Welcome to Consultants of the New Digital World!
We specialize in assisting Organizations like yours become fully integrated in a virtual environment.
Our goal is to make this very important transition effective for your Organization.
Below you will find key items that have been used to successfully implement Virtual Organizations nationwide.
Many organizations are making the switch from traditional to virtual. Most organizations go through a process of virtualization which follows certain steps. Sometimes companies take these steps in a different order, but almost all of them make it through these steps:
1. Decide to make the change.
2. Identify and acquire the technology needed.
3. Ensure that everyone understands the change and technology.
4. Begin virtualization, identify and fix problems.
5. Implement widespread virtualization.
|Consultants of the New Digital World|
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How we determine what needs done:
The First Step:
Decide to make the change.
Depending on the organization, the decision to go virtual can be either very challenging, or extremely easy to make. As with any decision, there are both rewards and drawbacks involved.
A wider pool of talent from which to hire employees,
Money saved in rent, re-location and travel expenses, and office equipment,
Time saved from the lack of commute and traveling, and
A flexibility and fluidity of structure not found in traditional organizations.
Drawbacks consist of:
The inability of people being able to meet face-to-face in both formal and informal contexts,
Cost of any new technology needed,
New management styles need to be learned, and
Employees must learn a new way of working.
When making such an important decision, an organization will need to look further into the pros and cons of virtualization.
Some companies are unable to virtualize their work because the job requires a physical presence, but even then they are usually able to use some aspects of virtualization to make their jobs a little bit easier.
The Second Step:
Identify and acquire the technology needed.
To make the transition from a traditional organization to a virtual one, the organization must investigate the many different technologies and programs available to them.
Any organization which wants to go virtual needs to replace certain aspects of a traditional organization.
Technological tools can simulate and replace everything from face-to-face meetings to file access. For the sake of brevity, only one of each type of software is presented, but many different programs exist to meet each one of the needs discussed.
Another factor organizations need to consider is the cost of the technology.
Traditional Organizations rely on face-to-face contact.
A virtual organization needs a way to simulate face to face contact.
Many different online voice and video chat services have been created to help fill this need. One of the most well-known is Skype.
Skype is a computer application which allows users to video chat and make voice calls for free. Users can also share screen-shots and chat through the application.
Information retrieved from Skype.com
Members of a traditional organization share information at meetings and give presentations.
Virtual organizations need technology to recreate the meeting environment.
Several companies offer software and applications for virtual meetings. Citrix’s GoToMeeting is considered to be one of the best.
GoToMeeting offers screen-sharing and video conferencing for businesses and other organizations. The site will host meetings for free when there are 3 people or less, but charge a monthly fee unlimited meetings with 4 or more attendees.
|Utilizing Technology for Communication|
Teams in a traditional organization are able to confer on a daily basis about their projects and easily remind members about tasks they need to accomplish as well as time lines for getting things done.
Virtual teams need a way to communicate important project information without the convenience of co-location.
Basecamp is a project management application. According to the website, "It’s a place to share files, have discussions, collaborate on documents, assign tasks, and check due dates."
This program allows team members to easily collaborate and keep track of important project information. Pricing varies and packages start at $20.
Information retrieved from Basecamp.com
Traditional organizations are able to circulate files and information with ease over their networks or through the use of flash drives. Members can easily get together to edit documents and create communications.
Virtual organizations need a secure way to share documents over the Internet and edit information.
Many different options are available for organizations that wish to securely share files. Dropbox is one such file-sharing site.
Dropbox allows users to securely share and edit files over a number of different devices. It can also act as storage and backup for a virtual organization. A file can be added to a Dropbox folder and people with access to that folder are able to instantly retrieve it. The cost of Dropbox for business is $15 per user per month.
Information retrieved from Dropbox.com
|File sharing option|
The technology available to virtual organizations is constantly changing and improving. There are many different versions of software and applications designed to help simulate the traditional work experience. Some applications encompass more aspects of the experience than others, but all of them offer some solutions.
Most of the applications mentioned in this post have free trials so that an organization can decide if it would work for them.
Different tools work for different organizations, and it is important for every organization to identify what best fits their needs.
Technology Mind Map.vue
You can find the software needed to open this mind map at: http://vue.tufts.edu/
The Third Step:
Ensure that everyone understands the change and technology.
1. The organization involves the management team in strategic planning and develops them to be change coaches.
The entire management team needs to be involved with creating the organizations competitive strategy and on board with the changes that need to be implemented. Share the role you expect them to have and provide a detailed set of actions.
