Great stuff from Phil (and Michael) on considering virtual team collaboration

As an almost constant home worker, my work connections are 90%+ virtual.  I rely heavily on a variety of collaboration tools to help me overcome the barriers to successful engagement, construction of trusted networks and getting the job done in a geographically dispersed team.

This clip from Phil Montero (via Michael’s news updates) rings true with me at many levels, so I thought it was worth a plug (tweet and blog post) to echo and add my comments. 

  • I like how Phil puts across the plethora of tools and scenarios that are available and that the choice of tool really matters in influencing the success factor of the collaboration.
  • I like how he emphasises the need for informal communication and collaboration tools like (Facebook & Twitter) to help build trust and relationships and help to bridge that gap/void of human contact in the virtual space.
  • I like how he describes the appropriate uses of asynchronous and synchronous communication and collaboration tools to meet the needs of the scenario or size of team involved.
  • I like the workflow framework – it’s a great launch point for starting this conversation in your team or organisation, to drive out the thought processes of the community involved to choose the best set of tools to suit their needs.

As someone who is passionate about increasing the collaborative momentum within the teams I work in, I’ll be using this framework as launch point for some of those conversations.  These conversations may not be ‘game changers’ for everyone, everyone is different and experiences different levels of comfort around making a change.

However, I do believe if organisations and enterprises are going to bring about a cultural shift in how they collaborate and communicate. 

It needs to recognise:

  • The need to change – if things stay the same, then they’ll get worse not better
  • People and situations need different tools, and they need to invest in providing that variety – so that people can make choices
  • People need to educated and shown how to change, finding and using ‘champions’ is a great way to help that happen.

Steve Richards has mentioned that he has used another approach to analysing the appropriate types of collaboration required.

thx for the input Steve.


1 Comment

  1. Hi Charlie,

    Thanks for including my video here and your insightful comments about my ICC Workflow Analysis. I’m glad you find it a useful framework to help you start a dialog with your team about the “best” tools for your workstyle and the type of projects you work on.

    I developed this after working with a large number of organizations across a variety of industries and we found that regardless of the work you do – your technology choices really come down to those 3 key areas: Information, Communication, and Collaboration.

    You made 2 excellent points at the end of your post. For a virtual teams to be successful organizations have a “need” to change or think differently. You can’t simply do things the same way you always have and expect it to work for a distributed team. Also – you hit the nail on the head about finding “champions” in order to help people embrace change as well as new methods and tools for collaboration.

    Thanks again for sharing this on your blog!

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