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Created on 12 August 2007 Written by Jean Binder
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Image © Carole Nickerson | Dreamstime.comDuring research interviews and informal discussions with global project managers, it was surprising to discover that many people do not consider visual contact essential for meetings over distance and seldom use video conferencing. They organise all meetings by audio conference, and when the sharing of application screens or presentations is required, they employ web conferencing. When trying to understand the main reasons for this, it was clear that technology was the main barrier as there is a general impression that video conferencing takes more time to set up and is more likely to present problems and have poor quality of audio and video, or bad synchronisation of sound and images. Others, however, consider the visual contact essential, employing video conferencing whenever local meetings are not possible. Generally, they agree with the likelihood of technical failures, mentioning the need to be in the meeting rooms in advance, asking a remote colleague to help them setting-up the video connection and allowing some time to fix problems when they appear. Both cases show the need for better quality video conferencing equipment, documentation of clear procedures in how to set up the conferences and solve common problems, and creating a support group that can solve complex technical issues.

The use of video conferencing can help to establish trust when the stakeholders do not have the opportunity of meeting face-to-face regularly, requiring some investment in equipment, documentation and training. Good quality of video, audio and the synchronisation of sound and image is essential, and the main item for comparison between different solutions is user-friendliness. People from different technical backgrounds must be able to operate the video conferencing equipment and use the basic functions in an intuitive manner. 

The chapter 17 of the Global Project Management book brings also some recommendations on how to evaluate the implementation of video conferencing in your company or project, how to improve the implementation and how to prepare documentation and procedures.

   Image © Carole Nickerson | 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 23:20
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