Do I have to join yet another team meeting?

“Do I have to join yet another team meeting?” A short video from scatterwork.com.

Why do we have meetings? Because it is a good way of working for things like Problem Solving, Team Building and Completeness. But what do I mean by Completeness?

I mean making sure that nothing has been overlooked. It is very easy not to see the detail when we are deep in some issue or problem and the best solution is to involve others who will immediately spot what you overlooked. So this can be helped by Creative Thinking, Open Communication and Checklists, for example.

So we can get everybody’s contribution by scheduling regular team meetings to brief each other on ideas and progress, to get insights from different viewpoints and to check for completeness and to avoid rework. If a colleague identifies something that we forgot and it might save us weeks of work, then we should be very thankful that we got their inputs.

So if you want to discuss your project issues please connect with me through LinkedIn or any of the other methods, thank you.

Dr. Deasún Ó Conchúir (pronounce) is a Collaboration Consultant at Scatterwork, which supports Project Solutions for Virtual Teams.

Email: deasun@scatterwork.com

Tel: +41 79 692 4735 Talk to me

LinkedIn: Connect with me

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How to Develop a Communications Charter

Why have a communications charter at all? The answer is that the scope for misunderstanding in virtual teams is large, unless communication norms are explicitly stated and agreed. This is because there is such a variety of backgrounds within a team.

So how do we do it? We set up a shared document (wiki) so that everyone can enter their constraints: I need this; I can’t talk at that time; I prefer to talk by telephone and so on, then hold a teleconference using the wiki to identify the main types of communication: reporting, problem-solving, complaining, idea sharing and so forth.

And then for each category of communication, work out the rules as bullet points.

Then pool the results, adjust them according to feedback and publish them to the written communications charter for the team.

Here is an example: “Guidelines for resolving misunderstandings”:

If possible, talk instead of writing; do not allow annoyance to build up; contact the partner by a short short message simply asking for a call. Say what you feel and the impact on you. And then ask for suggestions that would help avoid what you find difficult, and summarize your results in a note to both parties.

To discuss your project issues, please connect with me either through LinkedIn or any of the other methods. Thanks very much.

Dr. Deasún Ó Conchúir (pronounce) is a Collaboration Consultant at Scatterwork, which supports Project Solutions for Virtual Teams.

Email: deasun@scatterwork.com

Tel: +41 79 692 4735 Talk to me

LinkedIn: Connect with me

Please share with colleagues, who also get 10% off their first booking.

Can virtual teams do agile project management?

“Can virtual teams do agile project management?” This is a short video from scatterwork.com.

Let’s remind ourselves what agile project management is, using this description from MindTools: It’s built around a flexible approach; team members work in short bursts on small but functioning releases and then they test the releases against the customer needs, instead of aiming at some big deliverable right at the end of the project.

Our question is: “For virtual teams, what does this mean?”.

One of the requirements is team cohesion and one of the ways we can help this is to capitalize on face-to-face visits when the occasion arises. For example, a customer visit may bring people together, where a visit just for the sake of meeting may not be justifiable.

Another requirement of agile project management is trust and in the virtual team environment this can be helped by sponsors showing trust by visiting the team. This requires much less travel than if the entire team moves around it sends a message: look guys – you are important; we think so because we are taking the time out to visit you.

Another of the many requirements is informal communication: agile project management requires a lot of come and go of information and sometimes this is informal, but then we supplement it with documentation,particularly when we have a virtual team.

We capitalize, we summarize the status that was arrived at in one location so everybody gets the message. One of the ways of making sure this happens is to have visible process data, so instead of the various flip chart type presentations that are familiar in the agile environment, we need some sort of application that gives the same information but is accessible, usually through a browser.

So if you want to discuss these or other project issues, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to talking to you.

Dr. Deasún Ó Conchúir (pronounce) is a Collaboration Consultant at Scatterwork, which supports Online Training for Project Management & Team Building.

Email: deasun@scatterwork.com

Tel: +41 79 692 4735 Talk to me

LinkedIn: Connect with me

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