How to Manage Global Virtual Teams

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Unlike traditional teams, global virtual teams don’t meet at the same location daily, which is becoming more feasible in this century. Globalization has created this concept, a common phenomenon in large organizations and small businesses. According to the Clutch Remote Work Survey, most U.S. workers temporarily work from home at least one day per week, and this trend is not about to fade. While some of us always worked in Global Virtual Teams (GVT), we still meet leaders who prefer to have their team sit in the same physical location with them. Learning to lead global virtual Teams better was a big motivator for me to finalize and publish “The Global Rockstar Album – 21 Verses to Find Your Tact as an Inclusive Leader”. While I am still learning to be a better global rockstar, I would like to share a few basic ideas for managing a global virtual team for high performance. 

Virtual teams are  “workgroups which (1)  have some core members who interact primarily through electronic means, and (2) are engaged in interdependent tasks — i.e., are truly teams and not just groups of independent workers).” Like any other team, these virtual teams also require proper leadership and management for optimum results. So let’s start with why we should opt for Global Virtual Teams (GVT) or “hybrid” teams. 

  • Companies can bring global talent together when projects start, while employees can enjoy the flexibility of working from home according to their schedules. 
  • Organizations can cut the cost of relocation, traveling, real estate, and other business expenditures. These include businesses that use virtual teams to build a global presence, outsource their operations, or need less common expertise or skills from people who are reluctant to relocate from their home location.
  • Virtual teams add diversity to a project. It is always better to brainstorm ideas to add creativity to the work process; these virtual teams are ideal. They also enable organizations to network globally with a fresh perspective of every country. 
  • Compared to traditional teams’ operation style, it might be hard to get it right and manage. It might not always be easy to bring people from different cultures to one platform and get them to collaborate on a project. 
  • They can fall short of goals and motivation because of how they communicate. They rely on modern technology, emails, video conferences, virtual meetings, etc., taking away the full spectrum and dynamics of in-person exchange. Thus, to excel, each member needs to be self-motivated. 
  • Collaboration within a project might cause delays in working on the project.

Advantages of Virtual Teams

  • Companies can bring global talent together when projects start, while employees can enjoy the flexibility of working from home according to their schedule.
  • Organizations can cut the cost of relocation, traveling, real estate, and other business expenditures. Businesses that use virtual teams to build a global presence outsource their operations and need less common expertise or skills from people reluctant to relocate from their home location.
  • Virtual teams add diversity to a project. Brainstorming ideas to add creativity to the work process is always better, and these virtual teams are ideal. They also enable organizations to network globally with a fresh perspective from different countries.

 

Manage Global Virtual Teams
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Challenges of Global Virtual Teams

  • Virtual teams might be harder to manage correctly than traditional teams. It might not always be easy to bring people from different cultures to one platform and get them to collaborate on a project.
  • Because of how they communicate, they can fall short of goals and motivation. They rely on modern technology, emails, video conferences, virtual meetings, etc., which takes away the full spectrum and dynamics of an in-person exchange. Thus, to excel, each member needs to be self-motivated.
  • Collaboration within a project might cause delays in working on the project.

 

Tips To Manage Virtual Teams

1 – Build Trust

The first and foremost requirement is to build and maintain trust between team members. This helps unblock their communication and sustains the motivation of each person involved. If they can’t trust each other, they will have issues working together, which is the essence of virtual teams.

2 – Clear Goals, Standards & Rules

Managers need to set clear goals for each member separately and for the team as a whole. Performance standards and communication rules must also be clearly defined to avoid misunderstandings and harmful assumptions. In addition, they should be clear on tasks and processes.

3 – Constant Communication

Team members should be able to communicate clearly, constructively, and positively, even without nonverbal cues of face-to-face communication. Optimum use of technology for this purpose is a requirement.

4 – Build a Team Rhythm

It is crucial for the global team to have regular meetings, ideally on the same day and time each week, to stay on track. Create meeting agendas in advance with explicit agreement on communication protocols and timings. You will probably have time zone conflicts, so don’t put the time zone burden on the same members every time. Instead, follow a strict rotation to practice fairness and avoid biases.

