Scenario

  • Demonstrate effective management skills and practices in diverse, distributed, and collaborative work environments

Scenario

You work as a manager of marketing and sales for Java Been, a small coffee shop with big ambitions. Java Been is a popular local coffee shop that is looking to expand into another geographic location, and it would also like to expand its online presence within the next year. About a year ago, Java Been opened a small online shop on its website, selling its specialty coffee beans as well as merchandise such as coffee mugs and T-shirts. As part of its strategic growth initiative, it would like to create a strong set of management principles in the current and growing set of managers that will allow Java Been to confidently take the next big leap into the online atmosphere. The company has a culturally and generationally diverse remote team of about 10 people currently managing web design, communications, and marketing. Knowing that it will likely need to expand this team when it expands online operations, Java Been specifically needs to develop a strategy for management to support remote teams. Additionally, Java Been is planning a grand opening of a second location.

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In preparation for the new opening location and expanding online presence, your manager, Linda, has asked that you create a management best practices job aid for managers that outlines management strategies and best practices to ensure consistency among management practices, and to train potential new managers effectively. Linda would like the job aid to include the following as each relates to managing diverse and distributed teams:

  • Management roles and functions
  • Decision-making strategies and tools
  • Team development and effectiveness strategies

 

Java Been

  1. Company History: Founded just under three years ago, Java Been is now a bustling café. With its high ceilings and “found space” appeal, the café has come to host exhibitions, meetings, and local bands. It has become an integral part of the arts revival community that has taken root in the old factory mill buildings along the river. Java Been also prides itself on using local, organic ingredients in its freshly baked goods, which are made from scratch daily.

    The management philosophy is aligned with the café’s creative and relaxed atmosphere. Managers are of course encouraged to support employees in providing quality service and products. Part of their role is also to embrace the creative, artsy vibe, encouraging employees to create new menu items and to add their own personal flair—for example, when writing the daily specials on the board. Consider how managers should define their role while allowing employees to maintain some sense of autonomy.

  1. Vision: The owners take pride in their community, striving to provide a creative space with gourmet coffee, tantalizing baked goods, and music to inspire the artist’s soul.
  1. Primary Customer Demographic: Throughout the day, self-employed and remote workers enjoy a focused space away from home to get in a few productive hours. At night, the space comes alive with artists, student study groups, and everyday people just looking to enjoy a cultured night on the town.
  1. Current Employees: Java Been currently has ten baristas, one events coordinator, one chef, two managers, and one general manager. All have been with the company for at least two years. The new location is scoped to have a similar setup.

Directions

To get started on your training, you need to take some time and review the company’s background information. Once you have a better understanding of the culture of the organization, you can begin creating the job aid Linda has requested. Remember, she has asked you to address management roles and functions, decision-making strategies, and team development and effectiveness strategies.

  • Management Practices: Linda has asked that you begin with information about the manager’s role and function within Java Been in order to ensure that managers are on the same page about expectations. This section should focus on best practices and approaches managers might use.
    • It is important for managers to know and understand their place in the organization. Begin by defining the role of the manager in supporting organizational goals and initiatives. Highlight how management can specifically influence and support Java Been’s growth initiatives.
    • A manager’s communication strategy works best when everyone is on board and excited about the company’s direction and goals. Suggest specific best practices to frame communication with employees in support of the organization’s goals and initiatives. Consider specifically the importance of emotional intelligence for building professional relationships, avoiding common miscommunication issues, and communicating effectively in the workplace.
    • Discuss communication strategies for reducing common barriers to collaboration in diverse teams. Be sure to include modes of communication that the team should use to support an inclusive and collaborative environment.
  • Decision Making: Next, Linda has asked that you provide some examples of tools that managers might use to make important decisions. In this section, discuss the application of decision-making tools for informing management approaches.
    • Describe specific decision-making tools that support management in making impactful decisions and presenting rationale to stakeholders. Choose and describe in your job aid one or two additional tools that would help support informed decision-making approaches.
  • Team Development and Effectiveness: Linda wants to make sure her managers understand common issues, and she wants to provide them with a tool set of team development models to inform their approaches. Specifically, be sure to include best practices for supporting diverse and remote teams as well.
    • Discuss commonly encountered team development issues in working with new and emerging teams. Consider your knowledge of team development models and frameworks in your response, highlighting common issues that teams encounter in their forming and norming processes, including normal issues that teams (especially newly formed teams) might encounter.
    • Discuss how team development models inform management approaches in the initiation of the team and throughout projects.
    • Explain the strengths and weakness of diverse teams for attaining organizational goals. Be sure to discuss what advantages diverse teams can bring as well as common barriers that diverse teams face. The intent of this explanation is to inform managers about what to expect.

What to Submit

Every project has a deliverable or deliverables, which are the files that must be submitted before your project can be assessed. For this project, you must submit the following:

Management Best Practices Job Aid
Submit a management best practices job aid that outlines best practices to help align company values with effective management skills and practices. This document should be 2 to 5 pages in length.

 

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