Cross Functional Team Case Study

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How do I handle the challenges of managing a cross functional team? Introduction “Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” - Jim Collins’ quote from the book, Good to Great Forming Cross-functional teams to work on projects has become popular in the last few years. There are three primary reasons: a. The team has improved coordination and integration b. Expand organizational boundaries (Lines of Reporting, Verticals, Functions) c. Reduce the cycle time in terms of service delivery When people come together from various disciplines, they bring diversity, their expertise in problem solving, different perspectives to look at the problem statement, their creativity and innovation…show more content…
Patrick Lencioni in his book ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a team’, through a fable talks about typically 5 dysfunctions that any team faces: Dysfunction #1: Absence of Trust The fear of being vulnerable with team members prevents the building of trust within the team. Dysfunction #2: Fear of Conflict The desire to preserve artificial harmony stifles the occurrence of productive ideological conflict. Dysfunction #3: Lack of Commitment The lack of clarity or buy-in prevents team members from making decisions they will stick to. Dysfunction #4: Avoidance of Accountability The need to avoid interpersonal discomfort prevents team members from holding one another accountable. Dysfunction #5: Inattention to Results The pursuit of individual goals and personal status erodes the focus on collective success. As managers, we also understand that, to be successful in today's fast-paced global business environment we require many divisions and departments to work collaboratively on the same teams. We will need to ensure that the best talent, experience and ideas need to be applied to meet the business…show more content…
Invest in Relationships Trust gets built as we spend time with every member of the cross functional team. Show them that they can trust you and depend on you for anything. Equally, you need to trust them with your project and empower them. 5. Catch them doing the RIGHT things! We all love when somebody appreciates us for the work we have produced. However, most of the managers focus on what’s not going right. Ken Blanchard in his book Whale Done! The power of positive relationships notes that we start getting the results we want when people move from "GOTcha" (catching people doing things wrong) to "Whale Done!" (Catching people doing things right). 6. Rotation Offer your team members an opportunity to work on another exciting project. Many times, people working in cross functional teams feel bored as they could be working on highly focused area or only with one customer. This may limit their professional growth and make them complacent. A small tip would be to shake things up periodically and rotate your team members and allow cross skilling as well. This way, you have created a pool for yourself and a multi-talented team! References: Books: Amazon.com- Cross- Functional Teams: Working with Allies, Enemies, and Other
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