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Leaders and Leadership

Essay by   •  February 4, 2012  •  Essay  •  688 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,557 Views

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The concept of external teams is not very common in the engineering industry that I am currently in. This industry demands execution of time and tested solutions for customers.

"Isn't this a problem?" From my perspective YES. There is lack of innovation coming out from these industries. By providing time and tested engineering solutions to customers the firms operating in this industry has matured and implemented efficient work processes to improve on quality and service. From my perspective, these firms must also form externally oriented teams who continuously interact with their customers and 'live a day' in their work to understand the needs and issues they run into. This approach using the concept of forming external teams will facilitate organizations to come out with innovative solutions for their customers and facilitate the process of innovation.

Managers avoid implementing the 'real' concept of external teams as it increases costs in their operations and indulge in 'eye wash' approaches where people are encouraged to look beyond their organization or industry by following the Internet Search & Research approach. This approach has its limitations as it cannot tap the tacit knowledge and ideas that are in the minds of the customers.

The advancement in information technologies has speeded up the process of globalization and literally flatted the workplace. This has led to the phenomena of people collaborating with each other from across geographical boundaries on projects.

The benefits that organizations have from executing their operations by forming virtual teams are:

* Faster execution of projects, due to advantages of different time zones. With smart resource planning project managers can have their project related activities executed at multiple locations round the clock;

* Continuous availability of skilled resources from regions where skill shortage is not an issue;

* Exchange of ideas and opinions leading to innovative approaches to executes tasks;

* Reduced execution cost.

Firms are investing heavily on IT infrastructure to facilitate geographically scattered teams to collaborate on virtual team rooms where geographically scattered teams can interact and share project related information. 'One on' meetings have been replaced with video conferencing or conference calls.

I have led virtual teams in projects which were distributed geographically. The pros of executing projects in this pattern were that team leaders spend more time to focus on strategies on developing efficient communication methods and to allocate tasks efficiently. The team leader does not have the added burden of building synergies within the team to



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