Make sure they understand that they are the coaches who will spur the team forward, and their job is to make sure your entire team is aligned with your competitive strategy.
Remind them to think and act as dynamic leaders who will provide the inspiration and encouragement to your entire workforce.
2. Establish an atmosphere and culture of open communication.
Develop a concurrent communication strategy to remind people about the nature of the organizational changes that are occurring, the expectations, and the progress that is being made.
With open communication, managers will build the most important link between them and their employees–trust.
3. Take the time to train all employees on the new technology.
To reduce the loss of productivity during change, make sure your employees have the necessary skills to succeed. Training must be a top priority. Management should ask these training-related questions:
What is the level of competence needed to support the changes in our company and help us make it through these challenging times?
What training will be needed to bring the staff up to that level of competence?
What training is needed on new products, procedures, and especially product support?
4. Manage resistance.
Some people may resist change and hold back their team and, consequently, the company. Talk to any person who comes to work with a chip on his or her shoulder. Ask the person who is making negative remarks and pulling down morale to refrain from doing so. Explain that everyone is working hard pull together and deliver their best performance each day. Ask them what you can do to help them.
Step 4 :Preparing for Implementation:
Initial Stages of Implementation
|Preparing for Implementation|
There are six key stages to the process to think about while switching over to a virtual world, below is a process flow that can be used, and six key criteria to follow through out the process.
Also, key steps on how to manage and engage to make sure there is nothing falling through, it is a lot of work, but putting the right infrastructure in place at the onset will make for less pain in the long run, there will ways be growing pains but having a bucket big enough initially is the best practice.
Going virtual will rely on utilizing the cutting edge technology without losing sight of the key principles and values on which the company was founded, personal interaction and building relationships are the foundation for success.
Portability 2. Process 3. Personality 4. Infrastructure 5. Accountability 6. Commitment
Contact Management to:
1. Manage many companies details - little things that slip through can become major
2. Manage and interact with many contacts
3. Track all comments, assign tasks and store documents relating to the above
4. Create Task meetings - let the team know responsibilities prior
5. Be able to create good looking email newsletters - boredom is a killer
6. Be able to send these newsletters to unlimited custom mailing lists
7. Link companies to relevant projects
8. Distribute contact details by vCards
9. Keep abreast of what our clients were doing by enabling real-time searching across Twitter, Google News and Google Blogs.
Project Management to:
1. Create unlimited projects and link users to them
2. Track and share comments
3. Track and share tasks
4. Track and share documents
5. Have advanced search facilities across tasks and documents
6. Have good quality reporting on project activity
7. Keep everyone updated by email whenever any activity occurs
8. Have all the above outputted to bespoke RSS feeds
9. Link projects to companies and image galleries
Image Management to:
1. Store and share any number of image galleries for marketing, presentations, websites etc
2. Add comments to images
3. View metadata and licensing information of images
4. Batch upload and edit images
5. Create custom lightboxes
6. View as slideshows
7. Link galleries to projects and companies
Instant Messaging to:
Text chat and share documents in real time with a fellow user
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY:
1. Be able to view and keep track of all the above really easily
2. Do it all with a system which is attractive and a pleasure to use.
3. Be able to easily collaborate on all of this with our colleagues, clients and suppliers
If we need to screen share use Skype.
If we need to have conference calls Powwownow and/or Skype.
If we need to co-author documents use Google Docs.
We got you covered. Step 5
Our team will implement virtualization in gradual steps to acclimate all team members to this new environment.
We will gather best practices from teams that have gone virtual and will have a dedicated member available to answer any questions from team management members of newly converted groups.
Monitor employee adaptability via surveys and observations. As more groups are converted success stories will be delivered to the Organization with stories of success, information regarding team members and best practices.
This Newsletter will serve to foster a positive view of the virtual efforts and create a positive environment.
Consultants and Senior Management will meet at designated time intervals of 30, 60 and 90 days to discuss effects, positive or negative, of implementation efforts.
Security updates will be implemented via system to ensure a secure working environment.
We will create an internal site in which employees of newly converted teams can view information about each other, add information regarding team members and post issues or concerns. This site will be monitored frequently. Its objective is to create a feeling of community among team members.
Furthermore, we provide a User Guide and several help pages to get you started.
These pages introduce you to some of our research and most useful links so that you can begin exploring and experimenting.
Using these features will allow you to very quickly envision what your company will look like in the near future.
What are you waiting for?
Contact us today!
|Consultants of the New Digital World|