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Best Practices, LLC gathered valuable best practices and operating tactics that will help executives build and manage strong teams that can excel across functions, units and regions.
Cross-function collaboration is greatly improved through many methods including: structuring jobs with overlapping responsibilities, basing rewards on group performance, designing procedures so that employees with different jobs are better able to collaborate, and laying out work areas so that people can see one another’s work and share lessons learned.
This benchmarking report highlights the following areas of cross-functional team management:
Medical Device; Pharmaceutical; Biotech; Health Care; Diagnostic; Manufacturing; Consumer Products; Chemical; Electronics; Telecommunications; Shipping; Financial Services; Automobile; Computer Hardware; Computers; High Tech; Research; Service; Insurance
3M Pharmaceuticals; Sanofi-aventis; aaiPharma; Amgen; Abbott; Alexion Pharmaceuticals; Allergan; AstraZeneca; Bayer; Boehringer Ingelheim; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Cardinal Health; DSM Pharmaceutical; Eli Lilly and Company; Genentech; GlaxoSmithKline; Johnson & Johnson; Janssen; Merck; Novartis; Novo Nordisk; Organon; Ortho Biotech; Pfizer; Procter & Gamble; Roche; Schering-Plough; Arrow Electronics; Inc.; Aliant Telecom; Centocor; Dow Chemical; DuPont; Federal Express; GE Money; General Motors; Hewlett-Packard; IBM; LexisNexis; Marriott; MetLife; Motorola; NCR; Penn National Insurance; PepsiCo; Texas Instruments; Towers Perrin; Xerox; Zurich North American
Organizations of all sizes wrestle with the common challenge of cross-functional team management. Simply put, "How can we work most effectively across functions, brand teams, units and geographies?" The answer to this question is composed of many small lessons learned regarding cross-unit coordination, collaboration and sharing. Leadership plays a crucial role in setting team direction and planting cultural seeds that affirm "boundaryless" values such as collaboration and sharing across brands, functions and country units. Field research identified additional success elements, including training, coaching, linked goals, talent selection and other performance factors, all of which will be discussed in this report.
Management across functions is crucial for new product development and commercialization to ensure seemless product rollout and rapid market uptake.
Creating an effective launch team is imperative to ensuring the success of a new product’s launch. A product’s launch relies heavily on the success of the team behind it. Top benchmark companies ensure that they create effective, cross-functional teams that will ultimately drive sales and rapid uptake of a new product.
To develop these highly successful teams, managers involve key launch stakeholders early in development and ensure appropriate communications between team members. Benchmark companies use co-location, cross-functional teams and global marketing support to create winning launch teams. ...read more in the downloadable Report Summary (click "Download Free Excerpt" in top right box)
Enrich cross-functional teams by including internal and external thought leaders to shape new products.
Thought leaders are the compasses to commercial insights. However, in the past, many companies note they have not fully utilized these experts to help shape new products. Rather they were employed primarily to review protocols or to offer feedback on project plans that were already deeply engrained and entrenched. Increasingly, though, benchmark partners described ongoing efforts to use advisory panels and focus groups to understand market requirements for success. As one marketing director reflected: "Traditionally we said, 'Here’s a product, what do you think we should do?' instead of saying 'Here’s our plan, what do you think?'” ...read more in the downloadable Report Summary (click "Download Free Excerpt" in top right box)
Develop clear roles and responsibilities to increase performance and facilitate the cross-functional integration process.
In many respects, the alchemy for success is the ability of individuals and teams to build bridges across functions. Facilitation, negotiation and collaboration are critical skills that enable the many stakeholders to marry technical and market perspectives in their project and therefore to develop a new product that serves an unmet consumer need. Consequently, benchmark partners repeatedly identified these diplomatic skills as hallmarks of high-performing cross-functional teams.
In the pharmaceutical product commercialization process, the synergy between different skill sets and characteristics of people touching a product from the early development stage to launch is so important. Ironically, many of the traditional skills valued in marketers who support products near launch or after launch are peripheral to early-stage success. Consequently, several savvy marketing heads said the marketing managers they recruit and cultivate for early-stage roles are different types than those they seek for roles on launch teams or to support in-line products. ...read more in the downloadable Report Summary (click "Download Free Excerpt" in top right box)