9 ways to build harmonious, agile teams in the virtual workplace (2023)

Self-organizing teams (SOTs) are the most important aspect of project delivery and accountability: their performance ultimately determines the success or outcome of any business initiative. An important goal for managers is to create versatile, capable teams that are able to meet – and ideally even exceed – the desired expectations. But how do you effectively build teams in the current climate of telecommuting?

Effective team building is always a key skill for any manager, but now it's more necessary than ever as we try to stay in touch with each other. When creating and managing a virtual team, there are a few critical aspects to keep in mind.

Team selection:The first step for managers is to choose the right team. Before the selection process, the manager needs to identify what skills they are looking for and whether these skills are universal or specific to particular roles. The skills required for each project are usually different, so team members should be flexible and confident during implementation. A good analogy comes from the sports industry, where team selection is a matter of intuition and logic. For example, in cricket and football, selection is essential to victory. There are sports teams full of superstars (and some agile teams full of the best engineers) that keep losing because they can't work harmoniously together. There are other teams with less talented people who just work more effectively as a unit.

(Video) Virtual Team Building Activities [IDEAS FOR REMOTE TEAMS]

order,Money,has some great insights on how to recruit a team based solely on individual skills - and also revolves around a sports team that relies on data and statistics. Using statistical analysis, the protagonist, Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt in the film adaptation), selects a championship-level team that outperforms its richest competitors despite being overlooked by other executives and industry professionals. Beane and his staff operate on the theory that on-base percentage and hits add more firepower than simply spending money on star players and hoping for the best. This shows how different approaches to team selection can be critical for people in leadership positions.

Team vision:Once a team is selected, it is important to agree on a vision that ensures everyone is involved. In this case, leadership can be particularly challenging, but also rewarding. When a team knows what they are working on, it increases engagement as members are more likely to contribute with the end goal in mind, even when things get tough. Vision provides meaning and context and gives people something to work on, so host a virtual meeting where members can discuss team goals and individual goals—hint: these two tend to overlap. Goal identification certainly made the difference for Billy Beane, although his initial success came from his data-driven approach to sports management.

Group integration:Once the vision is clear, the next step is to commit to the team. Team camaraderie often leads to better performance, so team members should get to know each other both inside and outside the workplace. Sharing personal stories allows people to connect based on similar experiences and values, and people are more willing to work hard if they learn about their team members as individuals. This does not only apply to the wholeMoneywhen Beane asks more experienced players to set an example for the younger ones, but regardless of the team's effort. Also, any activity that brings a team together outside of work contributes to team bonding—whether it's an internal sports league, happy hour, or after-work party—so be sure to integrate them into your routine. In remote work, virtual happy hours with your team and online creative contests are great places to start integrating these activities.

Team meetings:It's important to have recurring meetings so each team member can discuss what they've accomplished, what they might be struggling with, and what their priorities are for the week ahead. Weekly meetings are a good start. This communication provides awareness and insight into what each member is doing, how their contribution is improving performance, and whether they are driving progress toward the end goal. Meetings also help compare individual and group performance.

(Video) 2. Trusting Teams | THE 5 PRACTICES

Based on the structure of each team, managers should schedule weekly meetings for each subgroup; for example, if colleagues do not report directly to a manager - or if there is a compromise between who oversees their work - ensure that these smaller team meetings also take place. Given today's remote work environments, there are many platforms for hosting virtual meetings across time zones and regions, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype and more.

Feedback:Continuous feedback is essential to keep the team aware of what is working and what can be improved. Regular, honest and periodic feedback can benefit team performance as it allows people to support each other in a productive way. Feedback should be provided in two ways: the team leader solicits the team's input on areas for improvement and also provides input to improve the team's performance.

Awards and recognition:Not all people are intrinsically motivated. Some people need external rewards to feel validated that their contribution is making a difference. One way to facilitate this is to publicly praise individuals for their efforts and achievements, which can be difficult when working remotely. Sometimes rewards don't need to be shared, but results should always be delivered after a major event or goal is met. Praise is more effective when given immediately, as it motivates employees to work harder. If your business publishes monthly updates or a newsletter, try highlighting the efforts there so people can read them in their inbox.

