Sunday, May 13, 2007

Virtual teams and virtual worlds

In 2001 we did some research about work in virtual teams, i.e. teams that are not co-located. We interviewed members of virtual teams in twelve multinational organizations and came up with a "pyramid of virtual team success" which included (from bottom to top): technology, setting objectives, competences, leadership, communication and establishing a team culture. You can find more details in the presentation below.

It's 2007 now, but I think much of what we found at the time is still relevant today. The available technology has evolved (somewhat), but most of the challenges that virtual teams face have not disappeared. However, with Wikinomics and Synthetic Worlds penetrating deeper and deeper into our culture, the time has come to take a fresh look at the subject. Some encouraging signs are an interesting post this week by Lisa Galarneau on the Terra Nova blog about the subject of virtual teams and some thoughts on using virtual worlds as a collaboration tool on the Virtual Cultures blog. Maybe the gap is slowly being bridged.

For myself, the next step for the coming months will be a mini-study of a team operating in a virtual world. I want to get a sense of how they are able to overcome the boundaries of space, time and culture. How do the elements of our good old "pyramid of virtual team success" translate to a virtual world environment? I'll keep you posted on the results.

No comments: