Virtual Team Challenges

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C.1. Challenges to Virtual Teams
Project managers should first analyze the common pitfalls/barriers that their virtual team would face so as to propose solutions to overcome them. A few common examples are:
• Trust issues – Unlike physical teams, project managers unable to effectively keep track/monitor group members’ work
• Different time zones – severely limits the scheduling of online meetings
• Language & cultural barriers – Mispronunciations and misunderstandings of terms used
• Lack of cohesiveness – Due to lack of personal interactions, members might be unclear on their individual tasks, let alone having a common goal
If these issues are left ignored, the relationship and motivation of the team might turn stale, which is detrimental
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High Performance Virtual Team
In response to the above pitfalls, Siebdrat et al. (2009) suggested that increasing the members’ motivation and task-related process is crucial in improving the performance of virtual teams. Members should be selected using social and teamwork skills as a basis, these parameters can effectively promote teamwork amongst the group. Additionally, members should have the self-discipline and leadership necessary to see through tasks as they see fit, should the team leader is unavailable.
Watkins (2013) added that managers should foster a “virtual water cooler ” environment helps to encourage social interactions and bonding among team members. It can be easily executed through the use of informal discussions or virtual team-building rituals before the actual meeting itself.
Last but not least, team members should consistently clarify their own tasks and responsibilities so as to keep themselves on the right track. Even when video conferencing is not an option, other formal channels such as e-mail or the company dashboards can be used as another means for contact purposes.

D. Reducing Project
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It is hard not to disagree with that statement. After all, prevention is better than cure. In applying this theory to project management, project managers can conduct a risk management process and trend-analysis to forecast and take into account the possible risks associated with the project. In a nutshell, proper planning in advance can significantly reduce or avoid the impact of project crashing.

E. Managing Stakeholders
Stakeholder management is all about dealing and negotiating with parties who have an interest or are related to the project (eg. Customers, government organizations, and external contractors). Although this may seem insignificant, stakeholders’ engagement actually plays a huge influence to the project’s success. (Thompson, 2015) Project managers need to realize that a project’s success doesn’t solely depend on one person, but rather a whole group of stakeholders involved, either directly or

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