Team cohesion:Although change is inevitable, an unnecessary reorganization of team responsibilities can lead to disharmony and confusion. But even if something goes wrong, the team leader should show faith in the team so that people are not disappointed by failure. If anything, failure is necessary for growth. Ensure that sudden changes are kept to a minimum so that the core team remains intact for a long time – it promotes cohesion, harmony and leads to better results.

(Video) How to Be a High Performing Distributed Agile Team

Team co-task:This expression comes from the bookInstruction without authority, by Keith Ferrazzi, a world-renowned networking authority, and Noel Weyrich. Co-elevation refers to the guiding ethos of “going higher together”. Team members build mutually reinforcing relationships with teammates by collaborating and solving problems through partnerships and self-organizing teams. Basically, this is where leaders are created by trust, not title or position, and this is where team members cooperate, collaborate and not compete with each other.

Mental Safety:The term was coined by Amy Edmondson, an authority on team performance and successful author of books such asFearless organization. The basic thesis is that organizations must create a climate where everyone can freely express their views without being ridiculed. A leader can create a supportive environment where all voices are heard while accepting opposition and as Jim Collins says,From good to greatperform a flawless autopsy. Once a climate of trust is instilled, friction between team members is reduced and creativity can flourish.

The leader's job is to coordinate the efforts of different people and bring them together through a well-crafted vision that inspires, motivates and makes the team perform far beyond its capabilities. At Orion, we believe that agile self-organizing teams are the key to success in executing complex software development and other transformation initiatives. The accelerated transition to digital business – and all the technologies that support it – is also driving the adoption of the DevOps model for software development. ByOgile- Orion's end-to-end DevOps methodology, designed to help businesses transition to the digital age - enabling teams to organize themselves and work in harmony.

With our state-of-the-art technology, teams can deliver the best results for customers. Since teams are the building blocks of success, these changes towards a fully engaged team will enable greater harmony and greater results. As Billy Beane says, a team is a business, and "the better the business is run, the healthier the team will be on the field."

(Video) Scaling Agile with Distributed Teams


Fearless organizationby Amy Edmondson

Instruction without authorityby Keith Ferrazzi and Noel Weyrich

From good to greatby Jim Collins

(Video) Day 3 – 2022 Regions IX and X State and Territory TANF TA Virtual Meeting: Reorient, Reset and Rise

Moneyby Michael Lewis

Learn more about Agile Transformation and DevOps expertiseHer.


What are the 7 steps to make a strong virtual team? ›

How to Build a Strong Virtual Team in 7 Steps
  1. Create A Social Space.
  2. Be a Videoholic.
  3. Pick the Right Tools.
  4. Create a Great Remote Policy.
  5. Find Your Movement Groove.
  6. Recommend Shortcuts.
  7. Avoid The Pitfalls.
  8. Bonus: Start, Stop, Continue.

Can you please list five 5 reasons with explanations as to why a virtual team member might not work out? ›

The Top 5 Reasons Why Virtual Teams Fail
  • Ineffective Leadership. Leadership is the most important factor in the success of virtual teams. ...
  • Lack of Clear Goals or Priorities. ...
  • Lack of Clear Roles Among Team Members. ...
  • Lack of Cooperation. ...
  • Lack of Engagement.
Nov 23, 2022

How do you build a strong virtual team? ›

How do you manage a virtual team successfully?
  1. Provide the proper tools. ...
  2. Set clear expectations. ...
  3. Schedule regular check-ins and be available. ...
  4. Make connections and impart company culture. ...
  5. Engage employees.
Oct 9, 2022

How do you build agile teams? ›

5 Recommendations for Creating Your Agile Team
  1. Identify the Product Owner and Scrum Master. ...
  2. Identify the Development Team Members. ...
  3. Identify all Stakeholders and Subject Matter Experts. ...
  4. Commit to Agile Training for All Team Members and Stakeholders. ...
  5. Commit to Spending Time Together as a Team.
Jan 21, 2020

What are the 9 steps to building a strong team? ›

Start by following these 9 ways to create a strong team:
  1. Establish company culture. ...
  2. Define everyone's roles and responsibilities. ...
  3. Ensure that everyone feels respected. ...
  4. Stay as organized as you can. ...
  5. Encourage your team members. ...
  6. Communicate as much as you can. ...
  7. Be open to giving and receiving feedback.
Jul 25, 2022

What are the 7 C's of high performing teams? ›

Tannenbaum and Salas (2020) suggest that there are seven “Cs” (or drivers) of teamwork, namely: capability, cooperation, coordination, communication, cognition, coaching, and conditions.

