The purpose of this memorandum is to answer to the memorandum previously received Re: Need assistance in setting process and ground rules for a virtual team. It is understood that the company is creating virtual teams across the eight regions for both finance and operations managers. As agreed upon, each of the teams will be composed of nine members where each is expected to come up with a project plan on the span of ten weeks.
Though the company has a solid project management methodology, it is a neophyte when it comes to the setup of virtual teams thus the need come up with ground rules that would help each team in planning, organizing and conducting their meetings as well as identification of possible strategies on decision making and conflict resolution. In addition to these, the roles of each member must also be properly identified during the conduct of the meeting to avoid disarray. The following guidelines are recommended for implementation by each team.
Each team must be composed of a Team Leader, an Assistant Team Leader and a member to act as a secretary and the rest to act as members of the team. Each member must have the necessary technical skills and abilities needed for the project, must have a desire to contribute specially during meetings and must be capable of collaborating effectively with other members. The team leader must be capable of engaging the group in open discussions and is responsible for calling the meetings. The Assistant Team Leaders duty is to assists the Team Leader during the conduct of meetings and acts as a facilitator. The appointed secretary shall be responsible in documenting the conducted meetings and sending out notifications for all members and other documents needed by each member. The secretary is also responsible for keeping the conduct details of all team members. (Wolf, 2010)
Conduct of Meetings
Each team has its own choice whether to conduct meetings on a regular basis or not. However, notices of meetings must be made at least one week in advance together with the meeting’s agenda and reports needed to enable the member to prepare for the meeting (Switsher, 2008). Each member is required to send a confirmation within 48 hours after receiving the notification to the secretary. The initial meeting must be at least use a face-to-face tool and must include a getting –to-know each team in the agenda. The purpose of this portion is to have each member get acquainted with each other and give a brief bio to help bridge cultural diversity and enforce smooth communication among team members.
For succeeding meetings, give at most 10 minutes before starting the meeting for smalltalk to give the rest of the team members catch up. When a team member arrives, he must announce himself and if one member comes late, a member must present a summary of hat has been taken up to ensure that the member is informed. (Interaction Associates Inc, 2007)
After each meeting, the minutes of the meeting must be sent by the secretary to each member so that even if one missed a meeting he is well informed. A copy of the link to the webinar posted should also be distributed to each member. (Wolf, 2010)
With regards to the communication protocols, all emails or messages, since skype is being used, must be properly acknowledged by each team member within 48 hours. All concerns must be coursed through the Team Leader before addressing them so that transparency is achieved.
Decision-Making and Conflict Resolution Strategies
For decision making, the majority rule must be adopted, after discussing the topic. In case of conflicts, the conflict the Team Leader must be informed and he must make the members involved in the conflict raise their sides. After this, the team must determine the possible effects of the conflict to the team and project. If he is capable of solving the conflict, then the team leader can propose a solution and if not, the whole team must discuss possible solutions to implement. (PSU.edu, 2005). It is hoped that the above recommendations for the virtual team rules will be considered for adoption. For inquiries and suggestions, you can send them at .
Interaction Associates Inc (2007). “20 Simple Ways to Improve Virtual Meetings”. Interactionassociates.com, Aug 2007. Web. 10 April 2012
Switsher, Jamie (2008). “E-Collaboration Using Group Decision Support Systems in Virtual Meetings”. Irminternational.org, n.d. Web. 10 April 2012
Wolf, Leslie (2010). “How to Host an Effective Virtual Meeting”. California Digital Library. October 13, 2010. Web. 10 April 2012
PSU.edu (2005). “Virtual Meetings and Virtual Teams Using Technology to Work Smarter”. Pennsylvania State University. n.d. Web. 10 April 2012