SETTING UP A TEAM: PROVIDING SUPPORT FOR A TEAM
A degree of independence is essential in successful teamwork, but few teams are able to stand completely alone. Nurture good relations and support systems within your organization that satisfy both your team’s needs and corporate requirements.
Providing Basic Support
Most teams are supported by the technical and administrative infrastructure of the organization to which they belong. It often makes little sense to set an accounting system within a team, especially as external financial control can help to limit financial outlay. However, there are some exceptions, notably in information systems: the danger of relying on centralized IT department is that your team will not receive the specific software support that it requires in order to complete a particular task successfully. To overcome this difficulty, some teams incorporate their own IT expertise. Think carefully about any particular support your team is likely to need, and then discuss options for acquiring it with all the team members.
Setting Up Links with Management
All teams need to have the backing of the senior staff in the parent organization. The three key relationships a team needs are: the team sponsor, the head of the department or operation to which the team reports, and whoever controls that teams’ budget. Their roles are to monitor and approve the team’s activities, and to ensure that all necessary practical support is available. Keep strong lines of communication going with these managers – this becomes even more important if your team is based away from headquarters, for example, in a factory or separate office building.
CHOOSING A LOCATION FOR TEAM
Team occupies space in company headquarters near other related activities, with managers in separate offices.
|A group responsible for organizing distribution, working on plans for centralizing warehouses in a location overseas.|
Team is part of operational unit or attached to regional or local office; managers are on same site.
|Specialist marketing group for products made on site, with managers reporting back to marketing director at company headquarters.|
Special project team occupies make-do premises remote from other corporate activities. Management on site.
|New product or business development where corporate mold needs to be broken, so that physical and managerial separation is vital.|
Long-term project team is set apart from the rest of the organization in permanent offices. Management on site.
|Information systems team, responsible for planning, purchasing, maintaining, and controlling computer –based activities on all company sites.|
- Insist on having IT support that gives you exactly what you want.
- Treat external consultants as team members.
- Keep your team sponsor informed of progress.
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