Virtual Teams – Swift Trust, RICE Analysis (Philip Merry)

Posted on January 18, 2011 by



Philip Merry addresses a team, in person

Swift Trust as an academic topic seems to have emerged by Meyerson et. al in 1991 within the context of temporary groups.  Lynda Bourne shared about it recently, 2010,  in a PMI blog.

Philip Merry developed the RICE Analysis for improving and cultivating “swift trust” in 2002.  He  is a global speaker and trainer who’s done extensive work for the United Nations and regularly contributes to issues of rural development, equality, environment and women’s empowerment by balancing our commercial work with work in the development sector by working with the United Nations and the Consultative Group International Agricultural Research (CIGAR)

The RICE Analysis is four quadrant table.  In it you present the following sample table  to a group (Step 1) and then provide a blank table for that group to build their own (Step 2).  This can be done as a face-to-face meeting or, you guessed, online via webinar or wiki/forum posting.  Give this a try and let us know how it works.

Here’s an example.

1. Results 

All team members are focused on and produce results, e.g.

§  Competence expectations

§  Delivery time

§  Response time

§  Focus on stakeholders and customers

§  Demonstrate results

§  Changes in project requirements

§  Keeping to budget

§  Expectations of leadership


2. Integrity 

People can be trusted to do what they say they will do, e.g.

§  Show commitment to the team

§  Do what you say you will do

§  Inform when you have time away from the project

§  If you will be late in delivery

§  Behave in the best interests of your team members

§  Keep everyone informed about progress

§  Boundaries – who shares what


3. Change 

Willingness to change and adapt

§  Not clinging to “your way” of doing things

§  Showing Flexibility

§  Seeing other point of view

§  Being willing to let go of issues


4. Empathy 

Putting yourself in the other’s shoes, and showing care and concern for their well-being enhances co-operation and trust, e.g.

§  Being culturally sensitive

§  Dealing with performance issues

§  Sharing the difficult jobs

§  Helping with difficulties

§  Asking for others opinions

§  Sensitive to impact of decisions

§  Sensitivity to technical problems