include
miscommunication, language or time barrier, accountability issues, etc.
Thus, to be a successful virtual team leader, you must master these 3 traits:
Make More Impact With Virtual Team Meetings
To prove yourself as an influential leader, run effective team
meetings that clearly communicate the project goals and objectives. Here
are the simple tips that you can follow to make the meeting more
Pen down the meeting agendas
Address time barriers
Avoid off-the-track discussions
Delegate balanced and collaborative tasks
Establish Healthy Bonding And Trust Within Team Members
This is one of the greatest challenges while handling a virtual team.
As per a recent survey, 81% virtual teams have a problem of
establishing good rapport and trust among the members. Thus, here it
becomes the responsibility of the project lead to keep the team bonding
and spirit intact. But the members also need to support for the same.
These tips can help you establish trust and more integrity:
Clearly show your work to others
Accept when you don’t know anything
Stay in regular touch
Try indulging two or more resources on single task
Manage Individual as well as Team Accountability
Usually, in virtual team set-ups, every individual has a tendency to
work autonomously that makes them disconnected and sometimes distracted.
Therefore, as a team lead, you need to hold them accountable for every
task assigned to them. Here’s how you can improve accountability of your
Clearly designate responsibility to all team members
Be specific with deadlines and share the information over a common project management tool
Acknowledge every team member when key milestones are achieved
Technology can be your tool in bridging the gap between virtual teams. Effective project management software can help you enhance team collaboration and communication, set realistic goals and objectives and track the project progress.
Khemchand Joshi, CSM,PMP, is Product Owner of PM Aura
working with PM Aura team to implement practices and solutions for
project management. As a CSM, PMP, Khemchand is an experienced Project
Manager , Scrum Master, Product Owner and Coach.He brings a holistic
perspective to his work with senior executives in leading the challenges
of organizational change. Khemchand addresses the multiple concerns of
product management in product design and product development; as well as
the concerns of software development leaders and their teams through
waterfall and agile practices.