Thursday, September 08, 2005
Absence Grows Teams
Just discovered an interesting piece in the Harvard Business Review by Majchrzak, Malhotra, Stamps, and Lipnack which argues that under the right circumstances a dispersed team connected through collaborative software will be more productive than a collocated team.
The scores of successful virtual teams the authors examined didn't have many of the psychological and practical obstacles that plagued their more traditional, face-to-face counterparts. Team members felt freer to contribute--especially outside their established areas of expertise. The fact that such groups could not assemble easily actually made their projects go faster, as people did not wait for meetings to make decisions, and individuals, in the comfort of their own offices, had full access to their files and the complementary knowledge of their local colleagues. Reaping those advantages, though, demanded shrewd management of a virtual team's work processes and social dynamics.