Evaluate Chris’ effectiveness at creating and leading the Southwest Region team. What did she do right, and what did she fail to do?
Overall, Chris led the team efficiently. Chris was effective in selecting the group members and encouraging participation from all the group members. She was also a leader that focused on the result of the entire system. That way she was able to inspire the whole team to keep the focus. She established an effective communication strategy that enhanced openness in her team and collaboration with another member of DSS. She was able to effectively manage any conflicts that arose in the team whenever the team members disagreed on something. However, Meg was the only one making key decisions and meeting the CEO. She could have delegated some roles to increase the team play. The other thing she did wrong was focus on the product rather than the Market. Meg informs her that DSS will not be going with the product as there was no demand for it
Chris main style of communication was assertive. In her situation and line of work, assertive style of communicating is the best communication approach. Observing the way she was communicating with colleagues and team members, she had high self-esteem and was neither too aggressive nor too passive, which is an assertive approach. She communicated by mainly sharing information avoiding any forms of manipulation or games with the colleagues, seniors and the customer who wanted to purchase the product. Her communication approach showed she was focused on the goals, expressed her feelings well to the customers. Through her assertive communication style, Chris was able to ask directly for the things while she was also aware of the chance of getting rejected without taking it personally
Chris chose her team members through a calculated approach, where she chose only members that had worked together before and were interested in the project. I think that was an ideal approach of selecting a team. She was selective in that; she first ensured that the members shared something in common which will enhance the chances that they will work together harmoniously. Additionally, she also selected some members from another department for her team, although made of people from a different department, had previously known each other and interacted. This ensured that the people on the team not only worked together but also knew each other well from outside work. Specifically, all the selected team members had worked in the DSS annual Habitat for Humanity project.
Silo mentality was not present at DSS consulting. Information was freely shared from one department to the next including the team that was headed by Chris. Chris and her team were able to consult and ask for information from their members, and they would readily provide the details to them. The organization had encouraged a culture of the free flow of information which allowed and increased the efficiency of the team. Companies that experience silo mentality always obtain details and some employees of the company fail to access key pieces of information that will enhance their performance overall.
The team followed all the five stages of group development which entails the forming, storming, norming and performing. The team members previously new each other, but some had never worked together before. In the groups forming stages, the groups were just excited and eager to form the group and work together in building the DSS Planning and Budgeting System. It was during the stage that Chris took charge and outlined everyone’s role. In the storming stages, the group was experiencing difficulties as they tried to push beyond the limits and significant group development was visible. With time, they eased up in norming stages, where people were used to each other, and they could easily express their concerns. After a couple of challenges and working together for months the team was performing and efficient rates. At one time after resolving their difference, they were able to work and within ten days complete a huge part of the system that would have taken a very long time.
Meg received information from that teams in the other regions had not shown interest on the product that Chris and her team were developing for the districts that they had worked with. As a result, she was convinced that the product will not have demand in large districts. She, therefore, dropped it because DSS could only manage to finance a limited number of products at that time. Chris could have convinced the CEO that the product has demand in the other parts of the district and ask for one more chance. During this period, she could try to get the schools from the large district to be interested in the product by demonstrating to them how the product is efficient and how it can be efficiently used.
The most important thing Chris’s team needed from the team was information. The Team was building the DSS Planning and Budgeting Systems that required information about the different types of projects that districts might undertake in future. This information was found in other departments that Chris and her team mates needed from them. Chris team mates also need DSS specialists who had specialized knowledge about specific types thereby helping them tackle some complex problems. Additionally, some, members could help with opinions and suggestions to help them to build a customer focused and market-oriented product with the ability to efficiently solve the current issues. Generally, the team needed information, technical support, opinion and suggestion from their colleagues.
The one thing that Christ should do differently is to refocus the whole project and design of the system to the customer and the market. Chris should have adopted a lean start up approach that allows her and her team members to collect feedback from her customers every step of the way. That way the product that will be created will be ideal and will fit the customers’ requirements. She identified a problem of lack of integration and created a solution for it. However, she did not customize it for the other large district who are also key customers. Therefore, the one thing that Chris should have done differently is included some customers or members of various schools from the initial stages of the systems. Therefore, the one thing that she should do differently is the addition of new members in the project who will give their views from the customers’ perspective.