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Projects Without Boundaries: Successfully Leading Teams and Managing Projects in a Virtual World

ISBN: 978-1-119-14254-6
240 pages
April 2017
Projects Without Boundaries: Successfully Leading Teams and Managing Projects in a Virtual World (1119142547) cover image

Description

Clear, proven solutions for virtual project management challenges

Projects Without Boundaries offers project managers a clear framework for bringing both project management practices and project team leadership principles to the virtual space. Written by a team of authors with years of experience managing nationally and internationally distributed teams, this book provides a suite of best practices, checklists, and actionable strategies for managing a project and building a high-performing team in a virtual and multicultural environment. Real-world examples illustrate the application of the concepts discussed, and the Virtual Project Readiness Assessment facilitates both team evaluation and transformation planning for virtual project management improvement. Each chapter focuses on the critical challenges encountered while managing virtual projects and details proven solutions that improve a virtual organization, boost project performance, and facilitate positive outcomes.

Globalization and technological advances have merged to create dynamic, productive teams that work together from around the globe; this opportunity can bring great difficulty for project managers, who must negotiate hurdles that do not exist on traditional projects. This book provides ready-made solutions specific to distributed and multicultural teams, to help you achieve the full potential of the global talent pool.

  • Overcome common challenges of virtual projects with distributed teams
  • Navigate complex team dynamics to ensure effective collaboration
  • Work seamlessly across borders, time zones, and cultures
  • Determine optimal virtual communication and collaboration tools
  • Apply traditional project management practices in a virtual setting

A team fails or thrives on the strength of its management. Fitting the group's needs, expectations, personalities, and skills into a cohesive whole is seldom simple — and distance adds an additional layer of complexity. Projects Without Boundaries provides expert guidance on keeping it together, with proven practices, tools, and virtual team leadership strategies.

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Table of Contents

PREFACE vii

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ix

I INTRODUCTION 1

1 WORKING IN A VIRTUAL WORLD 3

Forces Driving Virtual Transformation 5

Rise of Virtual Organizations and Projects 9

Virtual Projects Are Different 10

Transitioning to the Virtual World 18

Assessing the Virtual Project Manager 19

Notes 22

II PLANNING THE VIRTUAL PROJECT, BUILDING THE VIRTUAL TEAM 23

2 PLANNING THE VIRTUAL PROJECT 25

Planning a Virtual Project 26

Establishing Project Alignment 31

Architecting the Virtual Project 36

Understanding the Complexity of Virtual Projects 37

With Complexity Comes Risk 41

Planning Virtual Communication 43

Assessing Virtual Project Planning 45

Notes 48

3 BUILDING A HIGH-PERFORMANCE VIRTUAL TEAM 49

Virtual Project Team Types 50

Differentiating High-Performance 55

Building a High-Performance Virtual Project Team 56

Assessing Virtual Project Team Members 68

Notes 69

III MANAGING PROJECT EXECUTION, LEADING THE VIRTUAL TEAM 71

4 EXECUTING THE VIRTUAL PROJECT 73

Managing Assumptions 75

Hyper-vigilant Governance 76

Managing Outsourced Project Work 84

Managing Change 85

Integrating Distributed Work 87

People Side of Project Execution 89

Influencing Virtual Stakeholders 92

Assessing Virtual Project Execution 99

Notes 101

5 LEADING THE VIRTUAL PROJECT TEAM 103

Be the Project Compass 104

Be the Team Conductor 105

Be the Champion 106

Recognizing the Virtual Team 115

Leverage Your Leadership Style 117

Adding “E” to Leadership 119

Becoming an Effective Virtual Team Leader 120

Assessing Virtual Team Performance 120

Notes 122

6 EMPOWERING THE PROJECT NETWORK 125

Centralize First 125

Empowering by Decentralizing 133

Centralized/Decentralized Project Construct 148

Assessing Virtual Team Collaboration 149

Notes 151

IV ORGANIZATIONAL CONSIDERATIONS 153

7 LEADING A MULTICULTURAL VIRTUAL TEAM 155

Putting Culture in Context 156

Cultural Intelligence 157

Challenges of Multicultural Virtual Project Teams 157

Cultural Factors 158

Creating a Cultural Strategy 165

Converging Company and Country Culture 169

Assessing Cross-Cultural Awareness 171

Notes 173

8 USING TECHNOLOGY TO COMMUNICATE AND COLLABORATE 175

Role of Technology 176

Using Technology to Communicate 176

Using Technology to Collaborate 179

Technology Options for the Virtual Project 180

No Shortage of Options 194

Technology Selection 194

Increasing Technology Usage 197

Notes 197

9 SUSTAINING VIRTUAL PROJECT SUCCESS 199

Changing Organizational and Team Structures 200

Modifying the Project Execution Model 203

Changing Behavior by Changing Rewards 205

Promoting Cultural Awareness 206

Developing Virtual Project Managers 208

Virtual Project Management Journey 219

Notes 219

APPENDIX VIRTUAL PROJECT READINESS ASSESSMENT 221

INDEX 227

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Author Information

RUSS J. MARTINELLI has managed virtual projects at Intel, Loral, and Lockheed Martin. He is the author of multiple books on program and project management, and provides training and consulting for both profit and non-profit companies.

JAMES M. WADDELL is an independent consultant who has held a variety of management positions in the high-tech and energy industries. He is also a co-founder of the Program Management Academy and the author of multiple program and project management books.

TIM J. RAHSCHULTE, PHD, is the chief learning officer at Evanta and professor of business at George Fox University. His experience has been in management consulting and venture funded new product development with the focus on leading organizational change and workforce development.

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