Main success scenario
- Kim has 5 different people on her supervision team: some in her field, others from geology. They all have somewhat different ideas about what she should be doing with her thesis work. None of them are co-located. This situation can be quite frustrating.
- Kim decides to go spend a few weeks working in close proximity to the one member of the team who she has the most rapport with. This will also give her a chance to be in touch with other students in her field.
- In the mean time, she establishes contact with yet another researcher whose work is quite closely related to hers. Although he does not have any formal responsibilities or ties to her project, they are already colleagues in an academic sense, and they have more congruent views on what her project is about. After she visits her favorite supervisor, she may plan to spend a month or so visiting this other researcher in his home country.
I think this sort of networking to create an informal supervision team happens fairly frequently for postgrad students in the UK system. Certainly there are other examples of distributed project management – e.g. W3C working groups come to mind.