VIRTUAL TEAMS

Our Services

At Ulfire we believe that our range of services needs to be as flexible and diverse as the teams we support. To achieve this we have developed a range of different services that can be adapted to suit your specific needs and, while this range is as broad as possible, if there is something you are looking for but can’t find, please get in touch and ask us, we will probably be able to find something that will fit your needs.

Our services range from traditional Business to Business support to discreet, individual, personalised offerings. We also have engagement models that span from a flexible hourly rate structure to a long term contractual relationship, through to one on one coaching and mentoring services to team members, project managers and business leaders.

Talk To Us  Before You Decide

At Ulfire, our passion and our business is all about communications, we love to talk to our clients and help their teams communicate more effectively.

Communications is the backbone of every business, effective communications build a strong corporate culture, facilitates efficient project execution and ensures work is done on time and to the expected standard.  Yet, sadly, many businesses struggle to establish and maintain an open and collaborative communication structure.  Messages get lost in the formal structure, personnel become isolated and teams break down.

Optimising Your Virtual Team

Establishing and optimising you virtual team can be a major challenge for many businesses and projects. Knowing the current best practices and ideas, understanding the different influencing factors that may apply to your situation and how best to plan for them is something many organisations are not directly equipped to undertake.

At Ulfire, we are specialists in the formation and running of virtual teams and, through this specialisation, we are able to help you get your team off to the best possible start. To do this we offer a facilitated workshop, bringing together the key personnel in your organisation with our specialist personnel to work to understand and plan for your specific project needs, develop project implementation plans and identify any weaknesses that need to be addressed to ensure a more predictable project or team outcome.

Facilitated Workshop Highlights

Highlights of the workshops are outlined below;

Duration – The facilitated workshops will generally run for between 1 and 2 days but the duration will vary dependant on the scale and complexity of your project
Whats Covered – The facilitated workshops cover the core knowledge areas of leading virtual teams, along with a customised planning workshop to consider your specific needs
What are the outcomes – The facilitated workshop will produce a series of plans that can be implemented to get your virtual team off to the best possible start and build in structural resilience for future challenges the team may face.
Who should participate – Project managers, key project personnel, HR representatives, Business leaders
Where are they held – We come to you and hold the facilitated workshop either on premisses or at a  convenient location
What do they cost – The investment in an optimisation workshop will depend on the location and duration, but will typically pay for its self within the first few days of a new project. Getting personnel aligned and ready to collaborate is one of the best investments a business can make in its future outcomes.

Specific costs and a customised itinerary for a workshop to suit your exact needs can be obtained by contacting us

Setting Up Your Virtual Team

As a specialist consultancy focussed on the supporting our clients as they build high performing global virtual teams through effective communication and leadership, Ulfire has all of the skills and experience you need to set your teams up to succeed.

We work with your teams in the planning and set up stages, bringing all of our experience and knowledge to help you avoid typical set up problems.  We will help you identify the core leadership and communication skills needed for your team to succeed, we will help you identify and establish a project structure that supports effective virtual team collaboration and we will work with you in developing those skills in your personnel to help them succeed through focussed training and development.

Considerations In Establishing A New Virtual Team

There are many of things to consider when establishing your new virtual team. It is important to work through a structured and considered process, one that includes all of the many different aspects affecting the way your team members communicate, how your project or business is structured and how organisational rewards are made. Typically this will include:

Locations for personnel – why are they chosen, how will they contribute and how will their work be controlled.

Required skill sets for your personnel – where within your organisation will you find the skills you need, how will the personnel its those skills be engaged and for how long.

Communication structure – what communication structure will best suit your virtual team, do your personnel have the right skills to effectively manage the communications they need to.

Cultural impact – how will different regional, local and corporate cultures impact on the effectiveness of your virtual team.

Communication tools – what told will your team need to communicate successfully, are they available where needed and will the personnel have the skills needed to fully exploit them.

When Ulfire helps you set up your virtual teams we consider all of these factors and many more then work with your personnel to ensure they start their project with the best possible chances of success.

Supporting Your Virtual Team

Supporting the ongoing effectiveness of your virtual teams is one of the key services offered by Ulfire.  As specialists in the development and deployment of virtual teams and with a high focus on building effective communicators within these teams, we bring many valuable skills to help our clients get the most from their teams.

All too often we encounter virtual teams that have been hastily assembled. Often with little planning and support during their deployment, many of these teams try very hard to be effective but without the proper training and skills they are often destined for a less than ideal level of performance.

Considerations In Supporting Virtual Teams

As virtual teams develop they will often grow in one of two ways; they will either become a strong and effective team through shared experiences and effective leadership or they will find that they become increasingly dysfunctional as minor disagreements between team members escalate and lead to major fractures.

