Effective partnering with a Virtual Assistant
The success of virtual teams in large corporate environments, such as software development, has been proven.
However, the principles behind that success apply in exactly the same way for working with smaller teams – partnering a successful micro-business with a Virtual Assistant.
In this blog for the Harvard Business Review, Keith Ferrazzi outlined the main principles behind successful virtual working. If properly applied, Ferrazzi says, virtual teams can even outperform traditional teams.
A key point Ferrazzi makes is that the working relationship needs to be effectively managed. When team members are not working in one another’s presence, the processes and communications they use need to be particularly robust. Once those processes are in place, increased efficiency and effectiveness follow.
A good Virtual Assistant will partner a client attentively, working with them to handle a two-way flow of information and taking as much responsibility as possible for organising and prioritising the client’s tasks.
Establishing the working relationship should be given adequate time, but once they’re fully on board, working with a Virtual Assistant gives the client fewer everyday tasks to think about – not more. Systems are set up swiftly, but the Virtual Assistant seeks continually to improve on measures already in place. Key to this is technology – file transfer, diary sharing and communications are crucial to the success of virtual teams.
Ferrazzi recommends fewer encounters between team members, but when they do talk, they should use focused, shorter communications. A typical practice at Kaleidoscope is a regular, diarised meeting with clients, usually conducted once a week via telephone or video conferencing. An agenda is drawn up in advance for the discussion. We find this maximises the amount of work that can be done in a very short time, ensuring the management of the virtual team itself can remain a low priority for the client.
If you’d like to discuss bringing a Virtual Assistant into your team, call us today.