5 . Global Leader for Global Teams

Develop into a leader who appreciates the experience of managing global teams. Set up regular one-to-one performance management meetings with your team members. Let your team know how they contribute to the success of your project so that they get a feeling of ownership.

 

 

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The Global Rockstar Album

https://clutch.co/resources/the-state-of-remote-work-during-covid

Annex F: Kanban and other Productivity Tools – also for people with ADHD and PTSD

 

Kanban 

Kanban is a highly effective project management and workflow visualization system. It provides a simple and intuitive framework for organizing and tracking work, allowing teams to achieve higher efficiency, transparency, and collaboration. Kanban boards typically consist of columns representing different stages of the workflow. Each work item, represented by a card or sticky note, moves from one column to the next as it progresses through the process. This visual representation provides a clear overview of the work in progress. 

 

Project Management Tools

Project management tools help you streamline your work, improve team collaboration, and increase productivity. They offer a wide range of features, including task tracking, team communication, file sharing, and progress monitoring. 

 

  • Asana, with boards.
  • Azure DevOps Server, an integrated ALM-platform for managing work in and across multiple teams. 
  • CA Technologies Rally, provides teams with the option of managing pull-based, lean software development projects.
  • Unicom Focal Point, a portfolio management and product management tool.
  • Jira provides kanban boards.
  • Monday.com is a popular project management and team collaboration platform. It provides a flexible and customizable interface for managing tasks, projects, and workflows.
  • Pivotal Tracker provides kanban boards.
  • Projektron BCS, a project management tool, provides Kanban boards for tickets and tasks.
  • Slack is primarily known as a team communication and collaboration tool, it also offers various integrations and features for project management. You can connect Slack with other project management tools to streamline communication and task tracking within your team.
  • Trello, cards-based project management.
  • Tuleap, an agile open source tool for development teams: customize board columns, set WIP (Work In Progress), connect the board with Issue Trackers, Git, and Documents.
  • Twproject (formerly Teamwork), project and groupware management tool.
  • Wrike, an Agile Collaborative Work Management Platform.

Our App for Nomads with Global Careers and Lives

Apps for People with ADHD

  • Focus Genie is a time management app for people with ADHD created by Jenna Kutcher. 

Apps to Practice Meditation and Relaxation

  • Isha by Sadhguru is great for meditation beginners
  • iOSHO is app that aims to make meditation, mindfulness, awareness, and consciousness accessible and integrated into the daily lives
  • Calm is an app that offers meditation practices.  
  • Headspace offers a large number of guided meditations.
  • Rootd, an app which helps with anxiety.
  • Breathe2Relax is a portable stress management tool that guides users through diaphragmatic breathing exercises. It helps reduce the body’s stress response, stabilize mood, control anger, and manage anxiety. 

Apps for People with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

  • PTSD Coach provides tools and resources for managing PTSD symptoms, including educational information, self-assessment tools, and coping strategies. PTSD Coach was primarily designed for Veterans and military Servicemembers.
  • ACT Coach was developed for veterans, service members, and individuals in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, ACT Coach provides exercises, tools, information, and tracking logs to practice ACT principles and commit to actions aligned with personal values.
  • Anger and Irritability Management Skills (AIMS) is designed for individuals dealing with anger problems. The app offers education about anger, support resources, anger management planning, tracking tools, and techniques to manage angry reactions. 
  • CBT-I Coach was designed for individuals engaged in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, CBT-I Coach guides users through improving sleep habits, developing positive routines, and enhancing sleep environments. It offers a structured program with proven strategies to alleviate insomnia symptoms. 

 



3 thoughts on “How to Manage Global Virtual Teams

  1. Pingback: How to Manage Virtual Teams | Global People Transitions | Nader Ale Ebrahim

  2. Pingback: Tips for Managing an International Workforce - Global People Transitions

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