What are the four 4 success factors in virtual teams? ›

For virtual teams to succeed, the organization's leadership must establish a culture that values teamwork, communication, learning, and capitalizing on diversity.

What are the three 3 challenges that virtual teams face? ›

9 common challenges of virtual teams and how to solve them
  • Communication. Some supervisors may find that remote work is less productive because of inefficiencies in communication. ...
  • Collaboration. ...
  • Office culture. ...
  • Professional boundaries. ...
  • Breaks. ...
  • Structure. ...
  • Trust. ...
  • Distractions.
Feb 3, 2023

What are the three features for a successful virtual team? ›

Top 7 Traits of Successful Virtual Teams
  • Trusting Their Team. ...
  • Focusing on Results. ...
  • Giving Employees Accountability. ...
  • Making Communication a Priority. ...
  • Encouraging Flexibility. ...
  • Having Shorter Meetings. ...
  • Bringing People Together.

What can make a virtual team work better together? ›

Encourage Team Members To Trust & Support Each Other

An important step to building trust and collaboration in a virtual team is encouraging team members to trust and support each other. Recognition and celebration of individual and team achievements is an important step in how to improve teamwork.

What are the 3 factors that define a virtual team? ›

Factors such as Leadership and Management Styles, Multiculturalism, Communication, Conflict resolution, and Trust. Studies showed that effective leadership would help to facilitate an easier workflow. This included leaders that understood the significant effects of multiculturalism on team cohesiveness.

What are the best practices for virtual teams? ›

Best Practices for Virtual Teams
  • Set specific expectations for each member's role, and adjust roles as needed.
  • In advance, document who or what groups get to make which decisions.
  • Err on the side of involving fewer people in specific decisions while communicating those decisions to all.

What are the 4 phases of building Agile team? ›

The stages are: forming, storming, norming, and performing. Tuckman's theory says that these phases are all necessary and inevitable for the team to grow, face up to challenges, tackle problems, find solutions, plan work, and deliver results.

What are the 5 stages of Agile team? ›

The beauty of Agile is realized throughout a series of five stages, known as the software development lifecycle (SDLC): Ideation, development, testing, deployment, and operations.

What are 12 principles of Agile? ›

The 12 principles of Agile
  • Customer Satisfaction through early and continuous delivery of valuable software (product) ...
  • Embrace change. ...
  • Deliver value frequently. ...
  • Build project around motivated individuals. ...
  • Face-to-face interactions. ...
  • Working software (product) is the primary measure of progress.
Feb 16, 2022

What are the 4 C's of team building? ›

If you want to establish a team identity, you have to give your team an opportunity to openly discuss the 4 C's of a Team Identity: clarity, commitment, contribution, and concerns.

What are the 9 dimensions of team building? ›

The 9 dimensions for this variation are: Communication, Attitude, Trust, Role Clarity, Alignment about Processes, Accountability, Supportive Relationships, Meeting Deadlines, Quality of Work.

What are the three C's of team building? ›

For our teams to succeed under any circumstance, we must always prioritize communication, team coordination, and cooperation.

What are the 6 elements of a successful team? ›

The six elements are role clarity, trust, job satisfaction, commitment to the organization, motivation and empowerment.

What are the 8 characteristics of highly effective teams? ›

8 Key Characteristics of Effective Teams
  • Care for each other.
  • Open and truthful.
  • High levels of trust.
  • Consensus decisions.
  • Commitment.
  • Address conflict.
  • Real listening.
  • Express feelings.

