For many companies, virtual work and setting up virtual teams have become an integral part of the organizational structure. Nevertheless, many digital leaders repeatedly deal with the problem that the greater the size and spread of the teams, the more complex collaboration becomes. It can quickly happen that the actual structure and organization becomes confusing and chaotic.

There is an efficient way of splitting up a large amount of tasks o so that large teams can effectively organize virtual work.

Is virtual work really as easy to set up as a cake buffet?

Even if the headline of this article may sound ridiculous at first. You can actually compare virtual work to eating cake. How is that supposed to work? Very easily! Take a look at the following picture:

Imagine they are selling cakes at a buffet. As a salesperson, you represent yourself as a team leader. Your buyers, who regularly come to the buffet, correspond to your virtual team.

But how does it all work in relation to virtual work?

Often, in the first step, you receive ideas from customers, for example orders or orders. Often these ideas and customer requirements consist of large, complex tasks. You can think of this like a cake or a cake. You now have to sell this cake to your buyers (employees) at your buffet. At this point you can imagine that it makes less sense to give the entire cake to just one person.

So instead, you’re going to cut the cake into pieces. You can compare this with the small cutting of the large order of your customer. You divide this into smaller projects, stories and work packages (tasks) so that you can distribute the tasks evenly to your employees. Now every team member comes to the buffet regularly to pick up a piece. As long as your employees are fed up, so to speak, have enough tasks ahead of them to work on.

If none of your team comes to the buffet but you still have pieces of cake left over, you will do what every cake seller does at this point. You will approach your employees yourself and try to distribute the remaining task packages until you have finally completed the job.


As you can see, virtual work doesn’t have to be complex and laborious. It is only very important that you approach the project with the right strategy and structure. For you as a digital leader, this means in particular that you have to convert large orders into smaller work packages evenly. Then you just have to transfer them to your tool. In this way you can create an optimal basis for agility in virtual teams.

Thanks to the transparency provided, you can also clearly track tasks. In this way, your team can perform its virtual work efficiently, regardless of the number of different locations or the size of the team.

At the same time, large customer requirements with a large number of tasks can be processed promptly. It can also be worthwhile to process the individual work packages with the help of a Kanban board and sprint goals.

Tip: Read my book: SMEs in digital change at Springer Gabler or book me for a talk .


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I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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