HQ, HQ, they have a problem (or TPS: together-problem-solving)

It is stated before. The idea that as a company organizes into functions, it is likely to engender a kind of cultural warfare.

Recently I was involved in the post-implementation phase of a backoffice system. And of course we had some implementation issues (which were minor regarding to earlier implementations of SAP or similar packages in other industries).

Anyway, when top management felt itself besieged by too many people trying to come up the elevators with all their problems, is was decided to build a temporary bridge linking the various areas. This is a task force.

Often a great idea in theory, but in practice it often brings covert conflict into the open. It was stated elsewhere: honestly you can put Muslims, Christians and atheists into a room and have a better chance of productive dialog than if you bring togeter representatives of various company functions. As always, the last thing you want to do is surrender any functional autonoy.

But it worked for some reason. And looking back, what we did was not a task-force. There was cross-functional teamwork at its heart. There were no artificial barriers that separated one area or one department form. Instead, problems were shared by the entire organization and everyone worked together to find solutions. All hands were on deck and frankly speaking it was quite a new experience for me.

What is your experience with taskforces: do they have a problem or do we solve jointly the problems?

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