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Managing Virtual Teams: Getting the Most from Wikis, Blogs, and Other Collaborative Tools

Book Description

Virtual collaborative team environments face unique challenges because co-workers are not able to interact in person. Managing Virtual Teams: Getting the Most from Wikis, Blogs, and Other Collaborative Tools provides practical advice for managers of distributed teams who must design the internal systems and meet deadlines with a diverse team, and for team members who want to develop and maintain professional relationships. To address these needs, this book is divided into two parts. Part I discusses the basics of team and project management, including team dynamics, communication, and project evaluation, with particular emphasis on the unique challenges of virtual teams. Part II covers the types of tools currently available for collaboration, such as wikis, blogs, RSS feeds, and more, and describes the different feature sets of each, as well as their differences and similarities. As part of their collaborative effort, the authors used a wiki, which they have opened to give readers an opportunity to see an example of a real-life wiki at work and participate in a community with the authors and other readers.

Table of Contents

  1. Contents
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. Introduction
  4. Part I Building and Managing a Virtual Team
    1. Chapter 1 Understanding Team Dynamics in a Virtual Environment
      1. Lifecycle of a Team
      2. Characteristics of an Effective Team
        1. Shared Team Objective
        2. Knowledge
        3. Equipment
        4. Ability
        5. Desire
      3. Characteristics of an Effective Team Leader
      4. Challenges and Opportunities with Virtual Teams
        1. Culture
        2. Logistics
        3. Communication
        4. Project Management
        5. Personnel Management
      5. Summary
      6. Related Resources
    2. Chapter 2 Setting Up a Virtual Team
      1. Hiring
        1. Before You Need to Hire
        2. During the Hiring Process
      2. Selecting Team Members from within the Organization
      3. Establishing Team Structure and Roles
        1. Expectations
        2. Structure, Roles, and Responsibilities
        3. Leadership
        4. Core Team
        5. Associated Subject Matter Experts
        6. Localization and Other Vendors
      4. Setting the Ground Rules
        1. Initial Meeting
        2. Teambuilding Activities
          1. In Person
          2. Virtually
      5. Building a Team Culture
      6. Summary
      7. Related Resources
    3. Chapter 3 Evaluating Your Needs
      1. What Are You Trying to Accomplish?
      2. What Are Your Current Capabilities?
        1. Hardware/Software Issues
        2. Communication Issues
      3. Who Is on Your Team?
      4. Which Tool Is Appropriate for Each Task?
      5. Summary
      6. Related Resources
    4. Chapter 4 Communicating with the Team
      1. Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Interaction
      2. One-to-One Conversations
      3. One-to-Many Email
        1. Sample Email Guidelines
      4. One-to-Many Documents
      5. Many-to-Many Team Meetings
        1. Before the Meeting Begins
        2. During the Meeting
          1. Special Notes for Voice-Only Meetings
          2. Special Notes for Text-Only Meetings
        3. When the Meeting Is Over
      6. Summary
      7. Related Resources
    5. Chapter 5 Project Planning and Tracking
      1. Planning
        1. Scope of the Project
        2. Assumptions
        3. Requirements
        4. Tasks
        5. Schedule
        6. Cost Estimate
      2. Tracking Your Progress
      3. Incorporating Progress into Your Plan
      4. Summary
      5. Related Resources
    6. Chapter 6 Collaborating and Troubleshooting
      1. Working Collaboratively
        1. Agile Environments and Virtual Teams
      2. Working with Vendors
        1. Localization/Translation
          1. Components of an RFP
          2. Evaluation Checklist
        2. Production or Hardware
        3. Documentation
        4. Contractors/Consultants
      3. Challenges for Virtual Teams
        1. Do Not Leave Anyone Behind!
        2. Managing Conflict within Your Team
      4. Summary
      5. Related Resources
    7. Chapter 7 Conducting Reviews
      1. Content Reviews
        1. Technical Reviews
          1. Get the Right People Involved Early
          2. Identify the Review Team
          3. Plan and Prepare
          4. Provide Clear Objectives and Instructions for Each Review
