Saturday, August 14, 2010

The personal touch

Most large organizations have jumped on the "virtual" bandwagon, ostensibly to save money, but they've bought in to a fallacy.  I'm going to open a big can of worms, but projects cannot be managed effectively in a virtual environment.  Can virtual projects come to a successful conclusion?  Absolutely, but at a cost.  The cost is time (read: money), quality, and organizational intelligence.  In a global environment, some components of a project will be virtual out of necessity; however, there is no need to codify and institutionalize the virtualization.

Just in the past two months I can give three specific examples of how communications were completely fouled up by my current client's insistence on virtual teams.  One instance had to do with an external vendor misunderstanding the release schedule and requirements which could have been catastrophic had I not met with them in person.  Folks, you cannot replace the value and effectiveness of working projects in person.  Don't fall in to the trap of the "virtual" project - put resources and effort into making sure that project teams are working face to face as much as possible.