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Managing and Leading Virtual Teams


Working remotely as part of a “virtual team” is a growing trend in today’s workplace.  The MIT Sloan report identified a healthy growth with an 80% increase in “telecommunicating” employees from 2005 to 2012.

The 2009 study by Cisco, which surveyed 2000 employees, revealed some interesting conclusions including: (i) virtual teams are actually more engaged and (ii) remote employees tend to log more hours.   “Approximately 69% of the employees surveyed cited higher productivity when working remote, and 75% of those surveyed said the timeliness of their work improved.

All reports note that the success of virtual teams doesn’t just happen, but in fact is correlated to the “adjustments” made by those managing virtual teams.  In effect, leading a virtual team takes different skills and a more flexible approach than leading a co-located team.

This course focuses on the key elements of leading a virtual team including important adjustments to the “Four C’s”:

  1. Communication:   Ways to ensure effective communication and tools to assist
  2. Collaboration:  Ways to work remotely while ensuring alignment and results
  3. Culture:  Ways to work flexibility using protocols that build team effectiveness
  4. Connectedness:  Ways to ensure cohesiveness, trust, and rapport

Key Learning Objectives:

By the end of this one-day program, participants will have learned how to:

  1. Define and differentiate  between co-located and virtual teams
  2. Clarify what makes a virtual team successful
  3. Build trust and performance in a virtual team
  4. Examine and learn tools designed for virtual team effectiveness
  5. Instill best practices for holding virtual team meetings
  6. Develop the managerial competencies in leading virtual teams
  7. Make linkages to IT Sources virtual team needs

Program Agenda
The program has six (6) key learning modules, as follows:
Module 1 – Contrasting a Virtual Team from a Co-located Team

  • What is A Team?
  • What is A Virtual Team?
  • What are the specific challenges of Virtual Team?
  • Pros and Cons of Working Virtually
  • Virtual Teams – Quotes from the Front Line

Module Two:  Factors contributing to Successful Virtual Teams

  • Virtual Team Leadership – Ensuring Alignment and Cohesiveness
  • Relationship in a Virtual Teams
  • Trust in Virtual Teams
  • Communication in Virtual Team

Module Three: Collaborative Communication Tools

  • Google Docs
  • Tools Review: Telephone/VOIP
  • Audio Conference
  • E-mail
  • Instant Messaging/Chat Forum
  • Friends Forum
  • Web page
  • Shared Files – Offline
  • Shared Files – Online
  • Video Conference
  • Face to Face Meeting

Module Four: Best Practices for Virtual Meetings

  • Meeting Basics
  • Virtual meetings – All of the above, plus a few more
  • CISV International Ltd Virtual team Work Guide
  • Effective Practices from experienced Facilitators of Virtual Meetings.
  • The Virtual Meeting Process
  • Virtual Meeting Etiquette: Committee: “Rules of the Road”
  • Roles and Responsibilities of All participants
  • How to Create an Agenda – Step By Step.
  • Tips for Successful Virtual Meetings.

Module Five:  Manager Competencies For Ensuring Virtual Team Success

  • What a Virtual Team wants from its Leader – Strengths Analysis
  • Empowering your Team
  • Strategies for Building Trust
  • Strategies for Performance and Career Management
  • Virtual Coaching

Module Six:  Applications to IT Source

  • Diversity and Team / Lessons Learned
  • Change in the OPS and Implications to Virtual Teams
  • Practical Takeaways:  Stop / Start / Continue