Cross-Functional Teams – Assignment Example

The paper "Cross-Functional Teams" is a wonderful example of a management assignment. 
1. What benefits did the cross-functional teams bring to General Mills?
One of the benefits was improved communication throughout the company as people got to know each other. The other was an understanding of the roles of each and every brand and person’s job in the company hence a sense of respect developed. Other than the two, people also got to brainstorm ideas hence developing new perspectives, for example, the marketing team got marketing ideas.
2. What challenges would there be in creating an effective cross-functional team? How could managers deal with these challenges?
One of the challenges would be on fair placement that is what the roles of each team member would be. The other is how to manage the teams effectively and this will majorly focus on communication channels and the leadership of the team at the ground level. In order to avoid these challenges, managers need to know the strengths and weaknesses of each member and utilize this information to know how to classify them into teams and who can perform which role in a team.
3. Explain how roles, norms, status, group size, and cohesiveness might affect these teams
If the group is too large or too small, there may be issues of underperformance, lack of unanimity and frequent disagreements. Lack of proper role allocation may lead to roles overlapping and hence arguments or lack of performance by others who are unsure what to do. If the group lacks norms that guide them, then issues of time wastage, misconduct, and mistrust will occur leading to underperformance. When the group lacks cohesiveness, then animosity develops and this leads to only a few group members performing, mistrust develops and eventually the group will break up. Finally, the status of each group member should be known to avoid communication problems or role disambiguity.
4. Explain how each of the characteristics of effective teams would be important for an effective cross-functional team
Open communication will lead to creativity and trust. The other characteristic is clear and fair role definition to avoid role disambiguity and overlap. For any team to perform effectively, leadership and decision making are key characteristics as they will lead to proper management of resources and also accountability not to forget responsibility for the other team members.