The paper "Managing a Global Team - Sun Microsystems, Inc" is an outstanding example of a management assignment. Sun Microsystems, Inc. has taken the development and increase of software in global operation and distributed teams as its important resource to date. Geographically, it has spread its operations to India, United States, France and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There is an established global team with 45- members dealing with customer implementation issue. Greg James, the Global Manager of Sun has successfully managed the global team for more than a decade. Given the team to manage, he has been looking for clear directions for effective management of his teams. His global teams have increased their closeness to the customers across the globe, enhanced their access to a large pool of talent and ensured provision of services at any hour of the day.
The “ Rule of 11” is an important aspect in the Sun supervision strategy where a manager has a balanced supervision role of eleven subordinates, who report to him accordingly. Despite the potential benefits from Sun global teams, there are major challenges the cross-functional team often face more so in problems that require immediate solutions.
A continuous dialogue, consultation, delegation and search for alternatives have been and are still being exercised to ensure performance, reliability, maintainability and cost-effectiveness of their services and products. How well has James managed his global team? Managing a global team is a complex process, and currently more complex due to dynamically changing environments and tasks1. However, Greg James has achieved quite a success in his role as Global Manager on Sun. Team effectiveness, in the Sun, has resulted from its multiple perspectives and heterogeneity in tasks, circumstances and functional outcomes.
Multiple shared realities have therefore dominated across Sun operation. Zhang observes that delegating authority is an important aspect for the development and effectiveness2. James has considered how and when to delegate responsibility and authority to the teams. Delegation implies empowerment and therefore responsibility on certain activities and niche of control. There is a well-defined structure for working and implementing the specific activity. With his positional power, he has directed, managed and supervised the Sun most important resource; the global team.
The experienced competent subordinates have been delegated and held responsible to handle their work independently for the same objectives. Independent decisions from the subordinates have promoted efficiency, products development and support. He has inspired and influenced the teams to achieve the Sun vision of dynamism and efficiency. Also, through delegation and consultation with the subordinates, their skills and confidence have developed. 3 Most projects for the global team in Sun requires short-term solutions. Such tasks need to be completed quickly to avoid any productivity loss. In such a situation, James has reacted to delegate to people who can master the delegated tasks.
For instance, Rahul Ashok, Nick Elliott and Robert Chan had been in a mission to Santa Clara to trace the source of HS Holdings breakdown. 1. Young, Mary Ann Von Glinow. Managing multinational teams: global perspectives. (Amsterdam Oxford: Elsevier JAI, 2005). 2. Suling Zhang Suling Zhang, et al, “ Delegation in Global Software Teams: Leading or Managing? ” 2009 Fourth IEEE International Conference on Global Software Engineering, 2009.
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