Teams As Integrators

The management team, represented by the Project Manager, Chief Systems Engineer, and Project Controller, although critical to the notion of integrative management, is not the only team on a project. Examining the project organization (Figure 1.2) more closely reveals that at least eight(!) additional teams are suggested by the chart. These include the following:

• The team of Chief Systems Engineer and the lead engineers in each of the six supporting disciplines

• The six teams represented by the lead engineers in the six disciplines together with the personnel working in those areas

• The team consisting of the Project Controller as team leader and the personnel heading up the work teams in the areas of scheduling, costing, personnel assignments, facilities, and contract liaison

These teams represent opportunities for adopting an integrative style such that all members of the project know, understand, and sign up to the goals and objectives of the project. In short, all of these subteams have to behave in the manner described in some detail in Chapter 6. If conscientious team behavior patterns are the norm, then a major step toward integrative management has been taken.

Suggestions for building a team that will support and facilitate integrative management were set forth in Exhibit 6.2. Especially key items in terms of integrative management include:

• Encouraging participative, possibly consensual, behavior

• Integrating

• Coordinating

• Facilitating

• Communicating

Adherence to these notions will go a long way toward building an overall integrative management team.

Another important idea with respect to team behavior and integrative management is that of ''integrated product teams'' (IPTs). IPTs bring together (in a team) all the people who have an influence on how a product is to be developed and sold. Often, the context for an IPT is a new product for a company so that it is clear that, as a minimum, the following functional areas have to be represented in the IPT:

• Management

• Marketing and sales

• Research and development

• Engineering

• Production

• Finance and accounting

Because all relevant functions are part of the process, IPTs are also at times referred to as multidisciplinary teams, multifunctional teams, cross-functional teams, or work groups. The latter have been examined in detail, including their characteristics and beneficial consequences [13.2].

Another aspect of the IPT is that the preceding representation occurs at the very outset of a project. This is in distinction to earlier practices that tended to operate serially. The latter often led to reengineering a product when, for example, the production folks threw the design back over the wall to engineering with the claim that the design was not producible! The IPT, operating over the full life cycle of a product, was able to identify and reconcile possible problems very early and obviate the need for excessive rework and iterations. The IPT notion is also considered a part of concurrent engineering, which is addressed later in this chapter and is included as one of the thirty elements of systems engineering (see Exhibit 7.3). It also has been reported on quite extensively in the literature, particularly with respect to manufacturing processes.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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