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Novell Vibe Use Case: Virtual Teams



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September 3, 2010 9:48 am

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About Virtual Teams

Most projects require the contribution of people with a variety
of different skill sets. Quite often this means that projects will span
multiple departments. At minimum, a typical project team will consist
of a team manager to oversee the project, as well as others to plan
and execute the project. Whatever the make up of the project team
and from whatever areas within the organization they come from,
the major goal of any virtual team is to make sure that all of its
team members can effectively collaborate together.

Challenge

When a virtual team comprises members from different department
in an organization, geographic and organizational divides can create
barriers to needed communication. Mobility is another barrier to communication
for virtual teams. Regardless of whether team members are working
at a branch office, at the airport, in a hotel room, at a client
site, or at home, they need to able to collaborate with other team
members. All of these barriers to communication need to be overcome
so team members can effectively collaborate and move the project forward,
as well as to keep all team members apprised of project status and
progress.

The actual act of creating virtual teams between departments
can be an administrative challenge as well. All team members must
have access to project information and collaboration tools, which
can be difficult depending on how the IT infrastructure handles
access rights across departmental and geographic divisions. The
challenge of access can become even more complicated when virtual teams
include people external to the organization, such as partners, clients,
and contractors. While these external users need to be able to collaborate
and share information with other members of the virtual team, secure
controls need to be in place to ensure that these external users
can only access information appropriate for their roles on the team
and no more.

Once virtual teams are created, team leaders need to be able
to add or remove team members as needed. If IT must be involved
in such tasks, the delays caused by waiting for IT to act can have
serious consequences on the team’s ability to operate effectively,
move the project forward, and meet deadlines. Ideally, team leaders
should have the ability to create and manage team members and team project
areas without the involvement of the IT department.

Novell Solution

Novell Vibe makes it easy to bring together virtual teams
with the right people and the right skills in secure online workspaces
where they can easily interact. The centralized workspaces in Novell
Vibe serve as digital “offices” where team members, working locally
or dispersed geographically, can gather to coordinate their efforts, information,
resources and skill sets toward the completion or maintenance of
a project, purpose or topic of interest.

Without requiring IT assistance, individuals can easily create
their own ad hoc virtual teams and workspaces, as well as managing
the addition or removal of team members as needed. Novell Vibe
also makes it easy to identify the specific talents, expertise and
knowledge of different individuals that can contribute to the success
of the team, making it easy to build powerful virtual teams tailored
to tackle whatever problems, goals or tasks the project or organization
requires.

Virtual teams can be created to undertake small projects that
last only a few days and involve a handful of members, or they can
be for multi-year ventures that span continents and require thousands
of team members. Novell Vibe makes it easy to create teams comprised
of individuals within an organization from different departments
and geographical locations, as well as external individuals, groups
and organizations. Its built-in identity and security controls ensure
that internal and external team members only have access to the
information they need to do their jobs, keeping an organization’s
sensitive information safe and secure. Novell Vibe even allows
for Guest User access, which allows anonymous users to have limited access
to designated areas within a team workspace but does not require
a log in.

In addition to centralized workspaces, Novell Vibe consolidates
into a single flexible, browser based environment file sharing,
wikis, micro-blogs, blogs, workflow, landing pages, e-mail notifications,
user following, project tracking, Vibe feeds and other tools
to facilitate productive and efficient communication among all virtual team
members no matter where they’re located, or whether they’re internal
or external to the organization. The tools in Vibe let team leaders
stay on top of what their people and projects are doing. They also
facilitate team members’ ability to ask questions about and understand
their role in projects. Novell Vibe also allows tasks to be assigned to
individual users, groups or the entire team. Assigned tasks display
on individual’s personal workspaces, as well as their calendar events.
Novell Vibe also includes a secure, lightweight mobile user interface
that gives virtual team members easy anywhere, anytime access to
the collaboration tools and team information they need.

Novell Vibe also consolidates into one place – individual’s
personal workspace – the most important and relevant information
users need. This lets individual team members consolidate the teams
and projects they participate in, then track everything from that
workspace to stay informed. This lets team members know what’s new immediately, and lets them see at a glance task and calendar summaries as well
as view recent entries. It keeps them abreast of everything that
is going on in the organization, teams, and locations that are of
interest. Even when they’re not logged into Novell Vibe, it allow
them to track in real-time changes and new items that appear on their
Vibe Feeds.

Results

The centralized workspaces in Novell Vibe combine with
its array of team management and collaboration tools to overcome
geographic, time, departmental, and organizational barriers. It
facilitates the creation of virtual teams based on the match between
expertise, skills, availability and business need, rather than proximity
or organizational charts. It facilitates collaboration among all team
members and makes sure that everybody on the team is on the same
page. All team members – including new members – can quickly
see the status of the project, and have secure access to only the
information they need to perform their role on the team.

Novell Vibe enables organization with distributed workforces
and virtual teams to foster better collaboration between project
teams and stakeholders, improve knowledge management and retention,
cut down on travel costs, and increase the efficiency of all operations.
Novell Vibe enables the realization of substantial production savings
by facilitating improved global information sharing and problem
solving through more efficient communications and information management,
enhanced information gathering and sharing, improved project management, accelerated progress on project issues, and easier and secure access to project
information.

Click here to view our full list of use cases.

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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Novell. It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test it thoroughly before using it in a production environment.

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