Analyze the potential challenges a virtual Capsim team can face. Then, create a strategy for how a team manager can address those challenges using a team charter.

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Virtual teams are becoming more common in the business environment; however, most managers have little experience or training in how to direct those teams. Team managers, as well as team members, have specific challenges to address. So how do they do it?

Review the required and recommended readings for the week. Synthesize the information from those sources and create a strategy that you would use as the manager of a virtual team. Consider the variables that can affect a virtual team, such as time zones; language barriers; social, religious, and cultural beliefs; and team diversity. Prepare a substantive response to the following:

Analyze the potential challenges a virtual Capsim team can face. Then, create a strategy for how a team manager can address those challenges using a team charter.

Your discussion posting must be at least 250 words in length, and contain a library-based, scholarly citation and a supporting reference. Use the CSU-Global Library or other online resources to retrieve your scholarly or peer-reviewed articles and journals. Post your initial response early and check back often to continue the discussion.

READING MATERIAL FOR REFERENCE:

Readings

Required

Recommended

For Your Success

This week, you will engage in the orientation for the Capsim simulation, in preparation for participating in a team competition in the coming modules. You will complete the beginner, intermediate, and advanced level Capsim Core Training.

To navigate through this module successfully, keep the following things in mind:

  • Read the module content and all the required readings carefully.
  • Examine the Portfolio Project requirements this week. You have two options from which to choose, and you can find these in the Module 8 folder. Begin thinking about the Portfolio Project option you prefer.
  • Actively engage in the required discussion question for the week. The weekly discussions are great opportunities to learn from your instructor and classmates. This week’s discussion question centers on identifying barriers to an effective team environment and mitigation options for dealing with them. Your discussion posting must be at least 250 words in length, and contain a library-based, scholarly citation and a supporting reference. Post your initial response early and check back often to continue the discussion. Be sure to respond to your peers’ and instructor’s posts, as well.
  • The CSU-Global Writing Center offers a variety of resources and services, including faculty coaches, individual web-based tutoring, APA workshops, and writing consultation appointments with CSU-Global writing coaches. Within the Writing Center, there are various writing tutorials, as well.
    • Individual tutoring:
      • You can stop by the CSU-Global Writing Center to make an appointment with a faculty coach. Coaches are available Sunday-Friday, and appointments can be made from two weeks to two days in advance.
      • For your appointment, log into the Writing Center, choose your video and audio options, and:
        • Upload your paper to the plain-text whiteboard to discuss the focus, organization, and development of your writing; or
        • Email your paper to your coach to discuss APA.
      • You and your coach can use face-to-face, voice-to-voice, or text chat options to discuss the project and make changes.
      • First visit? Register in the Writing Center portal and then you can simply log into your account.
    • APA Workshops:
      • You can come to an APA Workshop. Our CSU-Global Writing Center faculty coaches talk about everything from using the CSU-Global APA template, to in-text citations, to the references page. You can ask the coaches your questions about APA through the interactive Zoom platform.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the challenges of virtual teaming.
  2. Execute a Team Charter.
  3. Select team goals.

1. Introduction

CAPSIM Core logo.

Welcome to MGT481! Module 1 focuses on developing a better understanding of the major functions of business and the roles that management decisions have in enhancing success. You will be assigned to a Capsim simulation team by Wednesday, with whom you will engage in the decision processes that must take place during the simulation activities for the course. For Module 1, you will prepare yourself for the upcoming simulation competition by completing the Capsim training individually up through the advanced level. Your team activities begin in Module 2.

Capsim is a powerful business simulation that allows students to engage in the decision making required within a company. Your Capsim experience will be as close to a real-world exercise as you can have without risking your money and the jobs of employees. Businesses typically have four major functional areas: marketing, production (often referred to as operations), accounting, and finance. To be successful, businesses need good managers with the skills to see the company from a strategic perspective, while understanding how and why the four functional areas work together. It is important for each member of the team to recognize the interaction of the four functional areas, to ensure the best management decisions are made during the upcoming simulation rounds. Take the time to complete the Capsim training. The more effort you put into your training, the more confident you will be and the greater your contributions to your team.

The Capsim simulation offers a great opportunity to work with a team in making critical decisions for the growth and profitability of the company. Don’t stress over the decisions you and your team will make. The advantage of working with your Capsim teammates is that together you can make better decisions. Relax and have some fun!

