How To Manage Virtual Project Teams

Report
How To Manage Virtual
Project Teams
2013 Nashville PMI Symposium
April 29, 2013
Presented by
Charlene B. Schultz, MBA, PMP®
Agenda
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Introduction
Industry Trends
Background
Building the Team
Conflict Resolution
Recognition
Tools and Technology
Conclusion
Contact Information
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Introduction
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The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act
with yesterday’s logic.
-Peter Drucker (1)
For the past thirteen years, I have been working with virtual (onshore and
offshore) teams. During this time, I have experienced many rewarding, exciting,
challenging, and enlightening moments.
Working with over forty teams in multiple industries with
members throughout the world, I have learned, and or created, tools, techniques and
examples, that can aid in any virtual team’s success.
The goal of this presentation is to demonstrate a few of
these tools and techniques. While exploring the exciting, timely, and emerging work
trend in the field of project management, these tools and techniques will help you lead
your virtual teams in a professional, efficient, and successful manner. When applied
and executed in the proper context, the examples presented today will provide positive
results in any virtual environtment.
Thank you for attending today’s presentation.
- Charlene, 04/29/13
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Industry Trends
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The Future of Telework
Number of people in the U.S. currently telecommuting at least
once per month.
According to the Telework Research Network(2):
o Over 16 million currently people work remotely once per month
Trending Numbers:
o Based on the historical growth rate reported by WorldatWork this same
telework population could grow to 50 million people by 2018
What are some of the major factors influencing this trend?
o Improving communications, high-speed broadband, web-based applications
and collaboration technologies
o Desire for flexible work schedules and arrangements
o Escalating fuel prices
o Pressures on companies to reduce indirect costs like real estate, office space
o Increased pressure on companies to reduce their carbon footprint
o Declining number of managers who are not comfortable with telecommuters
o Increased understanding of how to manage virtual workforces
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The Top 10
According to CNNMoney’s “Top 100 Best Companies to Work for in
2012,” the 85 “Best Companies”allow employees to telecommute or work
at home at least 20% of the time. The 10 companies on the below list
have the highest percentage of telecommuters.(3)
Company
Best Companies rank
% of "regular"
telecommuters
90%
Cisco
90
Baptist Health South Florida
42
88%
Accenture
Teach For America
Intel
World Wide Technology
Pricewaterhouse Coopers
Ultimate Software
Perkins Coie
American Fidelity Assurance
92
70
46
50
48
25
58
47
81%
80%
80%
70%
70%
50%
45%
40%
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Background
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What is a virtual team?
As defined by the Project Management Institute (PMI®),
ʺVirtual teams can be defined as groups of people with a
shared goal who fulfill their roles with little or no time spent
meeting face to face.ʺ(4)
As quoted in Investor’s Business Daily,
“At health insurer Aetna (AET), teleworkers are thriving and growing. In
2013, 47% of its employees telecommute vs. 9% in 2005. Hartford,
Conn.-based Aetna saved $78 million annually in real estate costs, said
spokesperson Susan Millerick. Moreover, its turnover rate for
telecommuters is 3% compared to 8% for other Aetna employees, which
saves on recruiting and training costs.”(5) (03/28/13)
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Understanding Team Characteristics
Traditional Team
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•
•
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Daily face-to-face interaction with
multiple people on the team and in
an onsite office
Generally located in same city, state,
country, or time zone
Celebrate similar holidays
Experience and affected by the
same local weather and news events
Meetings held in person in
traditional conference rooms
Common local culture and customs
Virtual Team
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Little to no face-to-face interaction
with team
Usually located in various cities,
countries, states, and time zones
Celebrate wide variety of holidays
Affected by global news and
weather events
Technology driven electronic
communications --email, instant
messaging, phone, video conference
International, national and regional
cultures
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Traditional Office
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Virtual Office
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Building the Team
How do you build trust with
people you may never see?
Find a “common ground” of shared understanding to
build relationships.
• Know team member locations--Country, City, State, Time zone
• Be aware of weather conditions and current news events
affecting team members
• Share interests such as pet ownership, kids, sports, travel,
hobbies
• Avoid topics like religion and politics (save that for later, if ever!)
