As global projects are getting more complex, virtual teams are established to bring together experts from different fields and cultures. Challenged by different working habits and communication patterns, these teams need fast and effective assessments of their teamwork to install efficient adjustments. We have developed an assessment of virtual teamwork, which measures the contribution of each team member to the team’s success through self-assessments. These record the individual perception of each team member, their level of information, their project reference, and the implementation of existing working methods.
The VTMM®– Virtual Team Maturity Model focuses on internal team processes, necessary in particular to compensate for missing face-to-face communication. These predefined meta-processes include the definition of rules and objectives in addition to operational areas, such as the distribution of tasks and information. They also regulate areas of team-internal cooperation, such as meetings and decision-making, and serve to motivate and resolve conflicts through proactive feedback and praise, emphasizing the social aspects of getting to know each other and trust building.
The performance of a virtual team is measured by the presence and the degree of manifestation of the VTMM®processes. These are collected by means of an anonymous questionnaire, which is completed by each team member and the team leader, assessing the degree of manifestation of each process on the basis of predefined criteria. These criteria are assigned to four different maturity levels, whereby the average maturity level can be determined for each process and the team performance, using a logical algorithm. The results of the assessment are presented to the team to discuss improvement measures. The VTMM® meta-processes include various methods and tools that can be used to improve the team performance in the analyzed areas, if not yet implemented.
This continuously repeatable procedure of VTMM®contributes to create a highly motivated virtual project team, leading to trust, cohesion, and consequently an improved team performance. The effects of a VTMM®assessment and the implementation of corresponding measures for improvement on the virtual team performance have been validated in a case study.