Example of a Goal Processing Pattern
The goal processing pattern of our example team impresses with a clear problem orientation of the team members towards their respective part tasks. Each department leader is strictly directed towards the quality of his part product. All are experienced ‘full-blooded’ engineers and have the highest technical ambitions. They regard ‘non-engineering’ interests as rather disturbing, cumbersome factors which limit the product quality, and which, if possible, are to be minimised. In the view of the team members, this task belongs to their boss, the area manager, and they judge him by this, too.
The team, as a social system, is fixated on part solutions and, thus, neglects the shared goal of developing an implementable concept for the entire vehicle. This goal could (from a technical viewpoint) only be achieved by means of painful compromises in some individual components. These deadly sins, from the engineers’ viewpoint, are avoided, because it is illusory to hold onto the idea that a maximum in quality would be achievable, within budget and realisable within the time available, on the level of the entire vehicle.
The team also gets into sustained conflict with the relevant environments through its goal processing pattern. The stakeholders within the environment don’t really see a contact person for their ‘interests’ in this team. Because of this, they unburden their concerns, complaints and criticisms to the area manager or to the board. This leads to it that the manager is unilaterally exposed to this pressure and the department leaders can, therefore, work undisturbed on their part problems. The perception of other interests is pushed into the background within the team. Decisions are judged by whether they assist the undisturbed work on the part problem or whether they make it more difficult.
The team can be viewed as a very impressive example of a goal processing pattern, which has settled on the problem processing pole and has much fear of the consequences, which interest processing would bring with it.