The engineering and construction industry increasingly relies on geographically distributed, or virtual, team to execute project work.  This research examines ways the construction industry can maximize the performance of virtual teams by exploring current and emerging virtual team practices, identifying and recommending enhanced work processes, and developing a tool that will help CII member companies improve virtual team performance.

The research team identified 21 Virtual Team Key Performance Indicators (VT KPIs) that are statistically significantly correlated with achieving high performance, grouped into three categories: Technology, Team, and Process. The team completed an Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to prioritize and calculate a weight for each of the KPIs based on their relative importance to other KPIs within each category. This weighting provided clarity on which VT KPIs have the highest impact on team performance.

The research team developed the IR326-2, VIRTUOSO–High Performance Virtual Team Equalizer, an Excel-based tool that provides virtual team project managers with anticipated performance levels for the Technology, Team, and Process categories of virtual teamwork. It identifies areas needing improvement within each category and suggests implementation guidance to enable higher levels of performance.

The research team found that achieving higher scores on the VT KPIs could help to maximize the performance of a virtual team. In a business environment where fewer and fewer distributed teams can afford to co-locate or even hold in-person meetings, VIRTUOSO enables the development of adaptive and responsive virtual teams.