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Next Steps: Team Building
Store team member information (as applicable) in a customized project
Stakeholder Register (6):
•
Identification information
•
Assessment information
•
Stakeholder classification
Name
Position
Location
Time zone
Other info
Jennifer Jones
Business Analyst
Mumbai, India
** Use Time
converter tool
Bob Smith
Application Architect
San Diego, CA
PST
Ramesh Kumar
Testing Project Manager
Bar Harbor, ME
EST
Manage Requirements
sessions; Planning; Team
meetings
Lead solution
discussions, Team
Meetings
Oversees testing team,
Approver; Team
meetings
Ming Li
Adam Wilson
Developer
Business Owner
Toronto, Canada
Phoenix, AZ
Leihung Chow
Business Lead
Beijing, China
EST
MST
** Use Time
converter tool
XYZ application only
Status reports only
Requirements Approver,
Team meetings
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Conflict Resolution
How do you resolve virtual conflicts? Interrupt the
conflict when you see or hear it escalating. Whether
you are in a meeting or reading an email chain,
intervene as soon as possible.
Help your team STOP.
low down and listen to the other. Let everyone
talk without interrupting.
ake a deep breath before responding.
pen your mind to another point of view.
ause, mute and don’t send an email when
you’re angry. People can often remember how
you make them feel for a very long time.
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Recognition
o Virtual rewards and recognition are extremely important to keep you
team feeling “connected” as well as appreciated, and part of a group!
o Virtual parties with cards that are signed by everyone on the team and
shared during a virtual party
o Recognize and celebrate birthdays for each month or anniversaries,
holidays just as you would – send cards to people’s home addresses
o Reward the team with public praise. Let their peers and management
know how well they performed!
o Thank people often, and then thank them some more 
o Find out what internal rewards are available at your organization – gift
certifications, gift cards, paid time off and reward your team
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Tools & Technology
o Understand your corporate culture relative to teleworkers.
o Use the tools and technology which best fit your team and organization.
Agree as a team.
o Most importantly have one shared document storage that everyone the
team can access.
o Communicate as appropriate. Don’t “copy the world.”
o Respond to email within one business day. Ignoring email is like
having someone ask you a question, you look back at them, say nothing
and walk away.
o Let people know how to reach you at all times during work hours and
that you will respond back as soon as possible.
o Build virtual trust by being responsible, responsive, accountable, and
dependable. Even if your team can’t see you, they should know you are
accessible.
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Conclusion
Thank you for attending today’s presentation!
Hopefully you have enjoyed the topics discussed and gained a better
understanding of virtual team work and the role of the virtual project
manager.
The greatest danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim
too high and falling short, but in setting out aim too low and
achieving our mark. – Michelangelo
© 2013 IT and Business Consulting Services, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Contact Information
Charlene B. Schultz, MBA, PMP
615-715-5681
®
www.cbschultz.com
email: [email protected]
IT and Business Consulting Services, LLC
© 2013 IT and Business Consulting Services, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Notes
1. Peter Drucker. Managing in Turbulent Times (New York, N.Y.: Harper Paperbacks, 1980).
2. Kate Lister & Tom Harnish, ʺThe State of Telework in the U.S. How Individuals, Business, and Government Benefit, ʺ
Telework Research Network, June 2011, 22-23. http://www.workshifting.com/downloads/downloads/Telework-Trends-US.pdf
(accessed March 20, 2013)
3. ʺ100 Best Companies to Work for 2012,ʺ CNNMoney, Feb. 6, 2012. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2012/benefits/telecommuting.html (accessed March 15, 2013).
4. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), 5th ed. (Newtown Square, PA: Project Management
Institute, 2013), 271.
5. Gary M. Stern, ʺThe Widening Telecommuting Divide: Aetna Vs. Yahoo,ʺ Investor’s Business Daily, March 28, 2013,
http://news.investors.com/management-managing-for-success/032813-649720-telework-thrives-at-aetna-but-notyahoo.htm?ven=fox_businesscp (accessed March 29, 2013)
6. PMBOK® Guide, 398.
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