Answer to question 1:
A cross-functional team is one within which individuals with different expertise work together to achieve a communal goal. It may include people from different sectors such as marketing, human resources department, operations or finance. It usually involves employees from different hierarchical levels. They are meant to enlist support and assist in the completion of the pre-defined objective. It is often referred to as a multifunctional team that is drawn from the originally functional firm at an end to a group encompassing of full-time members that report to a leader with authority and autonomy (Holland et al. 2000).
The key benefits associated with the cross-functional teams involve enhanced customer focus, improved creativity, and greater emphasis on organisational learning, better quality, and better flow of information at elevated degree, improved speed and fostering an entrepreneurial culture. It is also beneficial as there is a single point of contact. The team is administered by one leader who handles the complexity and hence motivates the employees.
In terms of structure, the matrix team also involves members from diverse disciplines; however, it does not have a single point of contact. Key advantages of the matrix team are improved functional specialisation and virtuous integration. (Sangeetha and Kumaran 2018) However, in comparison with the other types of teams, it is associated with goal-related conflicts among the employees. The project-based team is the one in which team members are gathered and are coordinated by a project coordinator. The prime benefits associated with this team are the better allocation of resources and employment of skills, fostering trust for the work in management, enhanced productivity and lower levels of stress and improved overall efficiency.
Answer to question 2:
For the new product development concerning decisions, it is cardinal that elevated level of inter-functional collaboration is fostered in the businesses. New product development requires team empowerment in a careful and judicious custom.
Author; Cooper (2019) has stated that new development is a procedure of introducing a new product in the marketplace by effectively amalgamating innovative business practices, engineering and marketing. New product development has numerous stages that involve idea generation and screening, testing the concepts, analysis, product development, marketing, commercializing and reviewing performance (Holland et al. 2000). For all of these processes, it is cardinal that the gap in the existing knowledge and the team manoeuvres are filled with efficacy.
There is a requirement of the flexible, formal and integrative process for delivering a high-quality new product with effective performance. A cross-functional team is appropriate for the success of new product development because, in this type of team, there is clarity in decision making, information, directions and authority. Furthermore, cross-functional teams involve effective overlapping development phases and careful planning which are quite suitable for the product development settings and experimental approaches. Also, cross-functional teams have a single point of contact who acts as executive sponsors of the project sustaining commitment (Holland et al. 2000).
According to the opinions presented by the authors Dupont and Eskerod (2016), when a team has clearly defined roles and responsibilities, the inter-functional integration is improved and hence, the research and development is further fostered. In cross-functional teams, role formalisation is effectively performed and hence, any sort of glitches and confusions are reduced and productive relationships are sustained.
Answer to question 3:
(a) The preliminary stages of new product development are idea generation, screening and concept testing. Cross-functional teams effectively administer and ensure the success of these three stages because this type of team safeguards that value-adding processes are facilitated which is the key requirement in these three stages. Since interdependence between the team members is high, the flow of communication is also transparent which is critical for the screening of the ideas and narrowing down the viewpoint (Holland et al. 2000). It can be successful in initial stages by the fact that the psychological dimension of this group is known to create a shared sense of collective identity which is critical in terms of generation of ideas. By adhering to cooperation rather than competition, the cross-functional teams can effectively perform the initial steps of new product development (Dupont and Eskerod 2016).
(b) The key attributes that a leader must have been accomplishing the continual level of output from the group without excessive burnout and resolving and managing the conflicts in a constructive manner.
(c) The key attributes that the cross-functional team members must possess are coordination with other team members and depicting efficacious linkage to resources and functions by indulging in effective communication (Dupont and Eskerod 2016).
(d) As a team, it is cardinal that team-based accountability is depicted so that all the team members are equally responsible for the performance and progress of the project. It is crucial so that counterbalance to empowerment is done and relational norms that may have a negative impact on the product development are eradicated. Sharing learning between the team members is another key skill that the team must have so that different phases of development are linked with each other (Holland et al. 2000). Constructive conflict must be embedded in the team for promoting critical evaluation of the options and the problems. As individual team members, the personal attributes that they must have involves effective communication regarding sharing of uncertain information. Integrated, creative and problem-solving skills must be present in the team members so that synergy and mindfulness are fostered. Each of the members must be able to promote genuine and frequent communication so that data regarding successfulness for unsuccessfulness of the new product are discovered.
Answer to question 4:
The organisational context plays a vital role in the performance of a product in the market. This is so because they act as the backbone of the product and contribute to the further development and progression of the product and its characteristics (Holland et al. 2000). New Galaxy A10 can be considered as a product for discussing the impact of organizational context. This series witnessed low sales in the market and accounted for only 56 per cent sales as compared to the other phones of the series (Amornchewin and Sitdhisanguan 2017). Its performance can be improved in the market by ensuring that training in terms of team process skills is cultivated so that the sales figure is improved. The project team leader plays a critical role in launching the phone model, it can be ensured to look at the pitfalls and the reasons for low sales and hence, promote climate supportive teams and further enhance strategic alignment between functions so that the technical glitches are eradicated and sales are further elevated.
Amornchewin, R. and Sitdhisanguan, K., 2017. Evaluation of the impact of tablet screen size on children tracing performance. Artificial Life and Robotics, 22,2 pp.191-196.
Cooper, R.G., 2019. The drivers of success in new-product development. Industrial Marketing Management, 76, pp.36-47.
Dupont, D.H. and Eskerod, P., 2016. Enhancing project benefit realization through the integration of line managers as project benefit managers. International Journal of Project Management, 34,4 pp.779-788.
Holland, S., Gaston, K. and Gomes, J., 2000. Critical success factors for cross‐functional teamwork in new product development. International journal of management reviews, 2,3 pp.231-259.
Sangeetha, P. and Kumaran, S., 2018. Impact of shared leadership on cross-functional team effectiveness and performance with respect to manufacturing companies. Journal of Management Research, 18,1 pp.44-55.
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