Thanks to Alex (aka alyurek) and his response to my request for a podcast on Virtual Teams I have found, downloaded and listened to the cast.
I work in a vary geographically (and culturally) diverse teams so I wanted to try and share some of the things that I have used.
N.B. we have zero funding for any kind of face to face and for most of the time much of the team is on the client site behind their firewall so webcams don't always help either.
Tools that I have deployed to try and get a sense of team:
Yahoo Messenger (where available) is invaluable. The key attributes are presence so you can see if someone is available and it gives you the same feeling of walking to someones desk and asking a question.
Content Management System, used for knowledge management, web boards (Q&A) and a team meeting place and repository.
Skype, PC telephony, with chat and file sharing, works very well in lieu of desks with phones. A five minute phone call will often be far more effective than email mostly because of the human factor. There is also a group and conference calling ability, great for saving costs :)
I have tried free stuff like yahoo groups and a Blogger based blog to aid visibility. I don't use these as communication aids as such as the push/pull is not guaranteed. However it gives a shared asset where people can see that they are not alone in the effort.
What I would like to see is an adjunct to the communications plan and how I can use this within the virtual team and the constraints at hand.[/list][/list]