Part 6 – Summary: What defines a global virtual team?

A global virtual team is usually geographically distributed across multiple locations. The team can be composed of several groups or even individuals working from different locations.

Important to know are the factors influencing a global virtual team:

First and foremost is the shortage of skilled workers in Germany. This is one of the reasons for building global virtual teams and it opens the door to qualified migration, which in our case we consider positive. This in turn reduces costs and, above all, business risks, while at the same time tapping into global talent in IT development.

And how do you ensure that the individual team members work well together?

The answer is obvious, if you have followed our previous contributions: The team must have been created by its own dynamics. This also includes an open-minded, transparent communicator, understanding and considering different cultures in a team and the willingness to support each other. It is also advisable to employ at least between three to nine developers in a software development team. This not only enables the team members to communicate openly, but also gives them time to understand each other and their working style.

Working well together is one thing, but how does my team succeed?

The first step is to build trust among the team members and the agreement not to use top-down. The team leader or communicator should focus on promoting open communication, resolving conflicts, protecting the team from external forces and ensuring that no silos are created within the team. We win as a team and fail as a team”.

It is also important that team members go through the following project work steps:

  1. Integration

It is essential to focus on ensuring that each team member receives the appropriate onboarding, including a round of introductions to all team members (if possible, at one location).

2. Project start

Each project needs a common kick-off to define the right goal and expectations.

3. Definition of milestones

Especially with virtual global teams it is important to define meaningful milestones. This ensures the right expectations and reduces conflicts. Especially at the beginning of teamwork milestones help to achieve a common and effective cooperation.

4. The right communication tools

A virtual team is only as good as the means of communication it uses. Therefore, good telephone conferencing tools are important and promote direct communication.

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