Managing IT Project Teams in Virtual Setting
The project management is a difficult task in itself and the difficulty level multiplies when the teams exist in virtual setting. Generally, the team exists in virtual setting when there are stakeholders in different regions and countries. For example, the IT projects of large organizations like Amazon are complex projects and the project managers have tough time to manage the projects. This blog would focus on the ways IT projects team should be managed in virtual environment. This blog analyses the journal article, ‘Challenges of Leading in Virtual Organizations’ and based on this analysis, the discussion is done.
Lee (2017) highlighted that IT project management is complex because it is difficult to predict the end state in IT projects. The IT project managers have difficult times ahead as they have to manage as well as other resources. It would be correct to say that the management of people in IT project management is tough in virtual setting because different people have different expectations. In the contemporary business environment, the organizations need to make it sure that the employees are meeting the responsibility of the job in accordance to the roles assigned to them. Everything should be in order and disciplined. Thus I recommend that the company needs to check to make sure of the fact that the culture of the workplace celebration is beneficial for the company. However, the company needs to make it sure that it does not provide the employee chance to neglect their responsibility of the company. In a virtual setting, the project manager must communicate the goals and objectives of project to different stakeholders.
Lu & Watson-Manheim (2006) argued that one of the ways to manage the team members in virtual setting is to focus on people unity and to create a positive environment. It can be achieved only when people talks to each other both professionally and personally. It is important that project manager should arrange frequent team meetings within the team. The objective of the employee celebration is to make the employees work together for the company and bring the positive environment for the workplace culture. It helps to create a positive environment for each employee of company. Yet the company and project manager needs to check that the employees are not taking the advantage of the celebration. Workplace celebration may consider as an expensive process to the company. Thus the company needs to check that whether it is giving any pressure to the balance sheet of the company.
I believe that the article, ‘Challenges of Leading in Virtual Organizations’ is well written. One of the good things about the article is that the authors have taken global examples to make their points. Authors started the argument with the discussion on Amazon. The large companies like Amazon and Google have projects that spans through multiple geographies. For a common project at Amazon, there would be engineers and team members working in America and India. It adds to the overhead of the project manager. The project manager has to manage various overheads in terms of support, time zone differences, etc. At the same time, project manager has to manage the cultural differences within the team. The article is a good article to read as the author emphasis on the importance of team building activities to ensure that project manager is able to manage effectively in a virtual setting (Driskell & Radtke, 2003). There is a need of team celebrations and these celebrations bring the staff members together for one purpose and team building is very important to Amazon since business runs throughout of teamwork. As I believe everyone needs a little appreciation once in a while. So these celebrations at the workplace would help the team to build their morale and motivation as well as a team feel appreciated for their contributions and can give a sense of purpose and helping each person reach their potential.
Lee (2017) highlighted that there are two key tools for a virtual team project manager that will improve the understanding of the interactions and help to set clear expectations — a communications plan and team operating agreements. It is important that the IT project manager should communicate frequently with the team members. It would be correct to say that communication is one thing that can reduce the barriers of team management and project management. The project manager should arrange for meetings over the Skype for the team members in virtual environment (Goodbody, 2005). The IT project manager should also act as a bridge between the senior leaders and employees or team members in virtual environment. It is the responsibility of IT project manager to ensure that employees or team members are aware of the high-level business strategies of organizations.
I can say that I have learned a lot from this article. The specific lessons learned and conclusion can be discussed as:
Conclusion & Lessons Learned
The above blog discusses the ways IT projects team should be managed in virtual environment. One of the best learning from the article is that communication within the organization is a key for leaders and IT project managers to create a culture where employees can work with high productivity. With this article, I have also learned the importance of communication plan. The communications management plan outlines what communication needs to happen, how frequently, who needs to be communicated with, the intention of the communication, nuances, where it originates, and the communication medium. I am sure that I would be able to implement the learning in my professional experience and I would be able to emerge a better professional.
Driskell, J. E., Radtke, P. H., and Salas, E. (2003). Virtual teams: Effects of technological mediation on team performance. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 7(4), 297—323.
Goodbody, J. (2005). Critical success factors for global virtual teams. Strategic Communication Management, 9(2), 18—21.
Lee, M. (2017). Challenges of Leading in Virtual Organizations. Retrieved from: (28th May 2017)
Lu, M., Watson-Manheim, M. B., Chudaba, K. M., and Wynn, E. (2006). Virtuality and team performance: Understanding the impact of variety of practices. Journal of Global Information Technology Management, 9(1), 4—23.