Distributed teams are notorious for causing managers and workers strife. We love the idea that we can work from anywhere, but isolation and communication breakdowns can play havoc with trust and alignment. Regardless of their challenges, distributed teams are not only here to stay, they are increasingly becoming the norm. In our work with clients the past few years, one common theme has emerged: how can we make our distributed teams successful?
In response to this need, we’ve created the first on-line course in establishing and maintaining a cohesive distributed team. We provide a set of tools and ways of working that will enable distributed teams to work together much more effectively.
It isn’t technology or contracts or job descriptions or better direction that contributes to a distributed team’s success...it’s clarity. This clarity falls into four key components:
Clarity of purpose and expectations: Everyone on the team needs to know what the team expects from themselves, each other, and the project itself. This sets a social contract between team members that says, “We are building this thing, I will do this work, you will do that work, we will collaborate on this other work, success looks like ________.”
Clarity of communications: Everyone on the team needs to know what communications will come from where and when they are likely to arrive. Take the guesswork out of finding meeting invites or documents. Declare what technology is going to help us and how. Declare regular meetings, check-ins, and ways of collaboratively working.
Clarity of immediate work: How do we work? What is our process? How do I know if something is stalled? How do I know who is doing what? When can I help? When can I ask for help? These questions require real-time tactical information about what the team is building, who is doing what work, and how close you are to meeting your goals.
Clarity of action and improvement: What does the project “going right” look like? What do I do when I see that it’s “going wrong?” When can I improve something on my own? When does it require a conversation? How can we act quickly and decisively?
In the Distributed Teams class we cover these elements in four simple management tools and three cultural norms. The class is built to be a quick no-nonsense examination of the principles you will need in order to have a successful distributed team.
This course is $599. To introduce the course, we are giving an introductory rate of $249 until August 1st, 2015.
Sign up now and join our growing community of practice in successful distributed teams.