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Online workshop report: Improving the performance of project and virtual teams


This is the transcript from the online workshop held on Tuesday 3 July on the subject of improving the performance of project and virtual teams.

John a Faulkes Hi Stephanie.
Stephanie Phillips Good to speak to you earlier. Hopefully we'll get several interested attendees today!
Stephanie Phillips Hi Pam!
John a Faulkes Hello Pam, perhaps you can introduce yourself?
Pam Mason Hello.
Stephanie Phillips What's your interest in today's workshop?
Pam Mason I'm an HR manager at a Software development company.
John a Faulkes Hi Richard, perhaps you can intro yourself too!
Pam Mason Motivating developers involved in Project work - understanding their roles
Stephanie Phillips Pam - good, because that's today's topic!
Richard Sergeant I work for TrainingZONE, we have some remote workers and 'virtual teams' in existence and I am quite interested in what others have to say.
John a Faulkes Re: your issue Pam - what opportunity do your developers get a chance to actually discuss what their roles are/ should be?
Pam Mason Communication is poor - they don't seem to want to be involved.
John a Faulkes I have found that people want to get involved when they can see that they are contributing to an important goal. This is often the key task of the team leader - translating the 'mission' and 'vision' into actual practical terms.
Pam Mason Unfortunately the goalposts often change and people get rather downhearted!
John a Faulkes I've always found it imperative to engage people in this and get them talking. Reminding them also that's the reason why they get paid!
Richard Sergeant Is this the best way to motivate remote workers?
Pam Mason Are we talking about line managers inspiring them or the CEO?
John a Faulkes Re: goalposts - yes I agree absolutely. Too much of this and it's an uphill struggle to motivate. There is something you can do in encouraging an attitude of flexibility..but..
Pam Mason We have 3 team leaders heading the development team but no line manager - is this a recipe for disaster??
Richard Sergeant Do they work well with each other?
John a Faulkes Pam, absolutely the line managers! They are the ones that can make things seem real for team members.
Richard Sergeant So a more horizontal approach works less well in your experience?
John a Faulkes Hi Tim! Can you introduce yourself please?
Pam Mason The team are all very quiet and don't seem to want to socialise within the workplace, I personally feel that if we introduced some type of fun into the environment then they would become more productive?
John a Faulkes Tim, note the link below 'earlier transcript' to catch up on the discussion so far.
John a Faulkes Pam, some kind of fun event, or process would be a good idea.
Tim Doel Hi, I'm interested in how you conduct an online discussion with chat
John a Faulkes We're doing it Tim!
Stephanie Phillips Hi Tim - we're doing it right now!
Stephanie Phillips Beat me to it John!
Stephanie Phillips Of course, you could use this sort of tool to help facilitate discussion between remote teams.
Stephanie Phillips We do use for TrainingZONE team discussions and it works quite well
John a Faulkes Pam - three development managers heading a team is not necessarily a 'recipe'. The crucial thing is engaging in dialogue to agree on a common purpose.
Richard Sergeant On the whole it is very useful.
Pam Mason Using a matrix of skills within a development team will surely lead to people not understanding their positions within the company - will conflict occur??
John a Faulkes Tim, don't forget that you can augment the technology to include telephone contact also.
John a Faulkes This role conflict is common and important. anybody have any experiences before I weigh in?!
Stephanie Phillips Tim - are you working with a virtual team at all?
Tim Doel Yes.
Stephanie Phillips What are your experiences?
Tim Doel Excellent.
Stephanie Phillips What makes it so good?!
Tim Doel The ability to collaborate in real-time with audio, video and presentations
Stephanie Phillips Are those things you use regularly? How are your lines of responsibility structured?
Pam Mason Yes, there has been a lot of jostling for positions - we are a company with rapid growth
Pam Mason Bye for now
Stephanie Phillips John - any last thoughts before we wind the session up?
Stephanie Phillips Thanks Pam for coming along.
Richard Sergeant thanks for all.
John a Faulkes My key closing comments are: What ever the situation, facilitating dialogue (rather than discussion and argument) between project team members, members of line functions, and so on, is probably the best way through the many disconnects and pitfalls there are. Of course, that can be combined with some fun stuff!
Stephanie Phillips Okay, many thanks for coming along to run the session today. Think we'll finish things there. All the best Tim, John.
Tim Doel Thanks


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