Share this Page URL

Chapter 25. Cross-Functional Teams > Forming Teams for Special Projects - Pg. 326

Cross-Functional Teams 326 Team Terms Cross-functional teams, sometimes called multidepartmental teams, work on assignments in which the ex- pertise of members of diverse departments is needed. For example, they may be composed of representatives of finance, marketing, engineering, and human resources. Other teams work on a project basis. A team in an advertising agency may work on designing a marketing campaign for a client. When it is completed, the team is assigned another marketing project. Ad Hoc (Temporary) Teams Occasionally, situations arise in an organization that require know-how from several departments. Teams may be formed, often on a temporary basis, to deal with it. These teams are referred to as cross-functional teams or multidepartmental teams. Let's look at how the Simmons Distributing Company planned and executed its move to a new facility a few miles away. In 1998, Harry Simmons, founder and CEO of an auto parts distribution and warehousing company, decided to move from his crowded space in downtown Pittsburgh to a new building in an industrial park a few miles out of town. He selected a task force to plan the move. Because of the multitude of aspects to such a move, he drew the team from several departments. The team consisted of one representative each from operations, shipping, marketing, finance, and human resources. He appointed Andy, his executive assistant, team leader. At the first meeting, Harry gave a short presentation of what he wanted accomplished and turned the meeting over to Andy. The objective was to move the entire company into the new building over the weekend of April 3 and 4 and be ready to get into full operation Monday, April 5, with a minimum of downtime. The team broke down the operation. Each member would look into what had to be done in his or her special field. The finance member would negotiate the cost of the move, the marketing person would plan how to deal with customers to accelerate or delay shipments during the move, the op- erations member would arrange for setting up the plant layout, and the HR member would arrange the work schedules. Because the work involved would take all of their time, the members were relieved of all other duties until the move was completed. Over the next few months, the team met regularly to report progress and get assistance from other members whenever they ran into a problem in which another team member had know-how.