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Virtual project team working in a virtual client organisation: virtually sure to struggle?

The ‘networked’ form of organisation that brings together a complex mix of in-house, out-sourced and contracted services and resources, is common enough. Such networked organisations are seen as a way of enabling corporations to operate on the global stage, to exploit leading-edge capabilities and to ride the currents of unpredictable change without committing to expensive permanent resources. In such organisations, working virtually is the norm. So is contracting third parties to undertake specific projects. Virtual contractor project teams interacting with remote client contacts and dispersed stakeholder communities also feels normal. We suggest that, while organisations have learnt much about working in virtual teams and in virtual environments over past years, they seem to continue to underestimate the challenges. Maybe it is time for a pause for thought and a reality check.

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