A recently published study identified the best practices used by 10 successful information technology (IT) project managers to lead effective virtual IT project teams (Cripe & Burleigh, 2022). The project managers had more than ten years of experience managing virtual teams (VTs) with growing and profitable IT companies in Silicon Valley, California. The study found that the project managers emphasized building personal relationships with team members at the start of each new project. This allowed them to foster a sense of camaraderie and common ground that led to successful outcomes and desired results. Maintaining cohesive team relationships throughout the project increased the trust and confidence needed to move projects forward in ways that sustained business and assured customer satisfaction.
The study identified the specific skills common to successful virtual project managers. These included:
- Using coaching and collaborating skills with team members
- Actively listening
- Motivating the team
- Understanding cultural differences
- Providing the right tools and resources
- Ensuring that the leadership above was onboard
- Clarified requirements and set expectations
- Assessed problems and determined ways to correct them
The effective and timely execution of these skills significantly contributed to building trust and rapport, increasing team efficiency, and developing effective lines of communication within the team.
Cripe, K.M. and Burleigh, C. (2022), “Examining leadership skills, behaviors, and effective communication for virtual IT project managers”, Team Performance Management, Vol. 28 No. 3/4, pp. 223-237.