Four Tips for Virtual Teams
Advances in networking and communications technologies, and the expansion of the global economy, have significantly changed both New Product Development (NPD) teams and the nature of innovation work throughout an enterprise. Organizations have become more distributed across geographical boundaries and across functions, divisions, and even other firms. Relationships between stakeholders inside the organization and those previously considered outside (customers, supplies, communities) are becoming more important. Most organizations have discovered the value of collaborative work through cross-functional NPD teams and thus have changed their work processes. Today, there is a new kind of work group, the virtual team, made up of people who primarily communicate electronically via several modes (webmeetings, e-mail, social media, and others). Its members may hardly ever see each other in person. In fact, they never meet at all, except in cyberspace. In this paper, we give four tips for effective team performance.