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Post 2020, virtual teamwork became the norm as the pandemic made working remotely possible and necessary. Building and maintaining a successful virtual team requires robust communication tools and approaches, planning, clear goal setting, transparency as well as teamwork. In this article, we discuss the necessary components of a successful virtual team using the PRINCE2® Communication Management Approach.
This communication management approach is a global standard that enables effective execution of virtual team administration. The method provides guidelines on how to communicate with both internal and external stakeholders. PRINCE2 is a recognized qualification – a stepping stone to gain validation in the project management industry. You can find ample resources in PRINCE2® Foundation Course Online and go on to take the Official PRINCE2® Foundation Certification Exam.
Let us further discuss how the PRINCE2 approach tackles core challenges in maintaining virtual teams.
With the advent of the remote work culture, work conditions of virtual teams have become more flexible. Hence, effective communication within and external to the project team has become a key aspect of success in such cases. A large number of difficulties arise in the soft facets of communication given the lack of visual cues in the absence of physical meetings. In written communication, senders have a tendency to include negative cues and in the messaging while receivers interpret more negative communication points than intended. However, the most difficult part of remote communication is the challenging job of creating a feedback loop that is transparent, respectful and to the point. In response to such inefficiencies, the PRINCE2® communication approach uses a plethora of tested and proved tools.
The first step in learning sound virtual team management is working with regulating bodies to gain an in-depth understanding of the PRINCE2® Foundation Course Official Exam and its contents.
This communication approach encourages teams to steer clear of overthinking and use existing tools (within the organization) in a creative manner. A good recommendation is to limit overreliance on email and switch to chat tools for written messaging and videoconferencing for verbal communication. A screen sharing option would be useful. The PRINCE2® approach provides the fundamental understanding to shape workable communication strategies based on the available tools and organizational requirements.
Keeping track of communications is integral to the success of virtual teams. The Project Manager needs to execute a feasible way to keep records of decisions, actions and topics that need to be discussed. Something as straightforward as a document on a shared location would be effective. The Project Manager should ensure that everyone can access the said document. It is safer and more convenient to use technology that the organization already uses in place of shopping for new solutions.
The best method is to agree on the time that different units should communicate. Online meetings tend to be more exhausting than offline ones as there are more distractions that participants have to manage. Hence, it is important to agree on times and keep the meetings to a minimum. In addition, clear, previously agreed upon roles and responsibilities as well as well-defined deliverables will help reduce the number of unnecessary sessions and save time.
Clear delegation of communication roles and responsibilities within the team will improve messaging and deliverables. This not only means organising online meetings and administrating chat groups but also pre-determining who should respond to specific types of questions. The more the Project Manager can clarify such things the smoother the functioning of the team will go.
In a physical office setting, team members can engage informally by the coffee machine or in the lunchroom. How do you bypass this particular obstacle in virtual teams and prevent ignoring the value of real conversations? The Project Manager could invite the team to one-on-one video chats or plan a virtual apéro with everyone sharing drinks.
The bottomline is that the PRINCE2® communication approach enables Project Managers to gain true insights into developing and managing successful virtual teams. You can find out the PRINCE2® Foundation Course Official Exam Cost here and sign up for the PRINCE2® Foundation Course Official Exam Online.
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