Human Resource

Consulting Project

This assignment is worth 20% of your grade. Your consulting report should be original work;If you have any questions about this assignment, please post them in the Ask the Professor discussion forum so that everyone can benefit from the answers.  This assignment addresses Course Objectives 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

This assignment has been adapted from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Managing Virtual Work Teams – A SHRM case study by Frankie S. Jones, PhD.

For this assignment there are three parts.

· Part I: An Introduction to Virtual Teams

· Part II: Building a Virtual Team

· Part III: Managing Conflict Virtually

Directions: you will review, discuss, and address questions in each of these parts in order to arrive at your collective responses.

After reviewing all three parts associated with this case, you will prepare a 4-7 page paper that addresses the questions in each of the three parts.  This paper will serve as your voice to coach Lauren on how to lead her cross-functional team to success and overcome the issues presented in the case study..  Your paper should include a minimum of 8 references from sources published within the last ten years.

Part I: An Introduction to Virtual Teams

Lauren is assigned team leader of a cross-functional team for a very important project to the company.  Lauren reviews the profiles of the six team members her boss gave her.  She is both intrigued and anxious when she sees that team members are geographically dispersed.

Lauren works in the Atlanta office.  One team member is in India; another is in Germany; and the rest live in the United States, but in different time zones.  Two staff members are in the eastern time zone (Virginia and North Carolina) and two staff members are in the central time zone (Texas and Louisiana).

Lauren has never managed a virtual team and is unsure what special skills it will take to be successful.  She begins to wonder what competencies are necessary for virtual team leaders and members.  She studies the team member profiles and creates a matrix to evaluate each member’s strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of working virtually.  She includes herself because she realizes she needs to evaluate her own strengths and weaknesses.  Lauren thinks about the challenges and opportunities she will face managing this virtual team.

In your assigned groups, you are to:

· Analyze the supplied team member matrix.

· Identify challenges and opportunities Lauren’s team might face.

· Brainstorm ways to capitalize on opportunities and address challenges.

· Record your ideas in the group discussion forum.

Team Member Matrix

 

Team Member

Location (Time Zone)

Communication Preferences

Virtual experience

Strengths

Weaknesses

 

Lauren   (Team Manager)

Atlanta, GA (Eastern)

E-mail

No

• Building and maintaining trust.

• Performance management and   coaching.

• Networking.

• Appropriate use of information technology.

• Developing and adapting standard team processes.

• Managing across cultures.

 

Santosh

Pune,   India (GMT+05:30)

Instant   messaging

Yes

• Interpersonal awareness.

• Use of technology.

• Self-management.

• Project management.

 

John

Wilmington,   NC (Eastern)

Telephone

No

• Networking face-to-face.

• Use of technology.

• Spanning boundaries.

 

Joyce

Norfolk, VA (Eastern)

E-mail

Yes

• Self-management.

• Project management.

• Networking.

 

Helga

Berlin, Germany (Central   European)

SharePoint;   Webconferencing (with video)

Yes

• Use of technology.

• Interpersonal awareness.

• Project management.

 

Adam

Dallas, TX (Central)

Instant messaging, discussion boards

No

• Networking via technology.

• Spanning boundaries.

• Use of technology.

 

Brenda

New Orleans, LA (Central)

Instant messaging; blogs; SharePoint; e-mail

Yes

• Use of technology.

• Interpersonal awareness.

• Networking.

• Spanning boundaries.

• Self-management.

 

Part II: Building a Virtual Team

Lauren has evaluated the challenges and opportunities that could arise as she manages her virtual team.  To mitigate challenges and take advantage of opportunities, she decides to conduct a kick-off meeting next week.  She wants to set the ground rules for how her team will operate and present them at the kick-off meeting.  What topics should Lauren’s agenda include?  Which ground rules should she mandate and which should she negotiate?  How will she build relationships and trust during this initial meeting?

In your assigned groups, you are to:

· Create an agenda for Lauren’s kick-off meeting.

· Explain why you chose each agenda topic.

· Describe what technology Lauren might use to conduct the kick-off meeting.

· Identify ground rules for the team, and propose which ground rules Lauren should mandate and which ones she should negotiate.

· Recommend ways that Lauren could build relationships and trust during this initial meeting.

· Record your responses in the group discussion forum.

Part III: Managing Conflict Virtually

Even though your team presented Lauren with an agenda for the kickoff meeting, along with ground rules, she used the agenda below for the kick-off meeting.

She set expectations for status reporting, the technologies to be used, and performance management.  The types of communication the team agreed on included e-mail, instant messaging, and web conferencing.  The team also agreed to use Microsoft SharePoint to report project status and to create a virtual community for team members to build relationships and trust.  Lauren asked all team members to upload their pictures and their résumés to jump-start the community.

