Virtual Workforce Management

Often virtual organization and virtual workforce are debated methodologies when it comes to serious business applications in IT. I have been following many discussions regarding virtual workforce all over internet. Some have opinion that virtual work force may not be as efficient as physical work force working from your own office.

To understand why virtual workforce is still not considered seriously among most IT managers who have tremendous work load, we need to broadly understand their working methodologies.

Following are some disadvantages pointed out by project managers:

  • There is a limitation to what can be communicated to team members over a distance.
  • Some managers work on micro level and do not have a planned predefined tasks lists before they start the development process.
  • Traditional IT maturity models do not encourage dispersed teams.
  • Traditional IT managers believe more in inspiring than task oriented delegation.
  • Communication between dispersed teams and the influence of local infrastructure of the virtual team member adds to risks of project deliverable. Managing risks in dispersed mode simply may not be worth the effort .
  • Code quality and security become major concern.

There can be lots of factors that needs to be considered when transiting to virtual organization. But the core consideration should be always, if it is worth having a virtual team.

I do agree with project managers who consider “virtual workforce as part of the team “. Resource planning is integral part of a project management and should be duly considered before allocating, hence virtual work force cannot be different.

Many employers remain concerned about their remote employees. Managing virtual work force is a skill. It is quite easy to adapt to the new way of working with virtual workforce but one needs to approach it with an open mind.

I have read an article by Raymond W. Smith that explores virtual workforce in detail.

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