Virtual Teams – Conflict Resolution, Prove and Triumph

Posted on January 25, 2011 by

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celebration

Let the celebration begin - your virtual team project was a success!

Prove it

Maneuvering the political gauntlet through artful conversation and word-smithing will not resolve conflict.  Nothing will stop conflict the like graceful execution and control of a project that leads to on time, on budget completion.

This is the area where the project management fundamentals are a focal point.  Earned value may not be glamorous, but it is a precise and proven way for communicating good and bad information to all stakeholders in a factual way.  Also ensure your project allows for real milestones no more than two weeks apart.  Separate long duration projects, greater than six months, into discrete phases.  Finally rely on shorter chunks of communications – 15 minutes every day is better than a 2 hour conference call/webinar on Friday.

Triumph

This step is targeted at the team with some horn blowing to stakeholders as well.  Use post milestone or project reviews as learning experiences and times of celebration.  As a project succeeds, remember to include as many people as possible.  Inclusiveness in times of success builds bridges in times of difficulty.

Milestone celebrations are a group experience.  The role of project manager also requires giving one on one feedback.  Feedback is best accomplished by focusing on tangible results of performance.  Plan for evaluating performance during the project’s planning phase.  Define up front the quality, quantity and timeliness standards for the project and individual team members.  Use those pre-defined standards for an objective benchmark.