Getting team composition right is critical, especially for virtual teams, which are more autonomous than co-located teams.
When putting together a virtual team, consider:
• Size: The best virtual team is a small one—under 10 people. Four or five is ideal. Relatively minor coordination and communication challenges grow exponentially as a virtual team grows, and few things erode trust faster than being left out of important communication. Rather than creating a big team, consider keeping the core team small, with advisory groups providing input as needed.
• Accountability: When virtual teams come together from a range of functions, leaders may lack formal authority over all team members. If team members are evaluated on their performance within the line of business they represent, rather than on their contributions or successful collaboration, members may feel a disincentive to collaborate. Instead, establish clear lines of accountability and uniform performance measures at the outset.
Adapted from “To Make Virtual Teams Succeed, Pick the Right Players” by Keith Ferrazzi.