September 30th | 2003 By
Virtual teams can succeed, but only if project managers canmake the leap to “virtual” reality
The advent of the global economy, projectized organizations, andadvancements in technology have all contributed to a rise in theuse of virtual teams to accomplish company and project objectives.Opinions regarding the efficacy of these teams is slowly evolving.Over the past 2 1/2 years I’ve had the opportunity to formulate myown opinions and observations firsthand while co-leading a largevirtual team, PMI’s Organizational Project Management MaturityModel Standard team. This team, in existence for a span of over 5years, utilized over 800 volunteers and included resources fromover 35 countries. During my time as the deputy of the program, Ihad ample opportunity to observe a truly virtual team at work. Inthe end, any skepticism I may have had about the effectiveness ofvirtual teams has been eradicated. What I have concluded, however,is that there are a number of guidelines and rules, some of which Ihad to learn the hard way, which can greatly benefit projectmanagers trying to form and lead successful virtual projects. Thefollowing tips and guidelines represent my observations for how tobest manage virtual teams. Where possible, I’ve cited evidence orresearch I found to back up my anecdotal conclusions.