ENBIS-16 in Sheffield

11 – 15 September 2016; Sheffield Abstract submission: 20 March – 4 July 2016

Communication Challenges in Cross-Functional Research Teams: Misunderstanding and Talking at Cross Purposes

13 September 2016, 09:00 – 09:20


Submitted by
Olivia Bluder
Olivia Bluder (KAI GmbH)
Often R&D challenges in industry can only be solved by the collaboration of a variety of experts from different fields. Consider for example that company X develops a new semiconductor device to switch on and off the light in the car. To simplify the procedure, let’s say that the necessary steps to achieve this goal are e.g. define the requirements, create a new design, select the materials and build the device. This procedure is not straight forward and often the initial design needs some iteration loops of re-designs until the device fulfills the requirements. This means that experts from electrical engineering, material science, chemistry, physics, simulation and of course statistics have to talk to each other to create a reliable product. Although all experts are technicians, the communication in such cross-functional teams can be challenging. Many disciplines use similar terms, they may have the same meaning on a high level, but for the individual disciplines they are associated with totally different methods.
In this session examples on typical misunderstandings in cross-functional teams due to the usage of same terms with different meaning will be discussed. After this talk, strategies to avoid talking at cross purposes with team members from other disciplines will be developed in roleplays.

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