When you collaborate with a virtual team and keep it thriving

Being a volunteer with the SVPM team has been a superb involvement for me.  My background is mostly in customer service and management in relation to the beauty industry. Also, working with a small consulting firm on various projects (ServiceNow and data center workflows) gaining some much-needed experience within the PM sphere. Recently, I obtained a CSM and SAFe certification but courses and training only get you to a certain point. 

Agile experience is among the top benefits of being a SVPM member.  It most definitely is but let’s take a slightly closer look at something that I feel is an absolute must.  TEAM COLLABORATION.

We all know, of course, in its simplest terms means to ‘work together’. We have members of various professional backgrounds and levels of experience. Each sprint, members get to trade roles (Product Owner, Scrum Master, Dev. Team) and gain a better understanding of Agile methodology. 

A great team is a group that must possess the ability to work together effectively to produce and deliver quality work.  Everyone’s roles and responsibilities are laid out and having the right tools when collaborating with virtual teams are essential.  We use Slack for group and direct messaging.  Zoom for face to face meetings.

With all of the technical tools that aide in an easier collaborative environment, give props to the obvious.  Here are several things that come to mind.

  1. Building a meaningful working relationship by acknowledging various work styles, personalities, and practices.
  2. Be open-minded, you never know when you may inadvertently pick up a new skillset (I’ve learned a few). 
  3. Know your strengths and stay focused.
  4. Ask questions, stay eager, and add to decision making, they could end up being thought-provoking.
  5. Contribution and sharing of ideas; never leave a stone unturned as they say.
  6. Be okay with making mistakes, they always can become opportunities.
  7. Never be afraid to ask for help or give help when needed.

In short, I find collaboration isn’t a skill strictly for the workplace (or in my case this volunteer environment), its cohesiveness can actually be adapted and applied to all areas of your life.

 “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” –Henry Ford

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2 thoughts on “When you collaborate with a virtual team and keep it thriving”

  1. User Avatar
    Sara Tripiana Xicoy

    Thanks for sharing Chris!
    A team working together effectively is a gem. It’s rare to find that all team members that are open-minded, adaptable, and are capable to do that on their own from the beginning. I feel it is more a progression, a journey, and a matter of educating team members to be humble, and see working together as a benefit, and a way to shine rather than an impediment. I also feel the majority of times that mind-set comes from whoever is leading the team, but in agile, a collaborative environment needs to be there, it is a must in the framework, and without it, the team will probably not be doing agile!
    It’s interesting how ASVPM is thriving. Perhaps because it’s a group of people that want to collaborate together, or perhaps because it’s a well-organized project, and the sponsors drive a collaborative space or a mix of some, but that willingness to work together as a collaborative team is there. Not only because the methodology is requesting it, but because the team members are willing to do so! And as you said, all virtually, and from different parts in the US and EU even, it’s quite impressive.
    Sara Tripiana

  2. User Avatar

    Thank you for sharing your insights about SVPM teamwork, Chris.
    Even though you wrote a few points on team collaboration, your writing has a greater impact on how group-wisdom will produce quality deliverables while learning from each other.
    David Bakhtnia

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