In my opinion, the three most critical success factors needed as a foundation for building a collaborative global team (distributed and virtual) would be Leadership, Information Sharing, Integrity and Trust. When these characteristics exist in each team member the tools used to accomplish the goal is secondary.
Leadership qualities are important when leading a global team or any team. These qualities ensure that the team respects your judgment regarding the direction of the project and know you believe that the team will be able to get the job done. Successfully leading a global team requires confidence, strong verbal and written communications skills and listening skills. As stated by Glen “All leaders aspire to inspire. (Glen, 2003). Leaders are also interested in having individuals who are motivated, fun to be around, productive, and validating. (Glen, 200) The challenge for most leaders that may also become risks to the project goals occurs when the Project Lead does not know the person they are working with, their temperament, skill level or work ethic. I suggest using personality profile tests like Myers Briggs or any other tools that will help you better relate to your new team members. Establishing a one on one conversation to get to know the new team member and share work experiences helps break the ice. Having theses one on one conversation can help improve the flow of information and what is expected on the project.
Information sharing is critical for the success of global teams. “Technology leaders must be skilled in facilitating the flow of ideas and activities of a project to ensure that teams and individual within the group remain coordinated while working independently”. (Glen, 2003) Information sharing must be consistent and reliable when work in global teams. Leaders of global teams must be able to describe the big picture of project work in addition to the details that make up the whole. “Without some sense of the larger meaning of their work, it becomes nearly impossible to generate consistent intrinsic motivation to slog through the implementation of a complex solution to a complicated problem.” (Glen, 2003). Information sharing is the foundation for birthing new ideas for project teams and being able to confide with team members brings us to the importance of trust. When information is not shared and team members begin to feel out- of- the- loop, and become demotivated. The risks associate with a team that is demotivated is: Changing deadlines;