No questions are listed for Level 1 of the model, or for Level 0 for that matter, in the hope that virtual teams would be prompted to aspire to the higher levels of maturity.
If the team responds affirmatively to less than 75% of the questions listed for Level 2, then the team, and the organization hosting the team, must take immediate and drastic measures to improve the management and success of the projects conducted by virtual teams.
Your virtual team is operating as a Level 2 team if at least 75% of the answers to the following questions are "yes."
Has the organization prepared and issued an organizational policy statement that addresses the use of virtual teams and virtual projects?
Has training in team-building activities specific to the virtual project been made available to the manager of the virtual team?
Has training in the technologies to be used on the virtual project been made available to team members ?
Is there a smooth transition for team members to be reassigned to other activities and projects in the organization once their assigned activities are complete or when the virtual project is complete?
Has the virtual team established a system of regular communication among its members, which includes standards for availability and responsiveness?
Is a process in place for identifying issues and escalating them to the next level of management if the team cannot resolve them?
If conflicts cannot be resolved within the virtual team, is a process in place that describes ways to escalate them to the next level of management?
Is there a system to prioritize virtual team information so that team members do not have a sense of information overload in order to facilitate communication within the team?
Do team members suggest on a regular basis ideas for improving the effectiveness of their work on the team?
Are the virtual project team members part of the overall planning process for the project?
Has the team prepared a team charter that describes items such as the purpose of the team, its objectives, any special factors, the scope of the team's work, the project time frame and project deliverables, and operating procedures for the team's activities? Have team members and the project manager signed off on this charter?
Has a responsibility assignment matrix been prepared and distributed?
Has a resource breakdown structure been prepared and distributed?
Does the virtual team have an organization chart?
Is there a directory of the virtual team members?
Have each of the virtual project team members participated in determining the time required for their assigned work packages and associated activities?
Have each of the virtual project team members agreed to their specific commitments in their assigned work packages in support of the overall project?
Is a process in place so that new team members who join the virtual team are easily assimilated into the team and can quickly learn the processes and procedures to follow?
Does the virtual team have a system for regular status and progress reporting and project reviews?
Can virtual team members access the team's information and data in a web-based team room at any time?
Have team members participated in establishing performance criteria for both individual and overall team performance on the project?
Do virtual team members periodically review their progress on the project and make any changes that are required?
Do team members collect data throughout the project and make that information available for use, both on the current project and on future projects in the organization?
Are lessons learned routinely documented by team members?
If the answers to all of the preceding questions are "yes," then your team is a Level 2 team in terms of virtual maturity. Next, answer the following questions to see whether your team can be considered to be at Level 3.
If the answer to more than 25% of these questions is "no," "don't know," or "does not apply," then you can identify areas of improvement for your team.
Have virtual team members received training in the practices to follow when they are assigned to work on a virtual project?
Has the organization officially recognized the desirability of virtual project teams for use on projects as part of its overall strategy for continued success?
Do people in the organization volunteer for assignments as virtual team members?
Are managers of complex and long- term virtual projects assigned to work on these projects on a full-time basis, without other assignments to manage traditional, collocated projects?
Is funding available to train the virtual project team members in policies, processes, and procedures to follow in their work on the virtual project?
Is funding available for team-building activities for the virtual project team?
Does the organization have a policy that supports open communication in all directions without fear of reprisal?
Are people with expertise in managing and working on virtual teams available to mentor and provide consultation as appropriate?
Have team members received training in self-management and self-motivation?
Do virtual team members receive training in effective communication skills and in the use of the selected technologies and tools?
Does the virtual team conduct a team orientation session to determine the communication technologies and protocols that will be used on the project?
Has the virtual team established decision-making processes so that it is clear when individual decisions can be made, when coordinated decisions are required, and when a consensus decision among team members is required?
Have team members established personal goals for the project that complement and support the overall project goals?
Have team members participated in a self-assessment of their own individual personality styles and motivational approaches to enhance communication and understanding?
When new members join the team, is it easy for them to feel they are part of the team and its culture?
Has the virtual team prepared a plan to address any training needed for its members?
Has the team established a schedule for regular communications among team members?
Does the organization have a standard template for a charter that is available for use by the virtual team and can be tailored to meet the unique requirements of the specific project?
Have virtual team members signed the team charter to indicate their support and commitment to it?
