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Setting up Team and Requirement of Effective Communication

BSBLDR403 Lead team effectiveness

Part-A: Case Study Read the case study and answers to the questions that follow.

Case study

Stefania is a Marketing Analyst who works for Fab Fones, a telecommunications company. She works for Kristian, the Brand Manager of Super Smart, a new phone they will be launching in the Australian market in two months’ time. The success of the product launch will depend on various departments working together to provide accurate, exciting information to customers in a timely manner.

As Kristian is the person responsible for launching the product, he needs to stay up to date with launch status in the following areas:

 Accessories: what accessories will be available at the product launch, what accessories may be slightly delayed but could still be featured in promotional material, what (if any) accessories will be available too late to advertise in promotional material. 

 After sales support: status of training repair and warranty teams in product features and how to resolve any early problems. 

 Product Engineering: what features will be available at launch, what features may be delayed, how to accurately portray key product features. 

 Promotional material: whether the brochure will be ready to have waiting in retail outlets at public launch. 

 Sales Training: whether the training organisation is ready to complete the sales training in the three weeks prior to the public launch, whether the target levels of training have been achieved for each retail outlet, whether the support materials are available.

 Website material: whether the progressive release of ‘teaser’ information every fortnight for the last two months before public launch is accurate and up to date, particularly relating to technical features and future accessories.

Although Stefania is not responsible for delivering most of these objectives, Kristian has asked her to coordinate the interdepartmental relationships and provide him with regular status reports. In turn, he provides a fortnightly summary report to the senior management team. The fortnightly meeting is an opportunity for him to raise any concerns with senior managers in each department and gain additional support if required, and also to provide positive feedback about progress in key areas. Stefania also attends this meeting. With six weeks to go until the launch of Super Smart, Stefania has stopped receiving information about two key product issues. She makes several attempts to contact Mark, the Product Engineering Representative. She cannot reach him and is not receiving any response to messages she has left on his voicemail or email. His colleague confirms that he has been in the office, but is just very busy. She urgently needs to know whether one of the issues, about the ability to use Bluetooth technology will be resolved so that she can approve the brochures for printing. At one of the fortnightly management meetings, the vice president of Marketing comments that previous launches have been criticised for having lots of late changes to the promotional material and website, which are very expensive to manage. He praises Kristian as those issues seem to have been resolved for this particular launch. As they leave the meeting, Kristian comments that this is due to the success of Stefania and her team, and congratulates her efforts.

Answer the following question based on the above case study information:

a. Identify and list the teams that Stefania would need to set up? Describe the purpose of each team and the key responsibilities of each member. b. How has Stefania encourage team members to participate and take responsibility for their team activities? c. What difficulties might Stefania experience, since she is leading a team of people who do not work directly for her? How might she manage these concerns? d. How would you suggest Stefania ensures Kristian has all the necessary information he needs for the fortnightly meeting?

Part-B

Question 1: Written Response

For the following questions, consider your answers in context of an actual team you have belonged to whether in your workplace, study experience, or personal life.

a. Briefly describe the team including your role, the purpose and some of the primary goals of the team. b. Was this an effective team? Explain your reasoning with reference to the level of support, feedback and involvement in decision making displayed. c. Was the structure of the team carefully planned? How did this influence the team’s effectiveness in achieving their goals? d. Describe the communication methods used by this team. How would you rate their effectiveness? e. Describe a problem the team encountered while you were a member. How was this problem resolved? How might you improve upon the approach taken?

Question 2:

Imagine you are leading a team where two key members are locked in a personality conflict. Both team members are quality employees but one is a very detail-focused person with limited imagination, while the other excels at developing high level, strategic concepts without considering how to execute them. This causes a lot of tension in team meetings and has resulted in information not being shared with the team at least twice.

a. How might you address this problem to the team and ensure follow-up action has taken as required? b. How would you provide opportunities to team members in to planning and decision making? c. How would you engage team members to incorporate innovation and productivity measures in workplace?

