As Global Virtual Teams (GVTs) operate across diverse geographies, time-zones, and cultures, they present particular problems for project management in that their characteristics may negatively affect team performance. While a significant body of research exists on project management and GVTs, previous studies have not fully elaborated on the collective impact that GVT characteristics, such as temporal distance and geographical distance, etc., have on operation and performance. This paper develops a conceptual model from existing research and generates hypotheses to explore the impact of GVT characteristics on team operations and performance. The model is then applied in a broad survey of software developers participating in GVTs. Significantly; the study found that different GVT characteristics contribute to (i) GVT operational problems and (ii) negatively impact team performance. These findings have important implications for research and GVT practitioners’ ability to operate such teams and ensure desired project outcomes.