Patrick Hopper 5/13/2011 PM351 Analysis 5.


One of the most notable advantages of working with cross-functional teams is their ability to rapidly accomplish objectives. This effectiveness is largely due to the different outlooks and perspectives which teams of this type are able to bring into play. Teams which include members from diverse disciplines are able to capitalize on their varied experiences much earlier in the project process than teams which are homogenous. The result of these diverse inputs is that there is much less back and forth required in the later stages of the project because differing viewpoints have been offered throughout the entirety. This results in problems being addressed sooner and solutions being determined close to their recognition. The example which best illustrates the best use of cross-functional teams is the AT&T example. AT&T not only created teams which represented a variety of disciplines including “engineers, manufacturers, and marketers” (Parker) but also empowered them to make decisions. These teams were able to make decisions which defined how the product creation would be approached from conceptualization through implementation. This empowerment resulted in teams which were able to quickly bring to market high quality and cost effective products. This team dynamic proved to be very effective at addressing both customer and company requirements for the project. There are many techniques available to the project manager who is tasked with managing a cross-functional team. Three of these techniques which clearly demonstrate the type of soft skills necessary are:


These are only three of the many techniques which an effective project manager must exercise to effectively manage a cross-functional team. If allowed to help in creation of the project plan. This technique involves the leader showing an ability to consider new ideas in an open an unbiased manner. • “Identifying and dealing with dysfunctional team member behaviors” (Parker). and plan” (Parker). members are likely to work hard to meet the goals they have set. Allowing team members to be involved in these aspects of the project empowers them. This allows members to freely express ideas which depart from conventional wisdom and address challenges from unforeseen directions without fear. This empowerment creates an atmosphere where members feel as if they have had input. objectives. The identification of dysfunctional behaviors helps the project manager to develop strategies for dealing with them before they become major issues. This technique is essentially a mitigation strategy. to develop an atmosphere which is positive and proactive. The effective project manager has many techniques available to inspire and nurture respect within their teams. Dealing with these behaviors early allows for the mitigation of downstream problems before major impacts are felt. and therefore they are more apt to fully support the process. in any team situation. relaxed climate where members feel free to candidly express their point of view” (Parker). • “Involving members in the setting of team goals.• “Establishing an informal. Three of these techniques include: 2 . It is important.

Cross-functional teams increase the complexity of human interactions on the team. • Rewards that support and encourage collaboration. Working together engenders trust and inspires confidence. The act of rewarding collaboration encourages members to work together and assist each other with project tasks. but if managed correctly can produce strong teams which are capable of meeting or exceeding most expectations. Project teams can be challenging. requiring the project manager to exercise a vast array of tools and techniques. • Clear communications. This results in a project team that feels as if they are important to the entirety of the results. 3 . the project manager creates an atmosphere where members are comfortable with what they are being asked to accomplish. Allowing members to make decisions at defined levels provides members with ownership of the process.• Empowerment. By ensuring that members fully understand what is being asked of them and what they are responsible for.

The Competitive Advantages of Cross-Functional Teams". Glenn M. 25. Inc. 2011. Apr. © 2003. Cross-Functional Teams: Working with Allies. “A GUIDETO THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT BODY OF KNOWLEDGE (PMBOK GUIDE) FOURTH EDITION. "Chapter Two . Jossey-Bass. and Other Strangers. 2011.. Project Management Institute.” Newtown Square. 22 Apr. Project Management Institute. 4 . Enemies. Books24x7. 2008. Web..References Parker. Print.

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