Implementing Virtual Teams: A Guide to Organizational and Human Factors, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Implementing Virtual Teams

A Guide to Organizational and Human Factors, 1st Edition

By Abigail Edwards, John R. Wilson


206 pages

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Many organizations worldwide are currently exploring the potential gains to be made from working with virtual teams. Although many different things are meant by use of 'virtual' (and indeed by 'teams'), usually it denotes groups of people with common purpose and goals working in different locations and often different time zones; they will be interconnected via a variety of telecommunications networks, perhaps including the Internet and intranet, video conferencing, shared white boards, as well as telephone, mail and e-mail. For organizations implementing such virtual teams there is a great need for guidance, in terms of the organizational structure and support which needs to be put in place. This book offers a practical guide to developing virtual teams, providing both an overview of what is involved and also a clear simple framework around which organizations can build their own implementation process. Although the different support technologies are discussed (at a generic level), the thrust of the book is on the organizational and human factors issues which must be addressed to make virtual teams a success. It contains detailed case studies to show how virtual teams work and where they can go wrong.


'…an authoritative, punchy and very readable contribution. …recommended.' Training Journal 'If you are considering virtual team working for your organization, then this book is worth reading.' TrainingZone This book would be very useful for any HR manager who has been asked to project manage the implementation of a virtual team as it not only goes through all the processess and conributing factors in detail, but it also highlights the things that can go wrong. Personnel Today 'If you are considering virtual team working for your organization, then this book is worth reading'. Accounting Web

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction. When Should We Use Virtual Teams?: The move towards virtual working; What are virtual teams?; Why virtual teams?; What have traditional teams taught us? What We Need to Know When Implementing Virtual Teams: Technology for virtual teams; Why not virtual teams?; Are certain jobs more suited to virtual working than others?; Virtual Team complexity; Managing virtual workers; Success strategies; Communication strategies; Supporting the virtual team; Implementing change; Survey of virtual teams in UK industry. Case Studies of Virtual Teams in Industry: Case study 1: Defencom; Case study 2: Dalgen; Case study 3: Firstcase Telecommunications; Case study 4: Bullcom; Conclusions from case studies. Guidelines and Tools for Virtual Team Success: Introduction; Guideline 1: Produce personal profiles; Guideline 2: Develop virtual socializing skills; Guideline 3: Agree a code of conduct protocol; Guideline 4: Agree a communication protocol; Guideline 5: Produce a meetings protocol; Guideline 6: Generate a product implementation plan; Guideline 7: Plan for training and competency; Guideline 8: Produce a reporting and recording protocol; Guideline 9: Design a central knowledge base; Guideline 10: Agree a system for performance measurement; Guideline 11: Set a strategy for team evaluation; Guideline 12: Develop recognition and reward policies and systems. Epilogue. In conclusion; Further resources; Index.

About the Authors

Abigail Edwards has lived and studied in Saudi Arabia, Malta, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom. She obtained a First Class Honours Masters Degree in Manufacturing Engineering from Nottingham University, and now works within European Supply Chain Logistics for Proctor and Gamble at their UK Headquarters in Weybridge. Her current role focuses on the design of communication and operational processes of a newly established manufacturing planning team that operates across upwards of 10 sites across Europe, yet must work day to day as a single, cohesive team. John R. Wilson was Professor of Occupational Ergonomics in the School of Mechanical, Materials, Manufacturing Engineering and Management, University of Nottingham. He was Director of The Institute for Occupational Ergonomics and Director of the Virtual Reality Applications Research Team. John was a Chartered Psychologist and a Chartered Engineer, and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Applied Ergonomics. He worked on, and managed, many European research and development projects, all of which were run through virtual teams, and so had first hand experience of the advantages - and pain - of working in this way.

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