Motivational story 1
3. Ability to work in cross-functional teams
3.1. Cross-functional team work
Cross-Functional Team: what is it and how to make it work
Adelina is a project manager who aims to create a new facial rejuvenation device usable in beauty salons.
She chose to work with the design engineers and technology engineers. At the first meeting, she explained the aim of her project, the envisaged activities, the deadlines and requested that the progress be reported weekly. Product design engineers have started working on how the product will look like, creating an attractive look. At the same time, technological engineers have designed a rejuvenation technique that uses vibrations for facial massage.
At the next meeting, the members of the two teams presented their activities. The design engineers team presented the product shape and geometry. The team of the technological engineers presented the intensity of vibration capable to create a relaxation of the facial muscles.
- What is the frequency of vibrations?
- How do vibrations affect product design?
- Are the components resistant to designed vibrations?
Members of the two teams could not answer any of these questions.
Adelina realized that the two teams did not communicate, did not consult, did not work together as a cross-functional team. At the end of this meeting, she proposed a common workspace in order design and technological team become a new team, a cross-functional team able to exchange information and communicate easily. In the new common space created, the cross-functional team was always in interaction and has adapted its activities step by step.
At the next meeting, the team presented its new prototype of the product creating a unitary product to respond all needs, due to the continuing collaboration during the design and development phases.
At the end of the project, the new product was produced efficiently followed by the quick sale, and, ultimately, bringing profit for the company. The success of the project would not have been possible if the engineers under the coordination of the manager would not have had the ability to work within a cross-functional team.
Motivational story 2
3. Ability to work in cross-functional teams
3.2. Sharing information
Tips for successful sharing information for a great collaboration
Antonia is GMF General Assembly Quality Project Manager (she analysis complaints from customers, for cars still under warranty period)
She coordinates cross-functional teams regarding cars’ quality issues: suppliers, manufacturing (from operator to team leaders), process engineering and product engineering and APW (i.e. standards, rules and manufacturing procedures).
One day she received a complaint from a customer regarding the gas sensor indicator that never went out, even though the car was running perfectly. The complaint had to be answered/solved within 24 hours. According to the internal procedure of the company, the car was checked in the service department, but nothing was wrong from a functional point of view, and the light of gas sensor was continuously on. In this case, the complaint could not be considered as well-founded, belonging to the manufacturing defect category because the car worked perfectly.
So, to explain whether the respective component may not be properly assembled by operators, Antonia called all the heads of the assembly departments using the intranet chat. Through the chat on the intranet service, she could view in real time if the information was received by the departments’ heads. They confirmed within an hour that they could participate in a new technical inspection of the car. At the new inspection, everything turned out to be, once again, OK from a functional point of view. Suspecting a component manufacturing defect, Antonia used then WhatsApp groups to request the opinion of process and product specialists, transmitting the tests performed up to that point and the results of these tests, to have a properly documented overview. By choosing to use the WhatsApp groups to quickly transmit the information, Antonia had the confirmation of the participants in real time, thus avoiding the problems of sharing wrong information or misunderstanding of the message. All of them responded immediately and they proposed new technical tests. After the new tests, it was identified that the gas canister pressure gauge, installed by the owner, was not working properly, thus causing a continuing operation of the gas sensor.
Thus, using all the communication channels to share the information in cross-functional teams, it was possible to identify the cause of the complaint and the official deadline to respond to the complaint was respected (48 hours from the moment of receiving the complaint).