What are the 10 characteristics of high performing teams? ›

  • Clear and aligned purpose. ...
  • Clear roles and responsibilities. ...
  • Build trust through relationships. ...
  • Communicate frequently and effectively. ...
  • Collaborate often. ...
  • Appreciate & encourage diverse thinking. ...
  • Manage conflict constructively. ...
  • Learn and adapt.

What are the five behaviors for virtual teams? ›

The five behaviors of a cohesive team—trust, conflict, commitment, accountability, and results—remain the same.

What are the 5 dimensions of effective teams? ›

The dimensions are “Contributing to the Team's Work”, “Interacting with Teammates”, “Keeping the Team on Track”, “Expecting Quality”, and “Having Relevant Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities”.

What are the four dimensions of virtual teams? ›

This model illustrates the four aspects of – purpose, people, link and time, which govern the dynamics of virtual teams.

What are three 3 key things that virtual teams can do to increase the probability of success during the performing stage? ›

3 Steps to a High-Performing Team in a Virtual Environment
  • Step 1: Clarify Your Company's Purpose. Even when distance separates employees, they should all be unified in the purpose. ...
  • Step 2: Develop Technology and Communication Standards. ...
  • Step 3: Close the Gaps with Effective Remote Team Activities.

What is the key to successful virtual collaboration? ›

The key to successful virtual collaboration is strong interpersonal communication skills that can be leveraged in the online context, when team members are not in the same physical location.

What is the most important quality a virtual team should have? ›


The best virtual leaders combat this tendency with regular and meaningful communication, recognizing that keeping employees motivated and informed can lead to better work quality and increased productivity.

How do you bond with team virtually? ›

Tips for Building a Virtual Bond with Your Remote Team
  1. Adapt your Leadership Style.
  2. Schedule Regular Check-Ins.
  3. Make an Effort to Get to Know Your Team Members.
  4. Plan Virtual Team Building.
  5. Use The Right Tools.
  6. Encourage Recognition.
  7. Connect Team Members that Usually Don't Work Together.
Aug 13, 2022

What are the seven competencies of effective virtual team leaders? ›

The seven competencies for effective virtual team leaders include: leader, results catalyst, facilitator, barrier buster, business analyzer, coach, and living example.

What is the method of virtual team building? ›

List of virtual team building activities
  • Online Office Games (Hosted Event) ...
  • Gingerbread Wars (Holiday Favorite) ...
  • Virtual Team Building Bingo. ...
  • Virtual Team Building Icebreakers (Easy) ...
  • 50 States Challenge. ...
  • Lightning Scavenger Hunt Activities. ...
  • Tree or Bob Ross. ...
  • Blackout Truth or Dare.
Nov 30, 2022

What motivates a virtual team? ›

The best way to motivate your team is to build trust, boost confidence, enhance creativity and problem-solving skills and make people feel valued and engaged. Managing a remote team requires frequent meetings to discuss the value of each team member and the team as a whole.

What are the 4 C's of agile? ›

To help the agile and other project managers remember how to best hold people accountable, I like to think of the 4Cs: clarity, commitment, comment, coach.

What are the 4 pillars of agile transformation? ›

The Agile Manifesto Pillars are:

Individuals and Interactions over processes and tools. Working software over comprehensive documentation. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation. Responding to change over following a plan.

What are the top 5 agile techniques? ›


There are 5 main Agile methodologies: Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP), Lean Development e Crystal.

What is the 9th principle of agile? ›

The ninth principle of the Agile Manifesto reads: Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility. For software engineers and designers, this principle is delightfully self-affirming.

What is the 4 values of agile mindset? ›

4 values of Agile

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Working software over comprehensive documentation. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation. Responding to change over following a project plan.

What is principle 10 in agile? ›

The tenth Principle of the Agile Manifesto reads: Simplicity – the art of maximizing the amount of work not done – is essential. It shouldn't surprise you that striving for simplicity is kind of a big focus around here at, uh, Simple Thread.

