Alice is an experienced project manager working in a company developing assistive technology products. Her project is going well but in the course of the project, the personal circumstances of two team members changes.
1. Carol’s oldest child starts at school, which finishes at a different time from the kindergarten of her youngest child. This makes her current working arrangements very difficult so she asks if she can work from home most days, spending only 1 day a week in the office.
2. Ed, the user interface designer, decides to relocate to a different part of the country with his partner who has a new job there. He offers to resign but Alice is keen to maintain the team so she offers him the opportunity to work remotely. Alice understands the importance of maintaining team communications and conventional techniques such as daily face to face meetings are not impossible. She therefore decides to use a range of technologies to facilitate communications in the team:
(a) The team have a weekly skype conference early on Friday morning. This is simply to catch up on news and work done. Team members who are travelling on business as well as those working remotely are expected to attend. More frequent skype and phone discussions between team members are encouraged.
(b) She sets up a project blog and every team member, every day is expected to write a short report (5/6 lines) about what they have done that day.
(c) A project Twitter account is set up for team members to pass snippets of information to each other.
(d) Every 2 months, all team members have to attend a ½ day face to face meeting where issues are discussed.
There are obviously many different possibilities here. What is most important is that a range of communication possibilities are identified. Communication should not just depend on a single channel.