Creating digital teams in Webex Teams series: Chapter 2: Stay faraway, so close with Webex Teams
Creating digital teams in Webex Teams series
The “Creating Digital Teams in Webex Teams” series will spotlight techniques in managing and inspiring remote and #WFH teams. Learn how the Webex Platform and Webex Teams can help transform your remote team into an engaged, creative and productive team no matter if people are across the hall, town or globe.
Managing a digital team using Webex Teams
As a people manager at Cisco, I manage a team spread across multiple time zones and countries. There are many #WFH resources out there these days but for this series of blogs I thought I would focus on how to build and manage a digital team using the Webex Platform with Webex Teams.
For this blog we will help answer a question we get asked a lot:” …how do you create and organize a workshop when everyone is remote?”
Build your team
A common function of teamwork is to coordinate and collaborate across many different workstreams to achieve a common goal. In some cases, this could be as simple as responding to a customer’s RFP/RFQ, preparing for a product launch, or planning customer workshop. In all of these cases, building and bringing your team together was often the easy part, doing this over an extended period of time and performing this remotely can be very challenging.
For a workshop or classroom, one would often have reserved a main office room and then a series of breakout rooms nearby for different groups or teams that could go off, collaborate on their particular objective and then come back to the main group to share, discuss, etc.
However, the problem with most video conferencing and messaging tools are that they were designed around a particular meeting or topic and not necessarily for the project or workshop which could last a day, a week or longer. Also, many times a group would need to meet “offline”, not with the greater group, to work an idea or process and then come back to the larger group later. Webex Teams is great to solve these types of use cases which, at Cisco, is often a primary means for how we get work done across multiple teams with our partners, contractors and customers in many cases.
Create a purpose
First, think about the workshop you want to run. The workshop may have a theme, a small team of moderators to facilitate the event and members or participants that would need to be involved in the event. Get familiar with Roles within Webex Teams and how these roles impact the event.
Next, the organization of the event, just like the in-person event, would have breakout rooms, workstreams or spaces where each group in the workshop would go and collaborate together. For each Team you create, a General Room is automatically created in Webex Teams to use for topics, discussions, meetings that pertain to the group as a whole, like a general-purpose room. Next, each space that is linked to that Team is now its own collaboration space with a unique virtual meeting link, whiteboards, messaging, content share, etc all in one place.
Here is an example of a Space Meeting Information (join URL, video address and dial in information for any type of user):
Stay in sync
The best part of this setup within Webex Teams is, especially with remote teams, everyone can get engaged and stay engaged. When you are in an office setting its really easy to walk down the hallway and see where everyone is meeting/connecting just by looking in the rooms. However, when you are remote this can be very challenging as the physical room is not available.
With Webex Teams, you are able to recreate that experience in the physical world. Each room /space now is represented in the Webex Teams client. So, you can see in real time who is in the room and who is meeting which helps keep your team engaged.
You are probably asking then, “…what happens when you eventually go back into the office, are you able to use Webex Teams then for that same type of experience?” Answer, yes.
When the Webex Rooms are in your physical location (say in all of your meeting rooms), the rooms now can autosense the people. In the example to the right, I am in a meeting connected wirelessly to a Webex Board and now everyone that is invited to the Webex Team space can see me associated to the physical room as well as the virtual room. This also holds true for all of the content and whiteboards you share in the virtual room now can be part of the physical room as well bringing a whole new meaning to business continuity.
At Cisco, we use this Teams framework for all sorts of use cases, here are some examples that can help you get started:
- Company Wide Event Planning
- Customer/Partner Strategy Workshops
- Developer Hackathons
- Virtual Training Delivery
- Community Engagement / Outreach
- Multi Topic FAQs and “Ask” Rooms
- Marketing Outreach / Planning
I hope that with some of these examples, provides some inspiration on how to build a virtual collaboration team that is both productive and engaging.
Stay tuned for the next blog post: Chapter 3: Teams Whiteboards: No Line in the Horizon and make sure to stay connected with all the blogs in the series here.
Cisco Webex: Supporting customers during this unprecedented time
Working smarter: Managing a remote team
May 15, 2023 — Kevin Adamson