In this Course…

As noted above, throughout this course, you will be participating in the “Capsim Core” simulation. This is a team-based simulation that provides you the opportunity to lead a company, and to drive all the functional tactics and short-term decisions toward your long-term strategy. The Capsim Core content is integrated into this course’s Discussion Questions, Critical Thinking Assignments, and Portfolio Project. Simulation information and instructions are provided in the Course Information Page and in the module lectures. Your team will be formed by Wednesday and will compete with other teams to be the most successful within the industry.

Here’s a summary of your Capsim Core experiences in this course:

Module 1

Explore the Capsim Platform
Complete Your Individual Simulation Training Through the Intermediate/Expert Level (1-2 hours)
Complete the Individual Rehearsal Round
Begin Collaborating to Create the Team Charter

Module 2

Complete the Team Practice Round
Complete and Submit the Team Charter

Module 3

Complete Team Competition Round 1

Module 4

Complete Team Competition Round 2

Module 5

Complete Team Competition Round 3

Module 6

Complete Team Competition Round 4

Module 7

Complete Team Competition Rounds 5 and 6

Module 8

(No Simulation Rounds)

What do I need to do this week?

This week, you will log into the Capsim Core environment and become familiar with the platform by completing the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of your individual Capsim training.

All of the initial access and “getting started” information—including step-by-step instructions for logging in and navigating within the platform—can be found on the Course Information Page.

It is important to have a solid understanding of the platform and to complete the guides and tutorials within Capsim. Follow the directions for logging into the website and spend this week familiarizing yourself with the platform. The Introductory Lesson and Rehearsal Tutorial will introduce you to the concepts of the game by walking you through a scripted round and guiding your decision-making process.

Here are some pitfalls to be aware of and some topics to keep in mind as you work through the simulation:

Pitfalls

  1. Navigating the user interface
  2. Rehearsal tutorial (not processing the first round)
  3. Situation analysis (ensuring answers are correct)

Topics

  1. Proper method of saving and uploading
  2. Basic forecasting method
  3. Organizing a team

What’s coming up?

Looking forward, your Capsim team will be assigned by Wednesday. You will need to determine how to organize the team. One option is to align your teammates as functional area managers, for example, with a VP of Finance, a VP of Operations, and a VP of Marketing. Alternatively, you could decide that changing the functions controlled by team members weekly may produce a more well-rounded final product. For further depth on these options, take a look at the section on “How to Organize a Company” within Capsim under Help → Tutorials and Demos, or in the Online Manager Guide.

The use of a team charter can help facilitate clear performance expectations and establish the foundation for positive team communications. The module readings reinforce the challenges faced by a virtual team and the role of effective communications in team success.

2. Developing Strategy

Team Building

image

You have probably participated in team environments frequently throughout your life. Whether in a classroom, on a sports team, in your local community, or in the workplace, building a cohesive and effective team requires an understanding of the people involved, their strengths and challenges, and what would motivate them to work together.

Let’s evaluate six keys to building a successful team. Consider these in the sequence in which they appear. Click on each key to successful team building below to learn more:

Six Keys to Building a Successful Team

Be Aware of How You Work
Consider your working style and techniques. Will they align with the team you are on? Evaluate yourself critically; that is, think about your strengths and what you can improve. Be flexible. Know who you are as a leader or a teammate. Examine your communication methods and modify your approach, if necessary, to assure you are working with others respectfully and encouraging them.

Simplify Your Strategy

Summary: Donald Sull, London Business School professor, poses three questions to break down complex strategies into actionable steps.

Check Your Understanding

Place the stages of building a successful team in the correct order from top to bottom by clicking the up or down arrows in each layer.