Are standard templates available that are designed specifically for virtual projects in areas such as requirements definition, stakeholder identification, preparation of estimates, preparation of schedules, risk identification and analysis, progress monitoring, and change management?
Is the team organized so that team members are assigned to the specific tasks in their areas of expertise at the time required in the project life cycle?
Are common tools in terms of software applications and hardware platforms available for work on the virtual team?
Has the team established specific standards for language and nomenclature of project management processes so that there is a common understanding of the terms to be used?
Has the virtual team adopted a 360-degree performance evaluation system to collectively evaluate team member performance?
Has each individual on the virtual team prepared a personal development plan?
Are individual accomplishments and team accomplishments recognized?
Are individual performance objectives established that complement team performance objectives?
Is regular feedback provided by management on team and individual performance?
Are metrics of team performance collected and analyzed on a regular basis throughout the project?
Are ways to improve performance as a team periodically discussed by team members throughout the project and are corrective actions taken as required?
Does each team member collect data on lessons learned and best practices throughout the project on a systematic basis according to a prescribed procedure?
Are the standard templates and processes in place in the organization for work on the virtual team periodically reviewed and enhanced based on lessons learned by virtual team members?
If the answers to all of the preceding questions are "yes," then your team is a Level 3 team in terms of virtual maturity. Next, assess the following questions to see whether your team can be considered to be at Level 4. However, if the answer to more than 25% of these questions is "no," "don't know," or "does not apply," then specific areas of improvement can be determined.
Is it evident to people in the organization that virtual teams are considered to be the preferred organizational structure for many projects that are undertaken?
Is the virtual project team considered to be a key component of organizational strategy?
Does the organization's vision and mission officially recognize the use of virtual teams?
Do virtual team project managers and team members participate in project selection activities and other long term organizational planning processes as appropriate?
Is there an emphasis throughout the organization on recognition for creativity and innovation in project work?
Is there an emphasis on continuous development of virtual teams in the organization through overall reviews of policies and processes?
Is a team member on a virtual project officially designated as a relationship manager to facilitate and encourage team-building activities?
Do team members collectively determine ways to provide mutual support and to modify workload and assignments as required so that there is equal participation in project activities in support of the overall project goals and objectives?
Is collaborative leadership followed and practiced routinely on the virtual project team?
Do team members work to formally establish mentoring relationships among themselves to model and encourage supportive behavior?
Are face-to-face meetings considered unnecessary because of the open communication that exists on the virtual team in the on-line environment?
Do team members work to ensure that there is equal participation in team meetings and discussion forums by all team members?
Do team members openly communicate on ways to enhance both individual and overall team performance?
Is it evident that team members want to sustain the relationships they have built with others after the project is complete?
Does the project manager periodically assess the overall performance of the virtual team from a process perspective to determine areas in which future support is warranted?
Do team members undertake interdependent tasks?
Do team members regularly monitor the effectiveness of the procedures that are in use?
Do team members regularly review processes developed, including task and working relationships, to enhance the quality of their work?
If the answers to all of the previous questions, and the majority of the following questions, are affirmative , your virtual team has achieved the distinction of being at Level 5.
Does the organization regularly participate in benchmarking forums and learning communities to identify areas in which virtual teams can be even more successful?
Is the virtual team recognized as a strategic resource for organizational success?
Do team members collectively acknowledge any similarities and differences and develop a plan in order to take advantage of the different insights and contributions that are possible on the project?
Are problems in terms of team dynamics discussed and resolved within the project team, thereby avoiding the need for escalation to higher levels of management?
Is there an emphasis among virtual team members on ensuring the confidentiality of team issues and concerns?
Is the atmosphere on the virtual team such that learning, creativity, innovation, information sharing, and a sense of community are the norm?
Does the team as an entity, and do team members as individuals, promote professional responsibility in their practices?
Do team members focus on continuous improvement of methods to develop both personal as well as team competence?
Are opportunities for continued work as a team identified throughout the project?
Is continuous improvement to the virtual team charter encouraged at all levels in the organization?
Do team members regularly conduct evaluations of team operating processes and performance in all elements critical to project and team success, from both the client and team views?
Are individual and team accomplishments acknowledged and celebrated throughout the project?
Are knowledge profiles established and maintained ?
Are team members encouraged to submit suggestions for enhancements or changes to policies and procedures?
Is feedback regarding the implementation of these suggestions provided on a timely basis?
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