A Case Study of Project Management Practices in Virtual Settings: Lessons from Working in and Managing Virtual Teams
Date of this version
Virtual teams, database development, project management, computer-mediated communication, groupware, collaboration tools
In this paper we report a case study examining the communication processes engaged in by virtual project teams and their management. Twenty-two teams, using widely available groupware to communicate, work together, share documents, discuss ideas, and solve problems, designed and implemented a database. These teams were managed by a geographically-distributed management team. The case study is analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively, from two perspectives--working in, and managing, virtual teams--using a framework that integrates virtual team dynamics and project management practices. Through the critical examination of communication content from the longitudinal experiences of multiple virtual project teams and their virtual management team, we identify successful project practices and uncover underlying interaction processes. Specifically, we found that high performing project teams differed from low performing teams in terms of process management, relational development, and proactive technology use behaviors. The five-person management team paralleled the project teams in evolving its own process management and relational development over time.
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