The people challenges that are likely to be encountered in virtual teams are of a higher magnitude than those in traditional teams. More so than traditional teams, virtual teams need specific ground rules for the team's day-to-day activities. Therefore, virtual team project managers must pay special attention to processes, policies, and procedures for people issues. Naturally, all team members must conduct themselves in line with these ground rules in order to foster mutual accountability. Members of a mature project team must continuously improve the team's procedures and policies so that they can meet the challenges of changing project circumstances effectively and efficiently .
Typically, policies and procedures are comprised of processes for various tasks and duties . The purpose of a detailed process is to describe what one must do to bring about a set of predefined results. Therefore, a process can be described as a set of practically oriented steps designed to help team members reach a specific goal. If all project team members establish the project processes collectively, they are more likely to take personal responsibility for the planning and execution of their work. Documented and understandable procedures can facilitate the planning and implementation of changes to the existing procedures. These documents will also serve as on-the-job training manuals for new team members. Thus, projects are dependent on processes for the success of the activities that produce the client's desired product. On the other hand, lessons learned from successful projects of an organization will provide a continuous stream of enhancements to the existing processes of the organization. Therefore, in a way, processes are also dependent on projects for their enhancement (Dinsmore, 1999). In turn , these new processes will form an elevated starting point for planning the processes of new projects.
The processes and procedures should be designed such that they would not constrain innovation and creativity, because the ability to balance discipline and flexibility is critically important in the project environment. Therefore, the administrative structure of the project should have enough discipline to get the project completed, with minimal bureaucracy (Flannes and Levin, 2001). In determining the amount of structure that is required, the team should examine the technical challenges of the project, government regulations that affect the project, the overall complexity of the work to be done, and the requirements of the project's stakeholders. Then, the team should use that information to determine the desired procedural flexibility necessary to complete the project. The balance between bureaucracy and flexibility should be such that team members do not regard the policies and procedures as hindrances to the timely completion of their assigned tasks.