Virtual Team Management - Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  911 Words
Date:  2022-12-21


Virtual teams, which refers to the teams that work from different geographic regions, are affected by the distance between them and this makes I hard for them to communicate and coordinate as effectively as the teams that can see each other face to face. Communication is one of the most important factors that affect the delivery or success of the teams and poor communication could lead to poor outcomes at the end. For example, if a team fails to communicate effectively, they are likely to have different targets and missions. A team is expected to have a common goal and to manage their operations and ensure that they use all of their time and resources achieving their common goal. With a good communication trend, it is easy for the team to determine when there is a diversion or variation in their work. Communication challenges affect virtual teams in many different ways and determine the success or failure of the teams.

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Common Challenges and Their Solutions

Communicating With Stakeholders

The first aspect of project communication management is identifying the stakeholders. They include both the primary and the secondary stakeholders and they require adequate communication to convince them to undertake their roles in the project. The team members need to show their understanding and appreciation of the roles of the stakeholders and to educate them o any roles and responsibilities they need to know. It is also important to create a good relationship with them to ensure their commitment and support. For the virtual teams, the distance between the team members and the stakeholders makes it difficult to make eye contact and to win their trust. The use of the internet can solve the communication challenges, whereby the team members can use emails, Skype, social media chats and other avenues on the internet to make contacts (Park & Roome, 2017). It is also possible to connect with the stakeholders and send them images and notes that enhance communication.

Planning Communication and Distributing Information

The planning of the communication process is a critical role for the team because it helps to decide on the type of information to pass to the stakeholders and how the information is to be passed. For example, it involves choosing the avenues to use and how to ensure the messages are tailored as per their needs. The planning should ensure that everybody is on the loop. It also involves designing the content to be shared, the avenues to use or the medium, the timing and goals of that communication. In a virtual team, communication planning should be done effectively to ensure that all intentions of the team are achieved and on time. The planning process starts with the communications requirements analysis and this involves identifying the information that the stakeholders need to make the right decisions. The other one is choosing the way the information will be distributed and it involves choosing the right media. In this role, the virtual team has to consider the accessibility and effectiveness of the medium chosen. For example, if emails are chosen, the team members should have access to the internet at a timely rate (Park & Roome, 2017). Video conferencing can also be used to contact the members of the virtual team. Text messages, pamphlets, booklets, instant messaging and calls can also be used to distribute the communication materials.

Managing Stakeholders' Expectations and Reporting Progress

The stakeholders have diverse expectations from the team and the project. They are entitled to timely and comprehensive communication on the progress of the project. The challenge associated with this goal is that for the virtual teams, the stakeholders do not meet in person and it is hard to manage the way they understand the progress of the project. The communication strategies used by the virtual teams in the 21st century are different from the ones used in the past years (Lee, 2016). The strategies are mostly based on the new technology and this makes communication easier. However, a common challenge is checking on the time zones of the team members. Some of the team members are in locations that are several hours apart from the rest of the teams. Such differences affect the effectiveness of communication. From the past experience on the virtual teams, it is correct to assume that the communication strategies chosen by the virtual teams are based on the characteristics of their members.

Tailoring Communication for Maximum Effectiveness

The communication trends used in the virtual teams need to be tailored to the specific needs of the team. One of the strategies used is using the medium that all team members can access. The choice can be dictated by the location, education level, nature of the work the team does and the frequency of the communication. The other way is by using a language that can be understood by all team members. If the team is made of technically fluent members, then the messages used in the communication could be made up of the technical terms. However, f the team is not from the same technical background, the communication used should be tailored in a way that all members can understand. In conclusion, communication in a virtual team requires adequate planning for successful outcomes.


Lee, M. R. (2016). Leading virtual project teams: Adapting leadership theories and communications techniques to 21st-century organizations. Auerbach Publications.

Park, J., & Roome, N. (2017). The Internet and sustainability reporting: improving communication with stakeholders. The Ecology of the New Economy (pp. 85-98). Routledge.

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