Document Detail

Title: RS326-1 - Maximizing Virtual Team Performance in the Construction Industry
Publication Date: 10/1/2016
Product Type: Research Summary
Status: Supporting Product
Pages: 19
Summarizes the increasingly common situation of a dispersed team connected by technology (a virtual team). Demonstrates the correlation between implementing 21 key performance indicators and achieving an adaptive and responsive virtual team.

NOTE: Actual tool included with IR326-2.
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The construction industry in the twenty-first century is in an era of technological change, with an ever-pressing need to work seamlessly, regardless of location. Rapid changes in the global economy mean that CII member companies must adapt their work processes to keep up with the push to work faster, better, and more efficiently. These pressures, combined with the need to reduce costs and balance resources, have increasingly led the construction industry to implement virtual teams to accomplish what was once done by co-located teams. Whenever the work is performed between regional offices, across the country, or on different continents, delivering a successful project depends on the team’s ability to maximize its virtual performance.
In recognition of the importance of virtual teams to the construction industry, CII created Research Team 326 (RT-326) to examine: “What can the construction industry do to maximize the performance of virtual teams?” The team explored this question by identifying current and emerging virtual team practices, identifying and recommending enhanced work processes, and developing a tool that will help companies improve virtual team performance.
RT-326’s research found a correlation between virtual teams that achieve high performance and the implementation of certain key factors. The team identified 21 of these factors, which it termed Virtual Team Key Performance Indicators (VT KPIs), and grouped them into three categories: Technology, Team, and Process. Weighting provided clarity on which VT KPIs have the highest impact on team performance.
The RT-326 research concluded that successfully using VT KPIs can maximize the performance of a virtual team. Validation surveys found that Technology measures, while necessary for virtual teams, did not have strong associations with performance; however, virtual team performance was strongly correlated to having Team and Process VT KPIs in place. By implementing corresponding KPIs, project teams can overcome barriers characteristic of virtual work, including inadequate hardware, cultural and language differences, uneven participation, and the lack of virtual team procedures.
Project managers can evaluate their virtual teams against the VT KPIs by using Implementation Resource (IR) 326-2, VIRTUOSO: High Performance Virtual Team Equalizer, a Microsoft© Excel-based tool. VIRTUOSO identifies areas that need improvement and offers implementation guidance to enable higher levels of performance. By using this tool, project managers can execute virtual teamwork more effectively. In a business environment where fewer and fewer distributed teams can afford to co-locate or even hold in-person meetings, VIRTUOSO enables the development of adaptive and responsive teams.