web-based system managing a virtual team, deliver a business-critical project" Identify analyse principle considerations system, including techniques operating .Evaluate traditional agile methods system, terms optimim delivery project outcomes.
Web-based virtual team management
The new labor force and the virtual team
Humans have been developing labor relations for millennia now, but these relations have never been as developed and complex as they are today. The basis of the modern day labor system was set in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with the commencement and development of the Industrial Revolution. During those days, the population moved from the villages to the tows as the factories were opened and in need of labor force. The early employees were nevertheless exploited, put to work long hours, to live and work in unsafe and unsanitary conditions and paid miserable wages. Women and children fitted in this category as well.
Gradually however, the labor force evolved. It gained more rights and it came to be better protected by legislations. Today, the labor relations are under constant pressures by the internal and external environments, and are forced to continually change and develop. One of the challenges facing modern day workforce includes the pressures of the changing role of the employee from the force operating the machine into the most valuable organizational asset (Berman and Knight, 2008) -- this is mostly obvious within the service providing companies, due to the importance of the intellectual capital. Other pressures include the changing employee demographics, the generation of more pretentious on the part of the employees, the changing legislations, the competition to hiring and retaining the best employees or the advancement of technologies.
The combination of these pressures -- alongside with others -- has lead to the creation of virtual teams. These virtually include people who work together to deliver a concept and attain a common goal, but from the physical standpoint, they work and function in different areas (Zofi, 2011). The virtual teams have to meet three specific criteria at the same time, meaning that they have to be functional, geographically dispersed and based on technology. More specifically, the virtual team:
"It is a functioning team -- a collection of individuals who are interdependent in their tasks, share responsibility for outcomes, see themselves and are viewed by others as an intact social unit embedded in one or more social systems, and collectively manage their relationships across organizational boundaries
The members of the team are geographically dispersed
The team relies on technology-mediated communications rather than face-to-face interaction to accomplish their tasks" (Buhlmann).
The concept of the virtual team is extremely complex and its application within the real life context is also challenging. In this setting then, the managers in charge of the virtual teams are faced with the need to manage these teams, in spite of the challenges these raise.
The management of the virtual teams is highly difficult due to the multitude of pressures and differences in comparison to the real teams. Some of these challenges include the geographic disparity of the team members, the knowledge and ideological unification of the team members, the need for increased responsibility on the part of the team members and so on.
In such a context then, managers of virtual teams have to make use of novel and better integrated tools of managing their teams. Web-based systems for management are as such growing more and more popular within the business community. At this level, emphasis is placed on the creation of a web-based system for managing a virtual team to deliver a business-critical project. In this, an important role is played by the identification and analysis of the considerations for the system, including the techniques for operating it. Additionally, emphasis would be placed on the use of traditional and agile methods in the system, in the effort to attain the goals of the project.
2. Web-based systems of management
The web-based systems generically refer to the usage of the most recent technologies to manage less traditional working climates. Web-based management system can be used to manage everything from teams, projects, systems, networks and so on.
The web-based systems of managing virtual teams differ from one organization to the other. The literature and the technological fields present the practitioner with a wide array of models to implement when managing a virtual team. But it is up to each and every manager to select and personalize those specific methods which best serve the scopes of their own business projects.
At a generic level however, the web-based management systems are characterized by several commonalities, including their multilateral access to information and multilateral information sharing, data and progress centralization, virtual communication and heavy reliance on technologic devices -- both hardware as well as software. In the current business critical project, the virtual team would be managed with the aid of the WhoDoes 2.0 system, which would be better explained below.
3. The WhoDoes 2.0 system
The WhoDoes 2.0 application is one specifically created to help manage virtual teams as it responds to the specific needs of these modern day constructions. At a more particular level, the WhoDoes 2.0 system represents a managerial tool that allows the members of a team to collaborate with each other, to share information amongst themselves and to manage the tasks and the milestones of the project (Website of WhoeDoes 2.0, 2012).
The WhoDoes 2.0 system is created to address four specific requirements in the management of virtual teams: planning, management, collaboration and communication, and last, archiving and sharing.
Planning -- the projects of the team are more easily planned, and also in a less time consuming manner. This is possible due to the integration of the Fast Planning feature, which improves the interface of the application, increases its usability and allows for superior planning activities.
Managing -- this feature of the application is created through the ability of the team leader to use WhoDoes 2.0 to assign tasks to the team members, to follow the progress of those tasks, to manage daily activities, to set priorities and to continually assess the overall progress of the entire project.
Collaborating and communicating -- this feature allows the users of the WhoDoes 2.0 to share information in a quick and efficient manner, regardless of them being in the same room, or miles apart.
Archiving and sharing -- finally, this fourth feature of the WhoDoes 2.0 web-based system of team management allows the managers and the team members alike to store and archive data and emails that are relevant to the business project (Website of WhoeDoes 2.0, 2012).
The WhoDoes 2.0 application is currently available in three different languages -- English, Italian and Spanish -- and it allows the simultaneous management of up to 50 projects. In terms of the users, the numbers of individuals which can connect is virtually endless. This feature is highly useful for the virtual teams which are formed from a large number of individuals.
Additionally, another important feature to mention about WhoDoes 2.0 is that'd limited version of the application is available free of charge. The version that is free is a condensed version of the larger application, revealing the same functionalities, but a decreased level. Still, this characteristic of the system is beneficial from two different perspectives. First of all, it allows economic agents and team manager sot first test the application, without incurring any costs or making any investment. On the other hand, it allows smaller teams to benefit from managerial support. In other words, the small size teams, which possess limited resources and decreased access to financially challenging systems, are better able to access the WhoDoes 2.0 and gain the support they need to manage their teams.
From the technical standpoint, the WhoDoes 2.0 application has six distinct features, as follows: My Workspace, Fast Planning, Milestone, Task, Team and Repository.
My Workspace -- This first feature is a further developed to-do list, where users can organize their activities based on specific criteria, such as priority, delivery date and so on. It is crated as an interactive interface and the activities can be moved through drag and drop techniques.
Fast Planning -- This second feature of the application is more complex and it allows for activities to be planned based on priorities. The managers can assign tasks and milestones to various team members and they can then plan for the miles and follow the person responsible for attaining them. The fast insert panel is a highly useful technique at this stage as it simplifies the planning processes of the manager.
Milestones -- The Milestones feature allows the manager and the team members to manage and plan the details of the milestones. The interface shows the milestones of the project based on date set, and highlights those milestones which are late. For each individual milestone, the application shows the tasks and activities associated with it.
Task -- This feature lists all the tasks assigned within the project, their progress, and the team member; through this, it also allows the…