Virtual Team Implementation Issues

Virtual team effectiveness is damaged by poor understanding and weak implementation.

In previous articles I have suggested that Virtual Teams must be understood and managed in a radically different way if their benefits are to be realised. If we want to make our virtual teams more productive and more agile we need to learn from natures teams - I call this bioteaming.

An article in MIS Magazine “Virtually there?” written by Brad Howarth provides good support for this claim by suggesting that the main reason virtual teams fail is “bad implementations”

The author goes on to report comments by Dr John Gundry that bad implementations arise from the mistaken assumption that “there are no specific techniques and no specific tools, no special understanding, needed for virtual teams”

The article cites the main virtual team implementation issues as:

  1. Poor relationship management of remote workers
  2. Negative impact of organisational politics on virtual teams
  3. Lack of virtual team leadership skills
  4. Culture clashes across national boundaries
  5. Lack of team member empowerment

The article ends with a case study of virtual teams in an Australian engineering company and the quote that in virtual teams “respect and rapport don’t come free any more”

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When not to collaborate

When not to collaborate

A team of one is sometimes best. It might sound like heresy but sometimes the most effective way to produce something is not through collaboration. Collaboration is best for tasks which cannot be fully achieved by a single person – if a job can be completed best by one person then to collaborate to do it will only make it worse.


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