Abstract: The new economy has created a paradigm shift in project management; projects must be realized in less time and at lower cost to remain competitive. One by-product of time to market is the invention of virtual teams. Virtual teams are small groups of people who collaborate closely despite being separated to some degree by time, space, and cultural boundaries, doing so effectively with the use of technology. This paper takes a two-step approach to the study of project management in virtual teams. The first step involved research of existing material in published journals. This research realized four key areas of managing virtual projects: (1) structure of the virtual team, (2) project manager, (3) communication and social issues, and (4) project management tools. The remaining portion of the paper focuses on Credence Systems Corporation, specifically on how they manage virtual projects. The case study focus is on an Armenian team with the DaTS software development project. Information was extracted through five interviews of current and past Credence employees. Many project management hurdles for virtual teams were uncovered through this interview process. These included hidden costs offsetting low wages, time to market issues, face-to-face contact importance, use of informal authority, cultural difference, and procedures/processes for remote R&D facilities. While this case study provided valuable information, it is anecdotal in nature. It is not meant as a broad research paper on project management of virtual teams. It is more meant as an application of the fundamentals taught in the ETM department to a real world situation. In completing background research in tandem with actual company interviews, the goals of the project were satisfied.
Ajgaonkar, P.; Auysakul, A.; Hall, E.; Jefferis, R.; Shinriki, S.; and Simoes, J., "Project management of virtual teams" (2003). Engineering and Technology Management Student Projects. 1529.