Summary: Knowledge Management processes in Virtual Teams

by Gil Regev â€” last modified 2009-07-17 13:50

Summary: 16th Knowledge Management Round Table in Lausanne – March 10 2011

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Subject: Knowledge Management processes in Virtual Teams

Presenter: Dr. Deasún Ó Conchúir

Participants: 36

Presentation File (PowerPoint)


      1. We began the evening by unwinding around a wonderful buffet with friends discussing past, present and future. Little did we know what was awaiting us.
      1. Deasún introduced his perspective of virtual teams and some of the issues involved in managing projects across virtual organisations.
      2. A brief introduction to this evening’s goal: to write a Project Charter in virtual teams around the globe.
      1. Five groups of six or seven participants located in South Africa, Slovenia, Brazil, Japan and the USA were formed with only one means of communication: human email messengers who transferred scribbled paper messages written by each table.
      2. Immediate questions arose, such as: Which table was representing which location? Who was doing what? Roles? Responsibilities? How can we establish goals? What is a Project Charter? Who is leading the work? How do we make these decisions?
      3. Emails started flowing back and forth – sometimes clear, sometimes not – requesting information and trying to be diplomatic about setting up a work process. The buzz increased and the work of the charter was finally split between the groups. Barriers arose, discussions increased; sharing and avoiding confidentiality and proposing rather than dictating seemed to be key. Developing relationships and building trust were necessary considering the absence of methodologies and clear processes. Constraints and risks were introduced to which the work needed to be adapted.
      4. A shared workspace where delegates from each location could meet and discuss the work was introduced. It improved the progress toward a finalized Project Charter but also resulted in less ownership by the non-delegates who remained behind in some locations.
      5. Apart from this very fun event, we all experienced how old ways of working hamper the performance of virtual teams; and, we understood the need for better collaboration state of mind, and better tools.
    1. Thank you Deasùn and all the participants.
    1. Véronique and Gil

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