Sadly, the latter outcome is all too common and happens despite the very best intentions of all of the team personnel. It can even happen that what was a strong and effective team on one project may become dysfunctional on their next project as a result of minor personnel changes, changes of project requirements or other seemingly simple variations.

With decades of experience in supporting virtual teams, Ulfire can help by providing expert impartial guidance, advice and training to project personnel and leaders. We can quickly identify failure points and deliver solutions in the form of training, mentoring or suggested structural and procedural changes that can lead to rapid turnarounds in performance, happier personnel and better project outcomes.

Training of Virtual Teams

Poor communication skills have been shown time and again to be one of the main causes of project failures. Personnel either stop talking to one another or never start in the first place.

This communication breakdown costs businesses billions each and every year through incomplete or duplicate work, work that is not aligned with the overall project objectives or that simply does not get done, all because of communication breakdowns.

You train your personnel in the technical requirements of their work, why not also give them training to become more effective communicators in their virtual teams. This is where Ulfire comes in, we specialize in understanding the specific communication needs of virtual teams and in helping the members of those teams become the best possible communicators they can.

Formal training is more cost effective than learning from mistakes

Members of virtual teams often struggle to understand the demands of working with colleagues located in different offices, cities and countries. The demands of collaborating across physical, temporal and cultural boundaries, with continually evolving communication technologies, needing to work with their unseen co-workers take their toll.

Many personnel in this modern workforce structure, particularly those on the front lines, leading communication and interfacing with other offices, need some training to help them work through the new, complex and confusing challenges that have been added to their already difficult roles.

Training in cross cultural and across corporate boundary collaboration helps them understand the complexity of working with multi-cultural teams. It helps them see the way forward when they are facing issues in their daily working lives, issues they may not have had to deal with in previous, co-located working roles.

With many years of experience supporting virtual teams of all sizes and complexities, Ulfire is perfectly positioned to provide this training to your organisation. We tailor our training services to meet the needs of your organization and your project, ensuring you get exactly what you need to make your teams as effective and efficient as possible.

Benchmarking Of Virtual Teams

Do you need to know how well your virtual team is performing against global benchmarking standards?

Do you think there are areas for improvement in your virtual team interaction, but just don’t know where to start to address them?

Benchmarking Services

As a consultancy who specialise in understanding how virtual teams operate, how to build them, maintain them and optimise them, we have a great deal of experience in helping businesses get to the bottom of any issues they may be having with the way their own teams are operating.

A poorly performing virtual team can become a major risk to the outcome of a project, these dysfunctional or disengaged teams distract skilled personnel and critical capital away from the main project to try to patch up issues. A misaligned virtual team relationship can result in vast amounts of rework, wasted money and substantial project delays, all unnecessary drains on the corporate bottom line.

Through a structured benchmarking exercise, we can recommend changes at the corporate, business, project and team level that will bring your virtual teams from dysfunctional to high performing, reducing risks and business exposures and helping you focus on your business outcomes.

Benchmarking Outcomes

A virtual team which is not working to its potential exposes a business to higher than normal levels of voluntary turnover, creates actively disengaged personnel and erodes confidence and collaboration not just between the virtual team members, but also within each office. Personnel start to distrust one another and become protective of their own work rather than being open and supportive.

Through benchmarking your virtual team, and implementing the recommendations you will be able to rebuild much of the trust and collaboration between team members and restore your team to its high level of productivity.

Tender And Proposal Support

Do you need assistance planning for a virtual team tender?

Ulfire is a specialist in the conceptualization, deployment and development of virtual teams. We work with businesses to clarify what the services they need to include when preparing a tender for a project involving virtual teamwork.

We can help you determine;

  • How to structure your project to optimize your virtual team outputs,
  •  How to arrange the communications channels between offices,
  • How to estimate the interface workforce you will need and what skills your personnel will need to fulfil them,
  • How to prepare any budgetary estimates to cover specific costs likely to be incurred by using a virtual team,
  • How to select and train the personnel who will be key in the success of your virtual team, including the project manager, interface managers and any specialists who will need to communicate frequently, and,
  • How to select appropriate technology for your team to be most effective.

We can also train your staff, helping them understand the specific demands of working in a distributed team environment, to understand the cultural, temporal and logistical challenges they will meet during their time on the project.

We can also assist in the preparation of tender documents specific to the needs of your virtual team, along with checking the integration of the virtual team concept into your documentation.

If required, we are also able to provide ongoing assistance during client tender negotiation meetings and discussions, to deal with queries and ensure your proposal is as credible as possible.

