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Making Distributed Teams Work

Course Code



2 Days

Many organizations don’t realize that working in a virtual environment is different than working in one that is collocated. There are special skills required and unique circumstances that should be addressed. This workshop provides attendees with practical methods to meet those challenges. Participants will learn the characteristics of a successful remote team member along with the skills required to lead virtual teams. Much time will be spent working with unique situations that are problematic in a distributed environment but maybe not so much in the traditional. Building virtual team processes, selecting appropriate technologies, facilitating team sessions and designing a communications plan that meets the needs of the team are all part of this highly interactive session. Regional communication preferences and stages of cultural adjustment are presented.
This course is designed for distributed team leaders and remote team members.
Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:
  • Learn what it takes to build a successful distributed team
  • Understand the competencies, skills and techniques required for the virtual team
  • Align team processes with best practices in the virtual environment
  • Determine the technology that will most help the team succeed
  • Better understand the additional challenges presented when the team is global
  1. Distributed and Global Teams Overview
    There has been a surge of teams working virtually throughout the country and the world. Here we investigate different aspects of this growth.

    a. Overview of Key Concepts and Terminology
    b. Challenges and Benefits
    c. Analysis of what is working and what is not

  2. The Team
    It’s hard enough building a team when the members all know each other and see each other on a daily basis. Virtual teams face a much greater challenge.

    a. Critical Success Factors
    b. Trust
    c. Creating the virtual community
    d. Understanding the variety of work styles
    e. Techniques to replicate the collocated environment

  3. People: The Team Members
    The skills needed in the virtual world can be similar to those needed in the traditional work environment, but on steroids! Many are also very different.

    a. Virtual vs. traditional
    b. Skill sets required

  4. Team Processes
    In a virtual world where teams often have to rely on just themselves so defined processes can make the difference between success and failure.

    a. Communication
    b. Change
    c. Organizational
    d. Risk Management

  5. Team Technology
    In an ideal world we could use technology to exactly replicate the “face to face” environment. We have to settle for the real world. We can’t make it the same but we can make it work.
    a. Technical Skill Set
    b. Tools That Help
    c. Infrastructure Checklist
    d. Communication Etiquette

  6. Global Teams
    Here we take a closer look at the additional skills needed when going offshore and working with different cultures.
    a. Stages of cultural adjustment
    b. Regional perceptions of time
    c. Communication challenges
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