How the Course has Met My Expectations
The course has met my expectations in various ways. First, it has enabled me to grasp the concepts of global and virtual teams. Global teams work on a project that is being completed in more than one country. Virtual teams, on the other hand, involve team members working from different locations. Secondly, the course has also helped me to understand some very important concepts in team-building, including integration management, scope, communication, personnel management, cost, and quality.
Managing integration is a crucial part of team-building as it makes sure that the various parts of the project are brought together (Charvat, 2011). Managing integration entails developing a project plan, carrying out, and monitoring change. The importance of the project plan is ensuring the smooth flow of the project, delineating the project assumptions, facilitating communication, and establishing the basis for measuring and controlling the project. A project plan is especially important in the execution of global projects as effective and efficient communication becomes very critical in coordinating a global team.
Scope management is about defining the project properly in terms of the work necessary in order to complete the project, as outlined in the project plan. In scope management, the ability of a global or virtual team to alter the project plan is specified (Hillson, 2007). In some cases, altering the initial project plan in specific countries is allowed if that is necessary. In other cases, the alteration is centralized, meaning that team members in specific locations cannot alter the project plan.
Managing communication in a teamwork environment is a vital part that cannot be overemphasized. Effective and efficient communication management leads to timely production, synthesis, communication, and storage of information on global projects. Without proper communication in a teamwork environment, coordination among team members becomes extremely difficult. Communication management attains more importance in coordinating global teams that are situated in different locations in the world. Communication management faces various challenges when executing global projects. These challenges arise from differences in culture and language as a global project is carried out in various countries.
Efficient management of personnel in team-building and managing virtual teams make sure that the human resources in the project have been utilized properly. There are three key parts involved in managing personnel in a teamwork context. These are organizational planning, acquiring new personnel, and developing a team. It also involves outlining the project’s responsibilities and assigning them to specific teams and individual members (Thompson, 2011). Team development calls for personal meetings of team members for the sake of team building. Building a high-performance team requires frequent communication and meetings to keep members updated on what is required of them.
The importance of cost management is to ensure that the project is carried out within the planned budget (Cotterman, 2010). Global projects and virtual teams present additional challenges when it comes to cost management. These challenges relate to the sources of funding, exchange rates, foreign travel expenses, resource costs, which are country-specific, etc.
The purpose of quality management is to make sure that the project meets the required quality standards (Rudd, 2009). Quality management requires monitoring the work of all the firms involved in the project, including suppliers of materials.
The Concepts that are Most/Least Relevant in My Current and Future Career
The concepts that I feel to be most relevant to my current and future career are the concepts of global and virtual teams. Since I am likely to work in a multinational company, I will be working in global teams that will be situated in different parts of the world. Because of the interconnections of communication systems in the world, working in virtual teams is now possible and also economical. Other important concepts that I have learned and which I will most likely apply in the future are managing communication in teams as well as team development.
Effect of the Course on My Performance in a Virtual Team
The content of this course has definitely improved my performance in a virtual team. To start with, the course has enabled me to understand how I can enhance communication and coordination in such teams. Another area where the course has had a great impact on me is motivating team members to higher performance. The course can be improved by making it more practical.
The Best Moment While Working With My Team
The best moment while working with my team came when we suggested how we were going to carry out the project plan. During this time, team members came up with different ideas, and each member had to evaluate each other’s ideas to see if they were sound. This exercise required critical analysis and thinking, which was very rewarding. The factors that gave life to our team were constant communication and team building, carried out by every member. The course is very insightful in helping students to develop teamwork skills. If my team was to continue for another semester, and I was the team leader, I would like the team to be more participatory. To achieve this, I would encourage passive members to air their opinions on issues that they agree or disagree with. One piece of advice that I would offer to students who are preparing to take this course is that they should take the course seriously as teamwork skills are very important in the workplace and valued highly by employers. Something that the course instructor did well to improve learning was requiring students to undertake a project as part of a team. This enabled students to develop practical teamwork skills.
Charvat, J. (2011). Project Management Methodologies: Selecting, Implementing, and Supporting Methodologies and Processes for Projects. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Cotterman, H. (2010). Visualizing Project Management: A Model for Business and Technical Success. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Hillson, D. (2007). Understanding and Managing Risk Attitude. London: Murray-Webster.
Rudd, M. (2009). Effective Project Management. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Thompson, L. (2011). Making the Team. A guide for managers (4th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.