Click Here to Begin

3. Effective Communication

Quote by Carl Pritchard that states, “Whether the communication is written or verbal, formal or informal, the question must be asked as to whether or not it was effective.”
http://www.slideshare.net

Almost all highly successful leaders are skilled in effective communication. They rely on communication to motivate their employees. The best leaders know how to write, speak, and convey their ideas with authenticity to inspire and guide those around them. Let’s review the essential communication practices that you will commonly see in great leaders:

comic
Mind the say-do gap.
Align your words with your actions and behavior. If the employees don’t believe you “practice what you preach”, you will violate their trust in you. If you find yourself in a position where you need to change your views or direction, do so quickly and genuinely.
comic
Make the complex simple.
Think of the vast amount of communication that is being directed at employees in this technology era. It can be very overwhelming for employees to manage the huge numbers of emails, posts, memos, meetings, conferences, and the like, that bombard them daily. Effective leaders are able to simplify the global strategies into clear direction that their audience can easily understand. Avoid technical or industry jargon and get down to the bare bones. Keep it simple!
comic
Find your own voice.
Ensure your values and personality are visible in your communication. Too much fancy “corporate voice” won’t ring true to your colleagues. Be real and genuine, and people will respect you for telling it to them straight.
comic
Be visible.
Continually reinforcing the personal connection you have to the people you work with is key to ensuring they believe in you. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the minute details, focusing on day-to-day transactions. Show people that you are engaged and care about them and their work.
comic
Listen with your eyes as well as your ears.
Ask questions, listen to others, and observe those around you as much as you are speaking. Effective communication is two-way; leaders know how to ask the important questions and read between the lines by watching the answers as well as hearing them. Remember that you won’t always get direct feedback when you are in a position of authority, so it is even more important to listen and hear as well as to watch for nonverbal cues. Sometimes a person’s body language will tell you everything you need to know. (Tardanico, 2012)
Three image comic strip. A male supervisor is talking to his female employee in her cubicle. 

Image 1 – Supervisor: “Alice, I’m sending you to a communication class,

Image 2 – because I’ve noticed that your words often say one thing while your body language says another,

Image 3 – frankly, it’s creepy.” 
Alice grinds her teeth, clinches her fists, angrily looks at the supervisor, and says, “Thank you. I appreciate that useful feedback.”
http://search.dilbert.com

How we communicate connects to success more than what is actually communicated. MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory studied group dynamics and determined a direct connection between high-performing teams and observable, measurable communication. Wearable electronic sensors demonstrated consistent patterns of communication within the effective teams. Three items were specifically noted:

  1. The tone of voice, not the words, mattered.
  2. The body position relative to others, when standing in a group, conveyed emotion.
  3. Body language, including facial expressions, arm and hand movements, and stance, communicated the message more effectively than the words spoken (Pentland, 2012).

You learn from birth how to “read” those around you and communicate effectively by utilizing all of these techniques. We do not rely only on the spoken word. This knowledge is innate for adults; while we can recognize that we are communicating in these patterns, we automatically observe nonverbal cues and infuse them into our conversations to help the recipient better understand our point. With the knowledge of how nonverbal cues influence an audience, you can improve your message by being cognizant of how you are portraying yourself to others. Think about your body language when you are trying to influence your audience, and ensure you are aligning your message with how you are presenting yourself.

4. Virtual Team Dynamics

As you just learned, the most effective form of communication is face-to-face. Email and texting are the least valuable (Pentland, 2012). Studies have shown that 80% of all communication is non-verbal and understood through tone of voice, body language, and demeanor. Therefore, how do you bridge the gap if you are working on a virtual team? Let’s investigate how to create a dynamic remote environment.

Virtual teams can range from employees who work in the same time zone and office, but only communicate through technology like email, to different time and place interactions, such as those you can find in our online classroom or multi-office companies. The latter category forces employees or students to be creative with their communication strategies. This ensures the message is understood without the opportunity to meet in a face-to-face environment. Many companies organize their remote teams using standard operating processes to ensure common practices, such as the following:

Examples of Five Remote Teams’ Standard Operating Processes

With clear procedures and goals, the virtual team members know how they should operate and what their objectives are. Click on these features of virtual teams to learn more:

Check Your Understanding

References

Berry, G. R. (2011). Enhancing effectiveness on virtual teams. Journal of Business Communication, 48(2), 186-206. doi:10.1177/0021943610397270

Chhay, R. V., & Kleiner, B. H. (2013). Effective communication in virtual teams. Industrial Management, 55(4), 28-30.

Llopis, G. (2012). 6 ways successful teams are built to last. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2012/10/01/6-ways-successful-teams-are-built-to-last.

Pentland, A. (2012). The new science of building great teams. Harvard Business Review, 90(4), 60-70.

Tardanico, S. (2012). 5 habits of highly effective communicators. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/susantardanico/2012/11/29/5-habits-of-highly-effective-communicators.

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