As mentioned in Chapter 2, the primary mission of the project manager of a virtual team, or of a traditional team, is the delivery of the desired product or the facilitation of the required service. To that end, the team's efforts are focused on the activities and measures that would produce the deliverable of the project in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Thus, the team must plan the delivery of the product or service though best practices, policies, and procedures. The team will then implement the plans in a dynamic environment and manage all emerging issues and unusual circumstances that influence the delivery performance (Rad and Levin, 2002). The previous chapter discussed the challenges and importance of things issues in a project. This chapter presents the key considerations of people issues. The goal of the people side of the project manager's duties is to develop processes and procedures for effecting acceptable levels of client satisfaction, vendor satisfaction, and team morale . Although communication is an essential portion of these activities, attention to people's feelings, priorities, and perceptions is also important in the process of conveying information ” maybe even more important. People issues are often considered to be more challenging because they encompass the intricacies of how team members relate to one another. These issues affect cohesiveness and commitment of the team members , which in turn affect, in very subtle and indirect but significant ways, the overall performance of the project team in delivering the project results.
The proper discharge of the planning, implementing, and monitoring missions of the project depends partly on interpersonal relationships and personality attributes. Since there is wide range of personality attributes, project managers are always in search of means to detect these attributes and to motivate team members appropriately. Given that project managers usually determine the personality and performance characteristics of team members through visual observations, there is some sentiment on the part of project managers of collocated teams that if all of the participants are in the same location, they can be monitored more closely and inspired more effectively (Mayer, 1998). It is during the planning, implementing, and monitoring of people facets of the virtual project that the project manager might begin to realize that the people skills that used to work well with traditional teams do not work as well with virtual teams. Thus, the project manager will be challenged to modify some processes and procedures and to create new ones for those issues that are specific to virtual teams. Generally speaking, the full spectrum of the performance of virtual team members can be divided into individual work and teamwork. More than likely, individual work will stay unchanged regardless of the project environment (Figure 3.1). However, major modifications will have to be contemplated if one is to handle teamwork in the virtual environment. It bears repeating that direct importation of traditional procedures and policies into virtual projects can be a serious disservice to the success of the project. Since ultimately it is the people on the project team who manage and implement project things, some modifications would have to be made even to the procedures for managing virtual project things.
Acknowledge, Clarify, Manage
Belong, Socialize, Enjoy
Select, Recognize, Publicize