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Working in a Virtual Team
Categories: General, Project Management

by Elena Burtasova


How successful is your business? How much of your business is done on the internet? Nowadays, every other businessman has a web application to offer their services online. Was it created locally or by a virtual team? I believe, a group of highly-skilled developers working across the road was hired to deliver the project. You must have paid quite a fortune for the time they dedicated to the product.

And at the same time now and then you hear that there are virtual teams working successfully to achieve the same goal. Thus, you may ask yourself, how do I make my choice? Is it really better to hire a virtual team working across six continents than paying more to those who work next door?

As a Top Custom Software Development Company, we can highlight the pros and cons of hiring a team spread across the world.

No doubt, one may find some really significant drawbacks:

  • First of all, people may live in different time zones when one person must be awake by 7 a.m., while another one has to stay in work mode until well past 9 p.m. We have such projects all the time with our clients located in the USA or Canada, for instance, and our team working from Moscow, Omsk and Krasnoyarsk (that's 3 time-zones in Russia).
  • Moreover, it is quite a challenge to get work of geographically dispersed team well-organised and maintained as communication is held through e-mail, video conferences and more rarely via telephone calls rather than face to face. To maintain this pretty complicated process we have highly-qualified project managers working alongside with team-leads.
  • On top of that, having individual members who have never possibly worked in one team, a team-leader or manager needs to be able to summarise relevant information from the discussions so that every single member of the team has the right vision. This goal is achieved with tools provided by Project management methodologies.

At the same time virtual team effectiveness becomes evident when you consider the following:

  • One of virtual team benefits is a possibility to hire an expert in their field regardless of their location. Level of competitiveness is really high due to resource abundance on IT market.
  • You may as well save a significant amount of money hiring not a US-based developer, but the same level one from, say, Russia.
  • National and location diversity also provides great benefits when delivering a world-wide product which requires understanding of different mentalities. Thus, when you want to launch a web application in an Asian country, having a Japanese, Chinese, etc. team member would give benefit.
  • Different cultures and diverse background provide much space for knowledge and experience exchange which is really profitable for any project providing is a decent chance of success.

All in all, virtual team dynamics and effectiveness, which greatly depends on managerial skills of the leader, relies on how the mix of cultures is implemented as well as on the attention which is paid to detail with regard of the outcome of the different cultural character which is well-implemented.