Communications and Technology Case Study

Overview

Write recommendations that provide guidance to a hypothetical team about developing a team charter and choosing communications and collaboration technology, based on a provided scenario.

Context

The key enabler of virtualness is technology. The use of technology facilitates and affects communication between the members of a virtual team. Some of the basic modes of communication are voice, video, and computer-based technologies. They can be either synchronous or asynchronous (communication occurring at the same time or at different times), as well as one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-many. When the technology is process-focused, it can effectively run an organization, unit, or team. When it is product-focused, it can deliver results such as new products, decisions, reports, or plans.

Questions to Consider

To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.

In what types of situations are asynchronous media tools most effective? When are synchronous technologies most effective?
What social media tools and/or discussion boards are appropriate for use in virtual workplace collaboration?
What considerations regarding communication technology should be made when planning virtual team collaboration?
Resources

Suggested Resources
Gignac, F. (2004). Building successful virtual teams. Norwood, MA: Artech House.
Chapter 2, “Collaborative Technologies.”
Chapter 4, “Ecollaboration Methodology.”
Lockwood, N. (2010, April).Successfully transitioning to a virtual organization: Challenges, impact and technology [Special section]. HR Magazine, 55(4), 1–9.
Assessment Instructions

Preparation
To prepare for this assessment, complete the following:

Research examples of team charters that are used in an organizational setting.
Research the different types of virtual communication technologies currently available in the workplace, including both synchronous and asynchronous options.
Deliverable
Consider the following scenario:

You are a human resource manager for a national organization with offices in all four U.S. time zones. You have been tasked with facilitating the launch of a virtual team that will collaborate on an important and highly confidential project. Team members will come from all major business units of the organization, and will be made up primarily of senior managers and directors. The team is expected to have its orientation meeting in two weeks, and will present the finished project to executive management 90 days after the orientation meeting.

You are expected to provide this team with guidance that will help with the launch. Your deliverables for this task are to provide specific guidance in two areas:

Recommendations for the team charter: Offer guidance on the development of this team’s contract as a group. What ground rules would you recommend? What counsel do you have to offer in terms of team members setting expectations with each other? How do you recommend that conflicts be resolved? How do you suggest the team leadership concerns be addressed?
Recommendations for communications and collaboration technology: Recommend technology choices that will support this team’s virtual collaboration. Be specific in your recommendations about the use of synchronous and asynchronous technologies. Highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each, and give examples of the appropriate and inappropriate uses of both types of technologies. Provide recommendations of technologies for brainstorming and problem-solving. Offer advice on shared work platforms that are appropriate to the technologies. For example, what form of communication is best for resolving conflicts?
Write an assessment that offers your thorough and detailed recommendations for each of these two topics, while being as concise as possible. Support each of your recommendations with references from your research.

Formatting Requirements
Your assessment should contain two distinct sections: Team Charter Recommendations and Communications and Collaboration Technology Recommendations. Include the following:

Title page.
Introduction (include a brief overview of the scenario).
Team Charter Recommendations:
Executive Summary (1–2 paragraphs).
Recommendations.
Communications and Collaboration Technology Recommendations:
Executive Summary (1–2 paragraphs).
Recommendations.
Conclusion (in 1–2 paragraphs, summarize your recommendations and the results you expect).
References page, including a minimum of three research resources. Follow APA guidelines for formatting and citing your resources.
There is no exact number of pages required for this assessment. Focus on fully addressing the assessment requirements. Note: If your paper is only two pages in length, you have not fully addressed the assessment; and if it is twenty pages, you have written far too much.

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