Lauren’s Agenda:

· Getting-to-Know-You Activity

· Team Goals and Objectives

· Technologies We Will Use (open discussion)

· Virtual Community (pictures and bios)

· Status Reporting

· Team Meetings

· One-on-one meetings

 

Despite setting ground rules, the following conflicts arose within Lauren’s team:

· Lags in e-mail responses generated mistrust between two team members.

· One team member complained that the other team members tried to use instant messaging to solve complex problems and resolutions are never reached.

· There has been an uneven exchange of project knowledge.

In your assigned groups, you are to:

· Recommend actions Lauren should take now to resolve each of these conflicts.

· Discuss what Lauren could have done to prevent the conflicts from occurring in the first place.

· Recommend actions Lauren can take to minimize team conflict in the future.

· Record your responses in the group discussion forum.

Name your consulting report this way:

Team X_Consulting Report

(Example: Team 1_Consulting Report)

Due date: Sunday, [insert date], 11:59 p.m. Eastern time

Please see the next page for the grading criteria for this assignment.

 

Criteria for Grading Group Consulting Project

Note: The group’s paper should be 7 to 10 pages long, excluding the reference and cover pages.

 

A

B

C

F

Points Earned

 

Knowledge of       Relevant Theories and Concepts

(45 pts)

Group       demonstrated exceptional knowledge of relevant theories and concepts from       the course; all statements and opinions were supported by appropriate       citations from the literature.

45 – 41 points

Group       demonstrated satisfactory knowledge of relevant theories and concepts       from the course; most statements and opinions were supported by       appropriate citations from the literature.

40 – 36 points

Group       demonstrated less than satisfactory knowledge of relevant theories and       concepts from the course; some statements and opinions were not supported       by appropriate citations from the literature.

35 – 32 points

Group       demonstrated unsatisfactory knowledge of relevant theories and concepts       from the course; many statements and opinions were not supported by       appropriate citations from the literature.

31 – 0 points

 

Comments

 

Quality of       Research

(25 pts)

Group cited more       than the minimum number of references; sources listed were all scholarly       or practitioner journals, newspapers, annual reports, or academic books       from the last ten years.

25 – 23 points

Group cited the       minimum number of references; sources listed were primarily scholarly or       practitioner journals, newspapers, annual reports, or academic books from       the last ten years.

22 – 20 points

Group may not       have cited the minimum number of references; some sources listed were not       scholarly or practitioner journals, newspapers, annual reports, or       academic books from the last ten years.

19 – 18 points

Group did not       cite the minimum number of references; many of the sources listed were       not scholarly or practitioner journals, newspapers, annual reports, or       academic books from the last ten years.

17 – 0 points

 

Comments

 

Presentation of       Ideas and Mechanics

(20 pts)

Group presented       ideas in a compelling manner with no distracting grammar or spelling       problems; the tone was consistently professional and appropriate for the       audience; the page length requirement was met.

20 – 18 points

Group presented       ideas presented in a logical manner with few distracting grammar or spelling       problems; the tone was generally professional and mostly appropriate for       the audience; the page length requirement was met.

17 – 16 points

Group presented       ideas in a somewhat organized manner with several distracting grammar or       spelling problems; the tone was not consistently professional and       appropriate for the audience; the page length requirement may not have       been met.

15 – 14 points

Group presented       ideas in a poorly organized or incoherent manner with many distracting       grammar or spelling problems; the tone was unprofessional and not       appropriate for the audience; the page length requirement may not have       been met.

13 – 0 points

 

Comments

 

APA formatting

(5 pts)

All citations, quotations, and references were properly formatted       or contained one or two minor errors.

5 points

Most citations, quotations, and references were       properly formatted or contained a few minor errors.

4 points

Some citations, quotations, and references were       not properly formatted or contained major errors.

3 points

Most citations, quotations, and references were       not properly formatted or contained many errors.

2 – 0 points

 

Comments

 

Contribution to       Group’s Work

(5 pts)

Instructor’s observations and peer ratings indicate outstanding       contributions to the group’s work.

5 points

Instructor’s       observations and peer ratings indicate satisfactory contributions to the       group’s work.

4 points

Instructor’s       observations and peer ratings indicate minimal contributions to the       group’s work.

3 points

Instructor’s       observations and peer ratings indicate unsatisfactory or no contributions       to the group’s work.

2 – 0 points

 

Comments

 

Total Points       Earned

(100 points max)

 

Overall Comments

 
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