Developing and Growing the Virtual Team Series (4)

Episode 4: Coordination And Timing - Developing A Virtual Team

Even though some of the software solutions available to us online as virtual assistants are first-class, don't automatically assume that they can take every element of oversight away. As you develop any degree of virtual team performance you have to ensure that each piece of the machine works perfectly.

Do you know how to delegate properly? You have to be able to delegate if you're planning to expand any virtual team successfully. Delegate by all means, but don't absolve yourself of the responsibility to check that everything is going along smoothly and never assume that others will do anything automatically. While there may be nothing worse than the micromanager and that will certainly pull from your efficiency, understand that there's a line between micromanagement and pure delegation.

Behind the scenes, you should be keeping an eye on the timing. More complex jobs may often require the interaction of several different team members at different times of the equation. A hitch here could mean a failure to deliver, so keep your eyes open and be ready to jump in if necessary. In the world of logistics, the most efficient companies operate on a "just-in-time" philosophy. The logic here is that you must never be too late for sure, but you must never be too early either as this is not efficient. Try to match this principle but with a particular emphasis on ensuring that the services are provided on time. After all, timeliness is what drives many of your clients in the first place.

If you really want to be efficient then put additional emphasis on your systems and training capability from the get-go. The more you ensure that your systems have got built-in safeguards and that your training methodology is covered for those "what-if scenarios," the more likely you are to survive when a crisis hits.

As your team grows it's possible that you may move away completely from the provision of services and assume the role of coordinator/manager on a full-time basis. Be ready to consider just such an eventuality at any time. Don't assume that your value in the provision of a certain type of service is greater than your value in helping to ensure that the whole operation works like a Swiss watch.

For example, it's likely that you will be able to find a great team member to take over the content creation you currently specialize in. When you divest yourself of these tasks it's amazing just how much more efficient you can be from the broadest perspective. You will be able to allocate time to coordination and see new opportunities for efficiency at every turn. Failing to understand how important coordination and timing can be to your organization can often be one of the biggest threats during your expansion process.

Work on your time management understanding and capability. What type of command center are you going to establish? This particular role is after all the epicenter of anything to do with the provision of virtual services, isn't it?

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