Virtual teams have long been part of the normality of digital entrepreneurship. I have already described their importance in a previous article, but how to deal with distant employees and project teams and what tools are there to optimally manage them. That’s what this article is about.
One factor for the success of a virtual team is that they all share the same understanding of roles and goals, work transparently and keep an eye on their time and resources. Agile working methods and collaborative digital tools are the answer, so the challenging task of leading a virtual team quickly becomes an efficient and promising process.
Requirements to the tools
If you’re looking for collaboration tools to lead a virtual team, you first need to consider what tasks they need to perform to make the project a success. They need to be good not only for planning, but also for executing and evaluating all team members, whether on-site or virtual.
Because virtual teams are made up of different personalities with different levels of expertise, the tools need to be appropriate for all members. They must therefore be easy to use, clearly present tasks and responsibilities, and support scheduling and project management.
Project management for virtual teams
First of all you need a project management tool which helps management and team to exchange ideas and keep track of the progress of the joint project. Keywords here are planning, execution, control and reporting. Possible collaboration tools would be Asana, Podio or Trello.
A tool for team collaboration
This type of software or platform helps project managers to ensure clear communication between team members so that they can work together on a project, regardless of their actual location. Examples of such a tool would be Microsoft Teams, but also Slack, which is often used by start-ups and young companies.
Face to Face for virtual team
Sometimes during a project you just have to look each other in the eye. This requires video chat or messaging applications that make it possible to meet over long distances. Applications include Zoom, Skype or Google Hangouts.
Document storage and processing
The added value of tools like Google Drive or Office 365 is to help virtual teams work together more easily on documents and act on a common desktop.
With these tools, virtual teams can collaborate more efficiently and effectively, while project managers and managers can keep track of the progress of individual projects.