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Global Virtual Teams (GVT) Nov 3, 2013 John Gallagher #8178569 Principal Issues in Localization.

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Presentation on theme: "Global Virtual Teams (GVT) Nov 3, 2013 John Gallagher #8178569 Principal Issues in Localization."— Presentation transcript:

1 Global Virtual Teams (GVT) Nov 3, 2013 John Gallagher #8178569 Principal Issues in Localization

2 Overview What is a Global Virtual Team (GVT) Advantages of GVTs Technical Drivers for GVTs Localization and GVTs Unique Challenges of GVTs Managing GVTs Tips & Tricks

3 What is a Global Virtual Team (GVT) A virtual team works across space, time, and organizational boundaries with links strengthened by webs of communication technologies. (Lipnack, J. & Stamps, J. ) Global virtual teams are different from intra-national virtual teams in that they are not only separated by time and space, but differ in national, cultural, and linguistic attributes (Zakaria, 2004:17)

4 Advantages of GVTs Flexibility –Virtual teams allow organizations to bring together critical contributors who might not otherwise be able to work together due to time, travel, and cost restrictions (Kerber, 2004: 4). Responsiveness –Companies can be more responsive to their customers through diversity. –Virtual teams may allow organizations to unify the varying perspectives of different cultures and business customs to avoid counterproductive ethno-centric biases (Kayworth, 2000:184). Lower costs –Global virtual teams lower corporation labor and overhead costs. Improved resource utilization & Innovation –Use time zone differences, e.g.,. London – US – Japan – London –Less likely to experience groupthink and are more likely to develop innovative solutions to problems.

5 Technical Drivers for GVTs Internet speeds increasing –The rise of the Internet, the creation of a global fiber-optic network, and the rapid development of long distance communication technologies has made it very easy for people all over the world to work together. It created a global platform that has allowed more people to plug and play, collaborate and compete, share knowledge and share work, than anything we have ever seen in the history of the world (Friedman, 2005). –Average Connection Speed Korea 15 Mbps 2010 with over 90% of households having more than 2 Mbps (Akamai 2010) –Resulting increased use of Video facilitates virtual co-working Applications –Email, IM and social networks –VoIP, Skype lowers cost of long distance calls –Teleconferencing - GotoMeeting –Videoconferencing and Cisco Telepresence –Groupware: Google Apps, TMS, community translation platforms…

6 Localization and GVTs Translation industry since the 80s (William Stoeller) –Nature of the industry : translators are spread throughout the world M & As result in distributed localization staff Coding,Testing and DTP outsourced to low cost countries or/and to be nearer the client Crowdsourcing –Community of volunteer translators, coders, testers and DTP people –EG: Moblin Linux platform for mobile devices

7 Unique Challenges of GVTs Multiple Languages –Working Language(s) Time Zones –Flexible Scheduling Geographical distances Lack of Contact, Isolation Cultural distances (Hofstede) –PDI –IDV –MAS –UAI –LTO

8 Managing GVTs Leading Agreeing on Deadlines –Not open (collectivist), need team acceptance (individual) –Groupthink (collectivist) & Social loafing (individual) Build trust – problems of language diversity and stereotyping –Face-to-face 1 st time –Icebreakers –Social networking Decision Making –Acceptance and Commitment –Culture: PDI, IDV, MAS Communicating –Filtered thorough cultural lens –High-context cultures - receiver decodes implied meaning –Choose the right kind : IM, Email, Forum, Meeting group / 1-1, Call

9 Managing GVTs Meetings –keep size < 7, send agenda in advance, ask leading questions –Set a pattern – it becomes the heartbeat of the group (Maznevski) –Speak slowly, and dont use slang, irony or metaphors –Use visual aids –Allow silence for time to reply (its not apathy) –Schedule ahead, rotate, change for different time zones –Different non-verbal cues, alert on lack of eye contact, people get better with exposure Emails –Peer review controversial replies –Set deadlines for email replies

10 Tips & Tricks Be available Organize regular meetings with both individuals and the whole team Encourage informal conversations Rotate members between locations Be creative with team bonding Treat time zones fairly Be culturally sensitive without excessive adaptation Socialize pre-existing teams Look for shared understanding when recruiting Manage expectations

11 Q & A

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