Further Support

Once you are successful in winning your tender we are available to deliver any training, coaching and mentoring needed to bring your team up to speed, ensuring that you deliver on the promises made to your client, and that your team is as well equipped for the start of their project as possible.

Cross Cultural Training

Central to effective virtual teams is a sound appreciation of the cultural differences and drivers of the team members and the societies and offices they work in. At Ulfire we provide three levels of cross cultural training; cultural awareness, cross cultural training and training for cross cultural leadership, each is applicable to different levels and roles in organisations.

Cultural Awareness Training

At this introductory level we will train your teams in to be aware of the potential cultural challenges they will encounter when working across boundaries with personnel from different backgrounds. This training will equip personnel with the requisite skills to appreciate that we are all different, and that we experience things through our own cultural lens, but that in the end we are all working toward common aims.

Cross Cultural Training

This is an intermediate level of training where personnel receive specific training in how to understand both themselves and their virtual team colleagues, how to resolve virtual team disputes in an amicable and productive manner and how to learn the best ways to collaborate efficiently with their virtual team colleagues. This training is particularly useful to those in interface roles who will spend much of their time working with others in a virtual environment.

Cross Cultural Leadership

At this level we will work directly with the leaders of the virtual team to equip them with the skills they need to get the best possible productivity from their virtual teams. This training comprises both personal assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of the individual leader along with specific considerations for the role they will be undertaking. It is recommended that this particular training be undertaken in a longer term coaching environment as well as an intensive session to provide ongoing support and mentoring to the leaders as they settle into their roles.

Leadership Coaching For Virtual Teams

Many leaders of virtual teams find themselves struggling with the demands of overseeing activities of groups of personnel located in different offices, cities and countries.  The demands of working across physical, temporal and cultural boundaries, with continually evolving communication technologies, of needing to deal with increased levels of uncertainty as their unseen workforce performs its work and of the pressures of feeling compelled to be on call for up to 24 hours a day all take their toll.

The Need For Coaching

Many of the leaders of this modern workforce structure can benefit greatly from having someone they can call upon to help work through the new, complex and confusing challenges that have been added to their already difficult roles. This is where specialist virtual team leadership coaching comes in.

Coaching can help a leader understand the complexity of working with multi cultural teams, it can help them see the way forward when they are faced with delivery issues due to time zone differences and it can help them to reconcile the sense of uncertainty that is common for many working in virtual teams as they learn to work with groups of personnel they can neither see nor monitor.

With decades of experience supporting virtual teams of all sizes and complexities, Ulfire is perfectly positioned to provide these coaching services to your organisation. Our clients are able to access our services on an as required basis, frequently being able to resolve particular challenges in one or two short phone calls or even through an email conversation.

As independent advisors, we are also able to cut through much of the typical corporate red tape, and to offer industry best practice guidance that may not be available through traditional internal corporate channels.

Mentoring For Virtual Teams

Often, members of virtual teams struggle to understand the demands of working with colleagues located in different offices, cities and countries. The demands of collaborating across physical, temporal and cultural boundaries, with continually evolving communication technologies, needing to work with their unseen co-workers take their toll.

Yet many businesses are not equipped to support their staff in these situations.  These businesses leave their personnel to learn on the run, picking up whatever lessons their projects give them, often through costly errors and rarely in the most efficient way

The Need For Mentoring

Many personnel in this modern workforce structure, particularly those on the front lines of leading communication and interfacing with other offices, can benefit greatly from having a mentor that can guide them through the new, complex and confusing challenges that have been added to their already difficult roles. This is where specialist virtual team mentoring comes in.

Mentoring helps personnel understand the complexity of working with multi cultural teams, it can help them see the way forward when they are facing issues due to cross cultural issues, technological challenges, differences of opinion and time zone differences and, mentoring can help them to reconcile the sense of uncertainty that is common for many working in virtual teams as they learn to work with groups of personnel they can not see.

With decades of experience supporting virtual teams of all sizes and complexities, Ulfire is perfectly positioned to provide these mentoring services to your organisation. Our clients can access our services on an as required basis, building either an on going mentoring relationship that lasts through a project or assignment or, being able to resolve particular issues in one or two short phone calls or even through an email conversation.

As independent advisors, we are also able to cut through much of the typical corporate red tape, and to offer industry best practice guidance that may not be available through traditional internal corporate channels.

Our goal is to work with you, our clients, to support effective communications across your organisational and physical boundaries, helping your staff overcome their natural reluctance with talk to “corporate strangers”, to take your technically skilled staff and help them become skilled communicators, building high performing global virtual teams.

Book A Consultation

To book a consultation with us to discuss how we can help you, please contact us by emailphone or through the form below.