Working in Virtual Teams

Working in Virtual Teams

While much research has been published on why virtual teams fail, fewer publications have demonstrated what works. We present a five-phase model that balances individual contributors, leadership skills, and necessary functional enablers.

What is a Virtual Team?

Virtual teams share three characteristics. First, they are tasked with completing a common objective, meaning that there is a business need for the team to be assembled. Second, team members are dispersed in different geographical locations or working from home.

Improving Virtual Team Performance

The five-phase model to improve virtual team behaviors and to lead to enhanced performance includes:

Why Do We Need a Model for Virtual Teams?

Models help to frame the context and solution to problems. Moreover, training participants in a given model establishes a common framework and provides clear expectations for team behaviors and performance.

Performance Measures

Projects are measured by their critical success factors determined during project initiation. Likewise, virtual teams should be measured by team behaviors and metrics that are established for success of the team’s activities. Virtual teams must have team metrics in order to support teamwork.

Identifying Virtual Team Members

Selecting team members to serve on a virtual team will be addressed in greater detail in a future post. For now, however, be aware that virtual team members must have a different set of characteristics than those working in traditional, co-located teams.

Learn How to Improve Virtual Team Performance

You can improve the performance of a virtual team by using the five-phase Virtual Team Model: initiation and structure, communication, meetings and protocols, knowledge management, and leadership. Learn how to improve your team’s performance in our online Virtual Team course. Find out more here and register here. Contact me at for questions/comments.

About Me

I am inspired by writing, teaching, and coaching. I tackle life with an infusion of rigor, zeal, and faith. It brings me joy to help you build innovation leaders. Teresa Jurgens-Kowal is an experienced innovation professional with a passion for lifelong learning with a PhD in Chemical Engineering and an MBA in Computer and Information Decision Making. My credentials include PE (State of Louisiana), NPDP, PMP®, and CPEM, and I am a DiSC® certified facilitator. Contact me at or area code 281 + phone 787–3979 for more information on coaching for entrepreneurs and innovators.



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Teresa Kowal

Teresa Kowal

I tackle life with an infusion of rigor, zeal, and faith. My passion is innovation and helping others improve their new product development ecosystems.