          5. Clearly Identify the Purpose, Audience, and Scope
          6. Provide Sufficient Time for the Review
          7. Manage the Meeting
          8. Follow-up
        2. In-country Reviews
          1. Problems that Can Arise
          2. Why In-Country Reviews Go Wrong
          3. Reviewer Skills Needed
          4. Best Practices
        3. Sign-off (Approval) Reviews
      2. Performance Appraisals
        1. Best Practices
      3. Project Reviews
        1. Milestone Reviews
          1. Who Should Attend
          2. Setup
          3. Reporting
          4. Agenda
        2. Post-Project Evaluations
          1. Preparation
          2. Setup
          3. Agenda
          4. Follow-up
      4. Summary
      5. Related Resources
    8. Chapter 8 Managing Risk and Change
      1. Changes to Team Structure or Personnel
        1. Planning for Personnel Changes
        2. Welcoming New Team Members
          1. Preparing for the New Arrival
          2. Integrating the New Person with the Team
        3. Handling Personnel Conflicts
      2. Product Design or Documentation Changes
        1. Best Practices in Change Management
        2. Integrating Localization into the Process
        3. Tools
      3. Summary
      4. Related Resources
    9. Chapter 9 Evaluating Project Success
      1. What Are Metrics?
      2. Where Do You Start?
      3. What Do You Measure?
      4. How Do You Measure?
        1. Automatic Tracking Tools
        2. Manual Entries
        3. Using Survey Tools
      5. After You Measure
        1. 1. Compare the Numbers within Categories and Across Categories
        2. 2. Look for Trends and Trouble Spots
        3. 3. Store the Information so that Your Team and Other Teams Can Access It in the Future
        4. 4. Repeat Steps 1 through 3
      6. Summary
      7. Related Resources
  5. Part II Evaluating the Tools
    1. Chapter 10 Comparing Features, Tools, and More
      1. Comparing Tasks and Categories
    2. Chapter 11 Installation, Customization, and Security
      1. Installing Applications
        1. Using Fantastico
        2. General Installation Notes
      2. Customizing Applications
      3. Implementing Security
        1. Challenge Emails
        2. CAPTCHA
        3. Verification
        4. Whitelists
        5. Role-based Permissions
    3. Chapter 12 Collaborative Software Suites
    4. Chapter 13 Meeting and Communication Tools
      1. Instant Messaging (IM) Applications
        1. Customizing IM Applications
        2. Adding Security to Instant Messaging
        3. IM Applications
      2. Web-based Meeting Programs
        1. Web-based Meeting Tools
    5. Chapter 14 Information Broadcasting Tools
      1. Blogs
        1. Blog Software
      2. Podcasts
        1. Creating a Podcast
        2. Finding Existing Podcasts
        3. The Future of Podcasting
        4. Podcast Software
    6. Chapter 15 Information Sharing Tools
      1. Calendars
        1. Calendar Software
      2. File Sharing Software
      3. Forums and Bulletin Boards
      4. Application Sharing
    7. Chapter 16 Information Gathering Tools
      1. Surveys
      2. Project Management
      3. Time Tracking
    8. Chapter 17 Wikis
    9. Chapter 18 RSS Feeds and Other “Push” Technologies
      1. Emails, Faxes, and Voice Mails
      2. Newsletters
      3. RSS
      4. Creating and Validating an RSS File
        1. Using HTML in RSS and Atom Feeds
        2. Applying Formatting to RSS and Atom Feeds
        3. Vulnerabilities in RSS Feeds
      5. Syndicating an RSS Feed
      6. Using an RSS Aggregator
        1. Vulnerabilities with Aggregators
  6. Appendix A It ’s a Wiki Wacky World
    1. Looking Around
      1. *Announcements*
      2. Wiki Rules
      3. Formatting Rules
      4. Sandbox
      5. About the Authors
      6. List Image Galleries
      7. Articles
      8. List Blogs
      9. Forums
      10. FAQs
      11. File Galleries
    2. RSS Feeds
    3. Using the Sandbox
      1. TikiWiki Syntax
        1. Formatting Text
        2. Colors
        3. Lists
      2. Images
      3. Links to Other Pages
      4. Links to External Pages
      5. Quicktags
      6. Print
      7. Create PDF File
    4. Register and Sign In Please
      1. Registration
      2. Logging In
      3. User Profile
      4. Creating and Editing Wiki Pages
        1. Editing an Existing Page
        2. Creating a New Page
      5. Watching Pages
      6. Personal User Pages
      7. Articles
      8. Comments
      9. Searching the Wiki
      10. Forums
    5. TikiWiki Help and Documentation
  7. Appendix B Glossary
  8. Index