One of the most important ways to ensure the success of a project is to properly design the team that will be completing it. Each team needs to be tailored to the task at hand and should be created with the functionality in mind. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Roger Schwarz states that there are three different types of interdependence that in turn align closely with three different types of coordination:
- Pooled interdependence and standardization
- Sequential interdependence and planning
- Reciprocal interdependence and mutual adjustment
Declaring Your Interdependence
Pooled interdependence is a system that focuses more on the individuals working separately from one another on the project, but with a set of guidelines to follow. The total end work would then be combined together before being turned in as a finished project and would work best for data collection or responding to customers.
Sequential interdependence is different in that it requires moving from one step to the next in order to reach completion. Each step of this kind of interdependence has to be completed before moving on to the next one. Planning works well with this due to it being highly deadline- and schedule-oriented.
The final kind of interdependence is reciprocal interdependence. This relies much more on the team members working together continually throughout the process in order to create a greater adjustment period. Schwarz says the following about how such a process would work:
You begin meeting with these experts to jointly decide what you can deliver that meets the client’s needs, while also being technically and operationally feasible, not to mention profitable. As the client provides feedback on your initial proposal, you and the technical experts meet to modify the proposal. As you are meeting, the client adds new specifications, which leads you to bring in another expert to address that issue. This process continues until you have completed the proposal.
This approach works well with mutual adjustment in that both are oriented towards new information being introduced at any time and with great ease.
You can view the original article here: https://hbr.org/2017/03/is-your-team-coordinating-too-much-or-not-enough