Understand how your teams operate

The movement to a team-based culture has been popular with industry for the past two decades. Organizations spend millions of dollars each year hiring consultants to guide their organization’s change, hoping to produce, on a repeating scale, the nimbleness of small teams.
But different organizational charting, reorganization, and even coaching, doesn’t necessarily gain the profit generation or collaborative output desired by many in mid to senior level management. Opportunities are not realized, tighter coupling between teams within and outside of business units still doesn’t appear to come to fruition and innovation isn’t necessarily sparked – indeed, frequently the opposite effect is seen.
Network analysis provides context-driven data on the communication and collaboration landscape that an organization’s teams are facing. Quite often, in larger organizations – especially those with regionally or globally dispersed teams – understanding which team owns which priority, who they have to coordinate with on certain decisions and, further, who people can reach out to for questions or help, are several of the most routine ways that organizational structure can impede execution.
Let’s take the below graphic. This graphic is actually representative of what we frequently see in Fortune 500 technology companies – the disconnect between several key business units who are charged with bringing new hardware/software technology to market.
For instance – the above graphic illustrates:
· Nick B. from Product Management is the go to influencer for the organization – has strong linkages within his own team as well as spanning boundaries outside his team to other teams.
· That said, there is a potential for future knowledge loss – the majority of the links are held by Nick. He is the go to person, but could be suffering from overcollaboration requirements. People likely keep adding to his plate because he is so highly connected. We frequently see these type of employees burning out and leaving companies because they are just constantly overwhelmed. Based on the network analysis of the Product team as a whole – there is ample opportunity to level set the connection and develop additional personnel.
· Finally, there is concern around the lack of connections between sales and engineering. In general, engineers need to be able to understand the needs or concerns of current and potential future customers in order to create and/or iterate on products.
Network analysis arms leadership with the data they need to focus on a team process, behavior and culture from an objective standpoint, saving critical time versus going through several iterations of increasingly more disruptive reorganizations and decision space exercises. Team-focused network analysis provides a true understanding of how teams are communicating, which teams are bearing the collaboration weight, and where there are opportunities to highlight and spread expertise to the rest of the organization.