People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 33

sations that may provoke an emotional response in one or
both parties.
As shown in the chart, none of the communication-focused technologies currently surpass in-person communication in terms of richness and synchronicity, but continuous
improvements in technology are at least closing that gap. In
general, richer and more synchronous communication strategies (those in the top right quadrant of the chart) should
be used heavily early in the virtual team's lifespan as they
allow users to convey more information in real time. This
makes them more likely to aid in the formation of trusting
relationships among team members. Once trust has been
developed among team members, it is more acceptable to
use other communication channels in many situations. In
the case study, we will provide examples of situations that
should primarily be handled via in-person or videoconference conversations.

Coordination-focused Technology

While communication-focused technology is the backbone
of trust-building communications in virtual teams, coordination-focused technology refers to a complementary set of
tools that can be leveraged more peripherally to enhance
trust and coordination among team members. Table 1 pro-

Desktop virtualization is becoming more popular in organizations, especially as they shift to virtual teams. Desktop
virtualization tools enable shared access to the same files
and programs, and team members can access the files from
any device that has the software and an internet connection. The primary drawbacks of desktop virtualization tools
are that they require a strong internet connection and are
often dependent on an external server that is outside of the
team's control.
File-sharing tools are critical for knowledge management
in virtual teams for two primary reasons: sensitive information
and large files unable to be sent via email. This type of software
can provide a secure transmission portal for sensitive information and also allow team members to share large files (e.g.,
high-resolution images and video files). The recommendation
here for optimal team functioning is to select one tool and ensure all team members are using it. Confusion and inefficiencies arise if different team members use different tools based
on personal preference.
Scheduling tools, while somewhat self-explanatory, are
another invaluable type of coordination-focused software for
virtual teams. Trying to schedule meetings via email, especially
across large teams as part of a global workforce, can be a very
challenging experience. This type of software allows individ-

Table 1. Examples of Common Coordination-focused Software
SOFTWARE CATEGORY

SAMPLE TOOLS/PRODUCTS

PROS

CONS

Project Management Software

*
*
*
*

* Tracks project status
* Enhances accountability
and visibility

* Time consuming
* Often inflexible, must
get full buy-in

Desktop Virtualization

* Citrix
* VMWare

* Allows virtual access to all team
fies and programs

* Requires internet connection
* Dependent on external server

File Sharing Tools

* Dropbox
* FileZilla

* Large file sharing ability

* Not always intuitive

Scheduling Tools

* Doodle
* iCalendar

* Easy scheduling
* Integrate with existing calendars

* Sometimes confusing across
time zones

Co-creation Tools

* Google Drive
* Sharepoint

* Real-time document co-editing

* Require internet connection
* Confusing document control

Asana
Trello
Microsoft Project
Apollo

vides an overview of five common types of coordination-focused software that we have found to be effective based on
our first hand experience in virtual teams. Next, we will
discuss each of these coordination-focused technologies in
a bit more depth.
Project management software provides a level of accountability and progress tracking virtual teams that is hard to come
by via email or other communications alone. When used
effectively, these can positively impact team trust as they reduce the ambiguity that can easily occur in virtual teams. The
primary downside to this type of software is that it can become
time-consuming and feel bureaucratic to set up and update
projects within the software, which can reduce team member
buy-in and inhibit the overall effectiveness of the tools.

uals to provide their preference or availability for meeting
planning purposes. The key to effectiveness with this type of
software again lies in ensuring all team members make use of
the tool consistently.
Document co-creation tools allow team members to simultaneously work within a file and can be great for creation of
reports or spreadsheets and providing feedback on deliverables in one integrated document. These technologies are continuously improving and becoming more similar to common
individual document creation tools, so the learning curve is
often pretty easy. Challenges with these are often due to a lack
of internet connection or tracking versions of documents and
changes made as version management is not always automatic
in these tools.
VOLUME 41 | ISSUE 2 | SPRING 2018

33



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2

From the Executive Editor
From the Guest Editor
Perspectives
Ignition Teams: Rising to the Challenges of Innovation
Challenge Accepted: Managing Polarities to Enhance Virtual Team Effectiveness
Facilitating Trust and Communication in Virtual Teams
Building Entrepreneurial Teams: Talent, Social Capital, and Culture
Organizations That Get Teamwork Right
Team Development: The Power of Debriefing
The Rise of Digital Team Building
Executive Roundtable
In First Person
Linking Theory + Practice
Insight into Action
Leadership Insights
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover1
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover2
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 1
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 2
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 3
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - From the Executive Editor
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 5
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - From the Guest Editor
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 7
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Perspectives
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 9
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 10
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 11
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 12
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 13
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 14
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 15
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Ignition Teams: Rising to the Challenges of Innovation
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 17
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 18
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 19
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 20
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 21
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Challenge Accepted: Managing Polarities to Enhance Virtual Team Effectiveness
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 23
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 24
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 25
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 26
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 27
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 28
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 29
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Facilitating Trust and Communication in Virtual Teams
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 31
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 32
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 33
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 34
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 35
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Building Entrepreneurial Teams: Talent, Social Capital, and Culture
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 37
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 38
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 39
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 40
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 41
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Organizations That Get Teamwork Right
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 43
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 44
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 45
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Team Development: The Power of Debriefing
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 47
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 48
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 49
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 50
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 51
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - The Rise of Digital Team Building
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 53
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 54
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 55
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Executive Roundtable
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 57
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 58
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 59
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 60
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 61
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - In First Person
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 63
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 64
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 65
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Linking Theory + Practice
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 67
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 68
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 69
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Insight into Action
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 71
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Leadership Insights
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 73
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - 74
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover3
People & Strategy Spring 2018 Vol. 41 No. 2 - Cover4
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