Question1. Why do you think that companies are deploying Virtual Project Teams?
Solution: The projects now a day are becoming more complex and the construction sites are very remote in nature, in such cases, relocating the team members who especially works from the office itself is not required by using the virtual team concept. Team members who may need to visit the site very rarely maybe once or twice in the whole project lifecycle are not required to be totally shifted from the base office to remote site locations. It has sometimes found that by forcing such transfer orders, even though being efficient and good employee record, they had to leave the organization for personal commitments.
By using virtual team, the best efficient project team members across the globe can be recruited for any project for getting the best results at a very cheaper rate and the convenient of the employees to operate not only from their city but from their own home itself to maintain the work & life balance.
Question2. What do you see as some of the key challenges in working in a Virtual Environment?
Solution: Even though the virtual team has many advantages of working and being flexible, at the same time it has many operational issues which are restricting its use as a whole by all the organizations. Few challenges are:
The main challenge is being faced by the Project Manager to manage the team members especially with those who are having long geographical distance since the overlap period of working with the Project Manager and the team members are very small compared to the traditional project teams who can meet anytime whenever they want to.
In the virtual environment, the communication management becomes very complex and sometimes it may become tedious when there are some network issues in the system.
The meeting time, the job delivery time etc. are totally dependent on the network system and its availability will become the high-risk requirement of the project and can lose much of the project’s time and patience of other team member’s too.
Question3. What would you do to overcome these challenges in order to create a high-performance team?
Solution: All the drawbacks of having a virtual project team cannot be resolved fully, but few of them can be managed by organizing the proper method of operation to minimize the communication gap. Few methods of overcoming the challenges of the virtual project team are:
By developing a ground rule of communicating between the team members (Mattus, 2010)
By arranging official get together at one time at least once in a month between the team members via video conferencing and arranging the same food menu among all the members through known fast food centers like KFC, McDonald’s etc.
Always encourage distribution of gifts in case of any anniversaries or occasions.
This is to conclude, that we can do some technical betterment in the network system so that it remains available 24 hours and increase the personal touch among the team members to reduce the impact of inability to meet physically to improve the efficiency and cohesiveness among the team members.
Mattus, T. J. (2010). The Challenges of Managing Virtual Project Teams. PMI Global Congress (pp. 1-7). Milan, Italy: PMI.