Followingthe hiring of a new CEO within the manufacturing corporation, severalaspects of the organization’s processes have to be altered. Thecurrent CEO targets to attain 100 percent growth within half adecade. To achieve such an important objective, I have been selectedto head an IT team mandated with cutting down the operational costswithin the same five years. In addition to my IT departmentcolleagues, I have to join forces with other functional departmentswithin the company. These departments include the executive team,sales and marketing, research and development, and production. Eachof these areas should have a representative within my team. However,these sectors are located in different geographical locations andtime zones. Thus, I have to run an efficient virtual team that willensure we manage to achieve our goal of reducing the operating costof the particular product the company manufactures.
Step1 – Building the Team
Thefour functional areas that will work with the IT team are theexecutive team, sales and marketing, research and development, andproduction. Every representative brought from these four sectors willplay a crucial role in the team.
Theadvantage of having a member of the executive team will be to easethe implementation of ideas and proposals that the team may decide. Amember that has enough authority is beneficial as they can speed upany process while skipping most of the red tape. Therefore, the ITgroup will be able to show working results (Hoefling, 2012).
Havinga representative from sales and marketing creates a huge benefit forthe virtual team. Such a member will bring their experience andskills to the table when it comes to creating a market for theproduct. Such a person can ensure that the consumers are eagerlywaiting for the release of the product and will also guarantee thatevery single one of them is purchased (Hoefling, 2012). The actionwill enable the corporation to make returns for all the costsincurred during manufacturing.
Anindividual from research and development is also an advantage to thevirtual team. The member will provide innovative ideas about theemerging trends in product development, and how the team can ensurethat any product it sends to the market will have an edge overproducts from competitors (Hoefling, 2012). Such a person willprovide solutions for potential future problems by finding differentways of altering the product production.
Arepresentative from the production area is an essential part of theteam. The person can provide sufficient insight on the currentexpenditure in the creation of a product, and potential ideas of howsuch costs can be reduced. Through regular updates from the member,the virtual team will be informed of their current status and whethertheir goal is still attainable (Hoefling, 2012).
Themain disadvantage of not collaborating the different function areasof the organization will cause the virtual team to fail in achievingits goals. The essence of the complete collaboration is to guaranteethat the team will have a collection of various skills and talentsnecessary for reducing the operational costs (Hoefling, 2012).
Activevirtual team members should be people that are self-motivated. Suchindividuals should have the initiative to reason and make quickdecisions on their own (Hoefling, 2012). These members should alsohave high emotional intelligence. The high emotional intelligence isto help the virtual team easily handle any form of conflict and alsoassist in fostering trust among the members (Hoefling, 2012). Themembers that I will select within my IT area should have all of thesecharacteristics. They should also be well skilled in currenttechnology especially those to do with technology. Their knowledge oftechnology will help the virtual team communicate whether throughwritten messages or video conferencing (Hoefling, 2012). Theindividuals from my sector should also be hardworking and diligentsince some of them may have to work at different hours of the day.
Step2 – Organizing the Project
Toproperly manage the virtual team, I have to maintain frequentcommunication with the members. The easiest form of communicationwould be through the email. I could send every member of the group anemail message that gives all the goals and objectives of theundertaking. The same message can provide a time where the entireteam can video conference further to discuss the aims of the project(Hoch & Kozlowski, 2014).
Lackof strategies will only make the team blindly stumble in the dark.The goals and objectives will not be well understood and also the wayin which those aims can be attained may not work. Without anoperational plan for the virtual team, its lifetime will be very lowand will, therefore, fail to achieve its intended purpose (Hoch &Kozlowski, 2014).
Everymember of the virtual team has a particular duty that will help theproject attain its goals. For every individual to know their role andwhat I expect from them, I would have to communicate personally tothe members. Every representative from the four functional areas willhave an opportunity to analyze critically every aspect of the entireteam and how they can best assist. These one-on-one sessions can bedone on a weekly basis so that everyone keeps updated (Hoch &Kozlowski, 2014).
Mostof the tasks will be delegated in regards to skill and experience(Hoch & Kozlowski, 2014). I would determine the functions thatare suitable for every member of the team and propose it to them. Themore general tasks I could let any person that volunteers to selectit.
Conflictwithin the virtual team will be inevitable. In the case whereconflict arises, I would encourage the free flow of communicationbetween the conflicting members. Eventually, a consensus can beestablished leading to the conflict being resolved (Hoch &Kozlowski, 2014). Trust between the group members is a fundamentalaspect. The individuals should regularly be communicating and notjust on a formal level (Hoch & Kozlowski, 2014). Once the habitis maintained, the team members will begin to trust one another.
Step3 – Choosing the Right Technology
Synchronouscommunication is a messaging platform that allows communication tooccur in real-time for virtual teams. Asynchronous communication alsoallows for the sending and receiving of messages but not necessarilyinstantly (Oztok et al., 2013). The advantages of synchronouscommunication are that there are immediate response and feedback,instant collaboration, increases social presence, and provideslow-cost solutions (Oztok et al., 2013). The disadvantages includelack of time to reflect before responding, requires a timecommitment, once the technology malfunctions such sessions cannothappen, and it is hard for one to many communication (Oztok et al.,2013). Asynchronous communication has advantages like easilyavailable, can be used for both one-on-one or one-to-manycommunication, allows for time to reflect, and it has sufficientdocumentation (Oztok et al., 2013). Its demerits are that is hard tokeep track of collaboration due to the bulky messages, it has noquick feedback, lacks a real social presence, and the technology canbe costly (Oztok et al., 2013). Considering that the other functionalsectors of the company are in different time zones, the best form oftechnology is asynchronous communication (Oztok et al., 2013).
Therecommended collaborative work platform for the virtual team isGoogle Drive. The platform enables the entire team to share files anddocuments easily and quickly. The main advantage of Google Drive isthat it has ample storage space. Thus, the team can even store somevideos and audio files that help with meeting the project’sobjectives (Hoefling, 2012).
Thebest communication strategy that will report the team’s progresscan be in the form of weekly memorandums. The documents can provide abrief description of the current situation and the expected outcomeswithin the following week. There can also be a monthly PowerPointpresentation that provides further details on the team’s progress(Hoefling, 2012). Lack of a clear strategy used for communicationwill end up making the team to malfunction. Flawless information willnot be assured leading to the members being unable to reach a commonconsensus (Hoefling, 2012). Also, without a plan for communication,the team will not manage to use the entire resources available fromevery member’s inputs (Hoefling, 2012).
Thetask of reducing the operating cost within the manufacturingcorporation can be effectively tackled through the use of a virtualteam. All the different functional departments can all be coordinatedfrom the IT sector. The characteristics of every member needed in theteam are well known and therefore, the team can be easily selected.Communication is an important strategy that will not only solve theconflict in the group but also help to build trust. Even with all thethorough planning, some problems may still arise. In the cases ofemergency and the whole team has to communicate, there should be amethod of accessing every person regardless of the time of day ornight. However, the current strategies used are likely to ensure theteam attains its five-year goal.
Hoch,J. E., & Kozlowski, S. W. (2014). Leading virtual teams:Hierarchical leadership, structural supports, and shared teamleadership. Journalof applied psychology, 99(3),390.
Hoefling,T. (2012). Workingvirtually: managing people for successful virtual teams andorganizations.Stylus Publishing, LLC.
Oztok,M., Zingaro, D., Brett, C., & Hewitt, J. (2013). Exploringasynchronous and synchronous tool use in online courses. Computers& Education, 60(1),87-94.