Blog post from our Experts

18 June 2010

Virtual organization structure

This post are answers in brief to the following major questions about Virtual Organizations. What is the best suited structure for a Virtual Organization ? Why would one prefer a Virtual Organization ? I will be covering them in detail at a later blog but the basic structure is shown in the below diagram

Basic Structure of Virtual Organization


The diagram clearly shows that the structure is process controlled. Resources, people and suppliers should use the process as the medium to run the Virtual Organization or it will be chaos. Product and services should also be connected to the process and hence the clients to the Virtual Organizations can follow the same process to be part of it. Agile management principles go hand in hand with VO wherein the clients become part of project itself.



Need of a Virtual Organization

The marketplace is changing dramatically and is expected to continue changing rapidly. Regarding environmental change, Huber and Glick (1993, p. 4) wrote. The fast-changing nature of today’s organizational environments is largely a consequence of two factors: (1) the increasing effectiveness of information technology (both communications technology and computing technology) and (2) the increasing effectiveness of transportation technology. Huber and Glick (1993, p. 4) gave three examples of environmental change. Global markets could not be what they are if information, products, and people could not be moved as easily as they can. The decline of manufacturing employment in the United States is directly a consequence of automation (read “information technology”) and acrossborders manufacturing and importation (read “transportation technology”). The social issues that today affect organizations have much of their force because advances in communications technology (1) make social injustices and environmental tragedies vivid and widely known and (2) enable many separate entities to communicate, coordinate, and cooperate in confronting organizations on such matters.

I am sure readers will be already getting new ideas. Please feel free to query/comment on my post through
contact us and I will be glad to discuss in detail.

16 June 2010

virtual teams pros and cons

I do not agree with packaged business model solutions. Every model has its own pros and cons to it. I rather optimize the model for a requirement so that the pros are weighted.

We will now take major aspects of project managing virtual teams and compare it with stationed team.

Performance :
In general principles, team processes can be classified into two categories: task-related — including those that help ensure each member is contributing fully; and socio-emotional — including those that increase the cohesion of the group

Project postmortem data has taught us that the task related process gives best value, where as organizational values increase when the team is not dispersed.

Agile project management principles are based on task related process. However Agile principles state that two brains working towards a common task from a single shared computer gives better results than a single brain.

Quality Control:
It is always good to build quality standards within the organization and use trained employees to improve overall quality. However quality works hand in hand with cutting edge process and technology, hence organizations recruit people from different companies with higher quality standards to inherit best practices and principles.

I have noted that virtual teams can be propagated/upgraded to inherit quality standards much more easily than stationed teams. However there should be a base minimum benchmark to quality and standards laid out. Methodical documentation should be followed by every virtual team member during the development process.

Project Co-ordination

Common coordination challenges faced by virtual teams are as follows:

  • Time zone differences
  • Power and infrastructure facility breakdown
  • Language issues within teams
  • Communication issues and failure to understand the tasks assigned to them.
  • I plan descriptive posts that will help you overcome these specific challenges of virtual teams and build solutions to give more weight to pros.


    I am sure readers will be already getting new ideas. Please feel free to query/comment on my post through
    contact us and I will be glad to discuss in detail.

    15 June 2010

    Office Live workspace for Small Business

    My earlier posts were specifically aimed to build and manage virtual organizations but this one is good for regular business/individuals as well.

    Sharada Sreedhar is one of a kind marketing executive that I have ever known, not only for her success in profession but also for her operation style. She has hired a secretary for managing office and two marketing executives. The office secretary also helps her and others to followup with the clients and handles the calls too. The key difference in her operation is about the way she simplifies the interoffice communication process. She and her marketing assistants meet up only on weekends at office and yet they are able generate leads and run a successful business.

    The process is all about document sharing without any hi-fi systems/process or CRM software. All her sharing is done using Office Live Workspace

    Here is how they take advantage of Office Live Workspace. Sharada and the marketing executives update their business visits/daily report towards end of the day using an Microsoft Excel workbook to Office Live Workspaces.

    Most marketing companies do have a daily report system. The executives generally hands over the report directly or emails it to their respective bosses. Boss checks the daily reports and decides next course of action on each business lead. Hence boss generally works late and finds time only to propagate marketing. Sharada has delegated this responsibility to Reeta - her secretary. Shared documents can be checked and updated by Reeta and she makes the follow up calls, updates any new status on the same document and also alerts relevant executives about any immediate attention required.

    How easy is it to work on Office live Workspace?Click here and get going in minutes.


    Now for the most important question. How much does it cost?
    Ah ....well... you know it depends on.... . Hmmm .. lets see.....
    Not a penny... it is free.. absolutely free !!!


    All you need to do is install this addin from Microsoft. "Office Live Update 1.5" and you get a new sub-menu as shown in the screen shot below . You will have sub-menu for saving to office Live and opening from office live.


    Create your office spaces account and start sharing your documents. Say bye bye to flash drives and portable storage devices to carry your documents.

    It could also avoid confusion of emails and track latest version of your documents.

    I suggest you take a walk through by directly going to http://workspace.officelive.com/en-us/Home2.

    Well then, I will leave rest to figure out for you. Happy Office Live workspacing.

    I am sure readers will be already getting new ideas. Please feel free to query/comment on my post through
    contact usand I will be glad to discuss in detail.


    14 June 2010

    Application virtualization for Virtual teams

    I had an Email today from a client who had his requirement summarized as follows.

    • I would like to deploy our software app into 300 computers without actually going to each client PC and
      keep upgrading as we release new versions, which might be once a month or so.


    • I also should be able to save data to a central server and not locally. Updatable on a frequency.


    • All these 300 computers are laptops of employees and they keep traveling regularly. They need to use our software even when they are not on the company network or connected


    Now this would be kind of near impossible scenario in earlier era of computing where I would most probably end up suggesting VPN or RDP. Using RDP or VPN do require laptops to be connected to internet as well in such a scenario.

    This is why I love Microsoft App-V. You can use App-V client to actually cache the application and set a frequency to update the server or update only when the network is available. The applications works like locally installed application and it looks just like any other desktop application.

    Now that is what I call truly mobile. One more very important point is that App-V can be controlled centrally, including updates to application. I am sure readers will be already getting new ideas. Please feel free to query/comment on my post through contact us and I will be glad to discuss in detail.

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    Also visit our other blog post from our experts
    "Virtual Teams and how to build/manage them"
    for more tips on working with SME Virtual teams .



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