Case Study in Team Alignment

I am excited to share with you a series of case studies I put together relating to the benefits of collaboration and team alignment. This week’s study focuses specifically on team alignment.

What the Situation Was like Before:

This is a team of designers/engineers coupled with an implementation team that constructs the designs. Communication and collaboration were lacking. There was descent. Work orders were not going out on time and there were design changes occurring late in the implementation of projects. Lack of unity in both parts of this team and backbiting and distrust were affecting results. It became evident that even the designers were not really communicating and collaborating as they had individual ownership of their designs instead of seeing this as an essential team effort from the first talk with the customer, to the estimate of cost, to the final design and the construction/implementation.

How We Resolved the Issue:

A team alignment process began with individual interviews with all team members to get their input regarding the team, issues and the management. This was followed by a 1 ½ day intensive where the team participated in exercises that began within our meetings and carried through in ongoing staff contacts. Processes were created for communication, accountability and moving from blaming to solutions. Three monthly facilitated team meetings followed.

How Things are Working Now:

The implementation supervisor and the designers meet at the beginning of each project plan and the supervisor supports the design process. He is bought in because he has been consulted. Old resentments and perceptions that discouraged communication and accountability have been aired and everyone is talking more directly and openly. Customer service is improving and the VP is a much stronger leader.

Why You Should Care:

Alignment and collaboration bring results. If you want to increase revenue and decrease execution time as well as create a greater buy- in to corporate goals, highly collaborative teaming is essential.