What are 7 team building strategies? ›

Seven Team Building Strategies You Can Try Today
  • Lead by Example.
  • Encourage Group Socialization.
  • Make Sure Every Voice Is Heard.
  • Keep an Open Line of Communication.
  • Foster Debate, Not Conflict.
  • Reward Good Work.
  • Invite Feedback.
Nov 24, 2022

What are the seven 7 steps in that should be followed in establishing team activities? ›

How to build a high performing team in 7 steps
  • 1) Patient Recruitment. ...
  • 2) Clear vision and direction from leadership. ...
  • 3) Partnering personalities for perfect performance. ...
  • 4) Create a team value contract to facilitate more efficient communication. ...
  • 5) Lead by example. ...
  • 6) Recognition and training. ...
  • 7) It never stops.
Nov 26, 2021

What are the 5 phases of managing a virtual team? ›

The AchieveIt “Virtual Team Management Plan”
  • Step One – Set Clear Goals and Build into a Structured Plan. ...
  • Step Two: Make All Work Visible to All Stakeholders. ...
  • Step Three: Provide Feedback on a Regular Basis. ...
  • Step Four: Put Virtual Team Members in the Best Possible Position to Execute and Drive Results Given Their Skills.

What are 8 steps to build a successful team? ›

To build a strong team, consider these eight steps:
  • Set SMART goals. ...
  • Perform well-defined roles. ...
  • Experiment regularly. ...
  • Embrace diversity. ...
  • Share a common culture. ...
  • Be accountable to the team. ...
  • Communicate effectively. ...
  • Welcome strong leadership.
Feb 28, 2023

What are the 7 main characteristics of effective team? ›

7 characteristics of effective teams
  • Clear leadership. Successful teams usually have effective leadership, where one or several members act as team leaders. ...
  • Defined goals. ...
  • Assigned roles. ...
  • Open communication. ...
  • Collaboration. ...
  • Trust. ...
  • Conflict resolution.
Feb 27, 2023

What are the three C's of successful teams? ›

For our teams to succeed under any circumstance, we must always prioritize communication, team coordination, and cooperation.

Which are the 5 elements required to build a team? ›

10 Key Elements of Teamwork
  • Communicate openly and transparently. ...
  • Establish a clear organisational purpose. ...
  • Promote ownership and accountability. ...
  • Delegate tasks based on strengths. ...
  • Promote efficiency and avoid micromanagement. ...
  • Support employees in building team cohesion. ...
  • Create a culture of ideas and innovation.

What are the 5 rules for effective teams at workplace? ›

5 steps to build an Effective Team
  • Define and understand your goal.
  • Select the members and assign roles & responsibilities.
  • Appoint the general tasks.
  • Set expectations and guidelines.
  • Measure and review.

What are the 6 critical practices for leading a team? ›

The 6 Critical Practices of Leading a Team
  • Develop a leaders' mindset.
  • Engage team members.
  • Set the team up for success.
  • Create a culture of feedback.
  • Lead the team through change.
  • Manage their time and energy.


1. How to Build a Culture of Collaboration across Agile Teams
(Broadcom Infrastructure Software)
2. Agile and Scrum in the Real World | Google Project Management Certificate
(Google Career Certificates)
3. Fantastic Ice-Breaker Ideas for Scrum Masters | Agile Coach | Agile Teams
(BeingAgile Consulting)
4. Scrum Interview Question: How do you create a self-organising team?
(iZenBridge Consultancy Pvt Ltd.)
5. Gunther Verheyen shares how "Engagement Is The Key" in a virtual meetup of Agile WOW (India)
(Gunther Verheyen)
6. Lean vs Agile vs Design Thinking
(Coding Tech)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Laurine Ryan

Last Updated: 06/22/2023

Views: 6403

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (57 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Laurine Ryan

Birthday: 1994-12-23

Address: Suite 751 871 Lissette Throughway, West Kittie, NH 41603

Phone: +2366831109631

Job: Sales Producer

Hobby: Creative writing, Motor sports, Do it yourself, Skateboarding, Coffee roasting, Calligraphy, Stand-up comedy

Introduction: My name is Laurine Ryan, I am a adorable, fair, graceful, spotless, gorgeous, homely, cooperative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.