Cross Functional Relationships – Collateral

Collateral Cross-functional relationships occur when team members, with the same manager, are working on the same project, or the same operation. Each team member has their own goals and resources, but may stumble onto problems or decisions where they need the cooperation of the other to solve. Neither team member can direct the other to take any action, but they are required to listen each other, to solve problems and make decisions.

“Denise, Allen, I called the two of you in, today, to talk about the operational workflow in the department. Our biggest customer has just placed a standing order that will eat 30 percent of our production capacity.

“Denise, you are in charge of production, to meet that schedule. Because of this high demand, some of our smaller orders might get bumped, so there may be some difficulty setting priorities.

“Allen, you are our lead salesperson, and those smaller orders that might get bumped, are yours. I need the two of you to cooperate where there are conflicting priorities.

“Denise, I need you to post the production schedule on a rolling seven day plan. Post that schedule in the sales room so Allen and the rest of the sales team can see it. Allen, I need you to check that schedule every morning, looking forward seven days to make sure your best customers are being taken care of. You know what’s important. If it looks like a problem, talk to Denise and explain your circumstance. Make the decision the way I would make it.

“Denise, we can’t let down our biggest customer, but Allen’s customers pay their bills, too. You have the authority to schedule up to 20 hours of overtime per week to make sure all the production is getting done. If you feel you need more resources, see me.

“Allen, you can be as persuasive as you need to be, but you understand the priorities as well as Denise. Use your best judgment. In the end, if you cannot resolve a problem or make a decision, find me, but only after the two of you have had a significant conversation.”
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