Answer

Part A: Case Study 

  1. Stefania needs to make several considerations before setting up her team to achieve the listed goals. In order to coordinate all the teams and manage relationships, she will need to set up a management team which should include social media team, training team and marketing team. The first team should be assembled because there is a lot of emphasis on websites and internet promotion and advertisements during a product launch nowadays. The second team should be setup in order to coordinate with the Human Resource Department to ensure that everyone's adept in their activities. Lastly, the marketing team should ensure that every aspect of marketing is coordinated with the latest updates and schemes. Every team must have a leader and under him or her, there would be at least five members responsible for their respective teams.
  2. Stefania has employed various methods to encourage her team members; the most significant one was to motivate them by inculcating ideas of reward and recognition. Furthermore, she also put considerable amount of control on every individuals’ activities through report from individual team leaders. Hero instinct of detecting which employee may face an issue or is currently facing some problem has also helped her in effectively addressing member specific hindrances. 
  3. Since she is working on teams that are not directly under her control or vigilance, she might face issues of disobedience and misunderstanding between teams. She can resolve these issues by conducting brief meetings with each team leader and discuss with them the prospect of the job and explain to them the roles they will play for the launch. This will help every member of the team to see the bigger picture and resolve their respective misunderstandings.
  4. In order to ensure that Kristian has all information required for the meeting, Stefania should employ different communication tools that are independent of each other. This includes using phone calls, e-mail, fax and social media messaging. In this way, if one of the tools fails, the others would act as security or backup for the shared information.

Part B

Q1: Written Response 

  1. One of the teams that I was a part of was Arts and Drama Club during my first and second years in university; I was one of the two coordinators of the team and my job was to ensure that every member of the team cooperates and collaborates with each other. I also acted as a liaison between the tea leader and the member of the team. The primary tam goal were based on Belbin’s team role theory, which highlights the importance of team balance; the theory states how a balanced team is more effective than an unbalanced one (Senaratne & Gunawardane, 2015).
  2. This team was highly effective due to two primary reasons - balance and coordination. As stated by Bolman & Deal (2017), balance and coordination are vital in a team without which a team is ineffective. This was highly considered for our team and this also provided a backbone for the team leader, coordinator and members to be equally contributing towards decisions and artistic choices.
  3. Team panning is one of the most crucial aspects of maintaining longevity and effectivity of a team (Mone & London, 2018). Regarding this, our team was very carefully planned as it did not just consist of members and leader but also coordinators. This was highly effective and influenced the team greatly in terms of our performance because the three tier structure of the tea helped to prioritize different things for each tier, members prioritized performance, coordinators ensured coordination and leaders were in charge of directing and managing the entire team.
  4. Communication within this team was highly efficient, we employed different communication tools but the two primary ones were social media messaging (Whatsapp and Facebook) and phone calls. As per Men (2014), using more than one communication tool is vital for team communication. Hence, this ensured that if one of the tools did not work, we could rely on the other. 
  5. One issue that had caused quite a hindrance was the team size - the team had 50 members excluding the leader and coordinators. Due to the large size communication was a key issue and it had caused several misunderstanding between various members, During this time the use of social media messaging was not established and after assessing this problem, the team leader and coordinators decided that there should social media groups so that every member can voice their issue seamlessly.

Q2: Case Study 

  1. The issue of conflict in every team member can be resolved by effective communication and coordination with each other (Shu et al., 2017). Considering this, I would assemble the two members and conduct a meeting between the three of us. In the meeting I would ask one to present their ideas and opinions and then follow it with the next person. After I have gotten an insight on the gaps between their opinions and ideas, I will deduce what has to be done. Ideally my decision would be to ask the detail oriented person to collaborate with the other and additionally I would ask a highly imaginative individual to help them both to implement their plans.
  2. As a team leader, I would ensure that every member has a voice and that their ideas are considered for important decisions. Providing opportunities to members of a team ensures that the team is interactive (Boies, Fiset & Gill, 2015). In this context, I would let my members to openly discuss about their conflicts and issues with each other while allowing everyone to give input on team strategy and management.
  3. In order to engage my team members to come up with innovative ideas and ensure their productivity I will use measures of motivation. This includes providing rewards, both in terms of praise and money. Furthermore, I will also engage my team members through recreational provisions such as a team trip to a relevant organisation while also providing them with examples of teams with great productivity and innovation. 
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