Wednesday 10 September 2008

You can't simply *swap* virtual meetings in place of real meetings

Graham ponders the value of virtual meetings based on his own direct experiences versus the stated benefits:

"I wonder whether the value of many virtual meetings is so low as to make them more expensive than face-to-face meetings. I have participated in many teleconference meetings which have been massively protracted by the limitations of the medium. These meetings have then used far more time than a physical meeting would have, but they have also added massively to the lead-time for resolution. In one particular occasion we were working on a technical problem for over three weeks before a face-to-face meeting resolved the problem in under 2 hours."

I think part of the problem is the expectation that you can simply swap any kind of traditional meeting for a virtual meeting, but this simply isn't the case. Its not a replacement, but a different style of communication and collaboration. Typically a mix of technologies, skills and other resources are needed to be successful - including knowing when only face to face will do!

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