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Module 3 – Background
Resources to Enhance Team Effectiveness
Collaboration and resources are essential competencies/conditions for high-performance teamwork (see Module 2). There is no question that virtual teams could not exist if it were not for sophisticated tools/technologies designed to assist communication and coordination of virtual work. Many if not all companies have voice and data computer networks that can serve as the base infrastructure for workflow, collaborative, and portal solutions. However, corporate networks do not solve the infrastructure needs when group members are widely geographically distributed or when they work for different organizations. That is where the Internet comes in. There are numerous resources to assist teams of all types in operating more efficiently. The following article summarizes some key methods and tools available to teams seeking to increase their effectiveness.
Gould, D. (2006). Methods and technologies. Fifth Generation Work—Virtual Organization. Retrieved from http://www.seanet.com/~daveg/technolo.htm
Here’s an article that describes how companies and other organizations are using the virtual world "Second Life" for meetings and training. Check out the slide show of tools for virtual business meetings at the end of the article.
Kharif, Olga. (2007) The virtual meeting room. Business Week. Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/apr2007/tc20070416_445840.htm
A growing number of high-tech tools are available to teams to assist in their work. View the following short video from BNET which summarizes a recent study of how often teams use WEB 2.0 tools to collaborate.
Collaboration: Tools and Technologies. (n.d.) BNET. Retrieved from http://www.bnet.com/2422-13722_23-175108.html?promo=713&tag=nl.e713
New software to support collaborative work is being developed continuously. It is not the intention of this module to review all of this software—the review would be outdated almost as soon as it was compiled! However, various sites on the Internet are dedicated to reviews and evaluation of such software and you should become aware of some of them. Here are three sites that are good places to start:
Iskold, A. (2009). Software for virtual teams. Read/Write Web. Retrieved from http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/software_for_virtual_teams.php
Thompson, K. (2012) Online collaboration tools. The Bumble Bee. Retrieved from http://www.bioteams.com/online_collaboration_tools/ (This site has a large number of links to specific software resources.)
Though I am not usually a big fan of Wikipedia as a resource for college-level work, it does have its uses. This list is continually updated, has links to the software, and a comparative chart so you can compare features and capacities.
List of collaborative software. (2012) Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_collaborative_software
Now, the SLP assignment.
Module 3 – SLP
Resources to Enhance Team Effectiveness
In the Session Long Project for this course, you are working with several classmates as a virtual team on a competitive project. This project involves assessment of both group and individual work. Your team’s process and task output will serve as the material for this SLP. Remember the TD is the first line of communication with other team members and respond to the TD that is set up for your team.
SLP Assignment Expectations
Review the rules for the team project, Virtual Teams: 101 Tips. By now your team has submitted its first list of tips. You will now prepare a second list. By the end of this module, submit that list of tips along with a 2- to 3-page analysis of your team’s experience with collaborative tools:
Keys to the Assignment
Be sure to discuss the following:
1.What collaborative tools did your team use? Were they appropriate for the task?
2.What problems/limitations did you run across?
3.Did you try anything to overcome the obstacles? How did it work?
4.Which tool(s) do you wish you had for this project?
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