IT Project Managers' Perceptions and Use of Virtual Team Technologies

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This paper presents the results of a case study pertaining to the use of information and communication media to support a range of project management tasks. A variety of electronic communication tools have evolved to support collaborative work and virtual teams. Few of these tools have focused specifically on the needs of project managers. In an effort to learn how practicing IT project managers employ these tools, data were collected at a North American Fortune 500 industrial company via interviews with IT project managers regarding their use and perceptions of electronic media within the context of their work on project teams. In this study, “virtual” describes the extent to which communication is electronic rather than the extent to which team members are geographically separated. Although the number of respondents was limited, the richness of the data collected leads to the conclusion that successful project managers and teams become skilled at adapting a variety of existing communication technologies to match the project task or process, the receiver, their own role as sender, and the content of the message. Groupware designers and developers need to better understand project management methods and best practices in order to provide better tools for practitioners, particularly as organizations expand globally and increasingly outsource various functions of their IT development and operations.