Building high-performance teams is not only desirable – it is essential for achieving innovation and speed.

Innovative cross-functional teams in technology companies often depend on individuals with highly technical, specialized skills. They’re on the edge, extending their disciplines where they haven’t been before. Teams like this require upper management support that enables their success. It does not need micromanagement – or its opposite, chaotic management that is no better than neglect.

What innovative product teams need is an appropriate, lightweight approach to project management, where the team and management collaborate to define the project’s parameters at the beginning of the process. These parameters – we call them boundary conditions – often include the budget, a timeline, a set of desired features, or product cost. With clear boundary conditions, defined by quantitative metrics, the team goes forth to invent, with the understanding that it will stay within these parameters.

Our core team model, built around boundary conditions for each project, with minimal senior management interference, create a culture of trust, creativity and innovation. Cross-functional teams, managed effectively, using boundary conditions, are essential for new product development speed and innovation.

 

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ARTICLES & PRESENTATIONS

How to Create Clear Project Roles and Responsibilities (dZone)

Sorting out who does what on a project would appear to be pretty basic. Clear tasks, with clear responsibilities and deadlines, is Project Management 101. But in too many projects, it remains unclear who is responsible for a deliverable until it’s too late. The Circle Dot Chart addresses this issue. It’s a tool for getting clear on what deliverables are due, when, and who is responsible for them. 

Ten Questions to Answer Before Using Social Tools for Product Innovation (Innovation Excellence)

The effectiveness of social media for outbound marketing activities, i.e. getting the news out about new products offerings, and interacting with customers, is well known. But social media is also a tool for inbound marketing – for helping teams to understanding the customer requirements that become inputs for innovative products. 

Customer Collaboration and Product Innovation:
Using Social Networks to Extend the Product Team and Create a Competitive Advantage for Your Business
(Presentation)

Enterprise social media has become a way of life in Marketing, customer support, human resources and now product development. Social media investment in product development is trending up. This presentation shows how to leverage social tools to boost product team innovation.

Learning From the Trenches: Organizational Challenges for Agile Teams (Presentation)

How teams use Agile approaches to improve performance and execute a product strategy. Agile is a way to create high performance teams that focus on creating product and customer excellence above all.

Program Management 2.0: Circle-Dot Charts & Communication (Presentation)

Knowing who does what in a team setting is more hard than it seems. The Circle Dot chart is a tool to help teams get on the same page and stay on it throughout a project.

Boundary Conditions Process

Brief video describes our boundary conditions and out-of-bounds processes as tools for team empowerment. This process allows teams to innovate without undue management interference.