“I just want to be clear on this,” Roger said. “For my project, I initially asked for five hours of accounting support from your department. It turns out I needed ten hours, but you are giving me three hours from Nancy and three hours of data entry. That’s only six hours.”
Javier smiled again. “Yes, Nancy collected all the data about your project, transaction volume, your reporting requirements on the project, integration with our job-cost accounting system. With that information, I am comfortable that we can get your project accounting done in six hours a week, and Nancy will be there to make sure it is on time and accurate. You are getting a service from my department.”
“What if there is a hiccup on the project, something changes. Do I always have to go through you to communicate with Nancy? Seems like a lot of bureaucracy?” Roger challenged.
“No, you don’t have to go through me. My role is to provide you the service. I created a system for the accounting work to be done.
- Nancy codes the transactions
- Data entry enters the transactions into our accounting software
- Nancy reconciles the data entry, proofs and publishes your report
So, the system is in place. Within that system, as the project leader, you have prescribing authority to directly assign tasks to both Nancy and data entry. You are right. There will be a hiccup, you can make adjustments directly. If you call a meeting with the two of them, they are obligated to attend the meeting and participate with their best efforts. As long as the system works for you, I don’t have to be involved.”
“So, what if your system breaks down? Who do I talk to, then?” Roger was still a bit defensive, not sure he trusted the system.
“Actually, I will know before you will. Nancy is acting as my monitor. If something changes, she will let me know and I will examine the system in case we need to make more adjustments.”
Cross-functional working relationships
- Service giving-Service getting – a project or department receives a service from another function or department
- Prescribing authority – directly makes task assignments within the system
- Monitor authority – monitors a defined system and reports anomalies to manager