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Leading Virtual Project Teams

PM WORLD Book Review

pmwj22-may2014-Dragoon-IMAGE1 BOOKBook Title:  Leading Virtual Project Teams

Author:  Margaret R. Lee, PhD, PMP

Publisher:  CRC Press

List Price:   US$ 69.95

Format:  hard cover; 191 pages

Publication Date:   2014     ISBN: 978-1-4665-7688-9

Reviewer:      Bob Dragoon, PMP

Review Date:              April, 2014
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Leading Virtual Project Teams provides tools and techniques to improve communication and project outcomes with diverse teammates that rarely see each other. The author adapts a theory of leadership and communication into practical application for improved success of virtual teams. Tables used throughout the book enforce key concepts with excellent examples. The book has 5 chapters:

  1. Overview
  2. e-Leadership for Projects
  3. Enhancing Virtual Project Communications
  4. Cultural Communication Issues and Effective e-Leadership
  5. Virtual Project Competencies

Dr. Lee has a doctorate in organization and management/project management and operates a consulting practice, LEE Consultants.  Her company is a Registered Education Provider for the Project Management Institute.  She has a seat on the editorial boards of International Journal of Project Management and International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education.

The book gets off to a slow start, laying groundwork of historical team management and terminology.  The first two chapters expose Dr. Lee’s writing style of lengthy sentences, prolonged paragraphs, and definition overload.  If not fully engaged, these chapters could discourage a reader’s interest in finishing the book.

The book grows in significance and value in Chapters 3 & 4.  Dr. Lee’s discussion of the 6 Dimensions of Culture is new and thought provoking.  She has excellent examples of applying these dimensions in global communities, and never strays from core discussion of virtual gaps.

For example, cultures differ in their sense of time. Monochronic cultures (like United States and Switzerland) view time as finite and tangible.  In these countries, project milestones tend to be clearly defined dates with little room for change.  However, Polychronic cultures (like Latin America and Asia) view time as flowing, holistic and fluid.  In these countries, project milestones are more like suggestions, where shifting dates are embraced.  Dr. Lee suggests teammates with temporal differences need different forms of communication to prevent misunderstanding of schedules. 

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About the Reviewer

pmwj22-may2014-Dragoon-IMAGE2 REVIEWERBob Dragoonflag-usa

Oregon, USA

Bob Dragoon received his PMP credential in May, 2010.  He is currently a Sr. Program Consultant at Agfa Healthcare, a global company headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.  His virtual home office in Oregon was a prime motivation to read and review this book.

Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of cooperation between the publisher, PM World and the Portland, Oregon, USA Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI Portland Chapter – www.pmi-portland.org). Publishers provide the books to the PMI Portland Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  Reviewers can keep the books and claim PDUs for PMP recertification.  PMI Portland Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected] or [email protected].