Summarize Different Tools and Techniques Project Managers Can Use to Help Them Manage Project Teams. What Can They Do to Manage Virtual Team Members?

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Discussion Question 1 Information Systems Project Management Week 4 Summarize different tools and techniques project managers can use to help them manage project teams. What can they do to manage virtual team members? Answer: For a while companies and individuals have stated that people are our biggest assets of an organization (Schwalbe, 2013). And therefore by extension so are the teams on our projects. However effective team and resource management is probably the most challenging task for most project managers.

Many project managers come from a technical background and have to learn the people management aspect of the daily tasks within the project management environment. Many times teams are formed on the spur of the moment and then random or available resources are assembled together and have to form the team of a project (McNamara, n. d. ) Assembling an effective team based on needs and the ability to complement each other can be as important as effectively managing them (McNamara, n. d. ).

The project manager needs to display excellent analytical and organisational skills which will enable him to analyse needs within the team and manage the team effectively (Business Performance, n. d. ). The other techniques that can be used within a project to manage your team are: * Goal setting for team members * Role clarification of team members * Performance measurement of team members * Performance feedback to team members * Conflict resolution between team members and with external parties * Delegation of responsibilities within the team * Motivation of team using reward systems * Skills development plan within the team members Coaching of team members When these techniques are used the group that are initially brought together will cease to be a group and will then turn into a team that can rely on each other, depend on each other and work towards a single goal, which is to bring the project to a successful conclusion. Communication within a team is of utmost importance, relaying both the good and the bad news within a team. If you find out on the Tuesday that the team will have to work on the weekend, don’t wait until Friday afternoon to tell them. Knowing in advance is easier for them to make plans to enable them to work without any problems.

Virtual teams are still teams in the real definition of the term although each member can be located in deferent cities or countries. This is a very real scenario given the new globalization that was established within the internet environment (Mochal, 2007). The name “Virtual” teams come from the fact that communication and access to the members and from the members are not direct or “face-to-face”. Below are a couple of techniques for virtual teams: * Good and frequent communication is paramount * Make sure there are a set of established team objectives * Set firm rules for the team Make sure cultures and sensitivity around that are maintained * Create socializing opportunities * Be sensitive to the time differences, especially if there are big differences * Make sure workload management are done frequently and care is take to work together with the team on that I have currently 2 teams working on my project. One team is collocated at the main office, and one team is virtual and the members are dispersed throughout the Americas, from Sao Paolo, to Seattle, to Washington, To Los Angeles and up into Toronto. When I took the project over, the Americas team delivery was much lower than that of the Home based team.

The company was in the process of either disassembling the team and ending the virtual teams’ contract or asking them to relocate to the home office. I asked for a budget to bring all the members to a central location for 14 days and Washington was decided upon as the most central place. The budget was approved and we then set off for Washington. We set up several work sessions with the team to make sure everybody understood the processes we follow, that they understood the project and team objectives and the rules within which we are working.

We then had a couple of sessions where the team got to know each other on a personal and working level. This involved some fun games by asking questions well as team sporting events. The rest of the 14 days was spent working in a war-room environment where we all sat and worked in a single big office around a table. This created a good environment for building a team from a group and it really showed. After that the team went from strength to strength and their delivery ability is now in linre and sometimes better than the collocated team.

Conclusion: Since the people on our projects are the most valued resource, we need to make sure that they are managed correctly to enable the best return from them. In todays’ fast paced project environments we need to make sure that our teams operate as a single unit that carries each other’s best interest at heart. And your project manager needs to be the centre of the team where trust between them ensures everybody is working towards a common goal. References: Schwalbe, Kathy (2013). Information Technology Project Management 7th Edition.

Cengage Learning Boston MA. McNamara, Carter (no date). How to build highly effective teams. Retrieved from http://managementhelp. org/groups/team-building. htm, (Accessed: 24 May 2013) Business Performance (no date). Managing a Project Team. Retrieved from http://www. businessperform. com/project-management/project_team_management. html, (Accessed: 24 May 2013) Mochal, Tom (2007). 10 Tips for managing virtual teams. Retrieved from http://www. techrepublic. com/blog/10things/10-tips-for-managing-virtual-teams/266, (Accessed: 24 May 2013)

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