Рус | Eng
07 Feb 2020

Why we need to learn to manage cross-functional teams: example <5G_Dream_Lab>

Every day we meet more and more discoveries and inventions that were made by teams of professionals from various industries. New breakthroughs are made by those who are not afraid to combine various models of research to solve a specific problem. 


A striking example of this approach is the utilization of broadcast technologies for surgical operations — the transmission of data from various medical devices of high quality over long distances and at tremendous speeds. Both doctors and IT specialists were quick to adapt such technologies. This is an example of an interdisciplinary approach.


The work of the joint GSOM Megafon laboratory <5G_Dream_Lab> of the GSOM SPbU and MegaFon is based on the principles of interdisciplinary approach. Rostislav Speransky, Head of the laboratory, at the Social Studies-Humanitarian Winter School of SPbU, spoke about how the processes in the laboratory are organized and what results have already been achieved.


To understand the depth of the interdisciplinary approach in education and its relevance, it is necessary to understand what has preceded this approach and what situation is being dealt withat the moment. The education system is not a separate unit, but a mechanism influenced by many factors. Every year, the tendency to strengthen the role of business in education, which began to dictate its own rules, setting certain trends and challenging the education system, is increasingly being followed. Experimental, technological, market, and strategic approaches did not allow the solution of all these problems. For a full-fledged interaction, the transformation of education itself is necessary: the transition from the increasing transfer of knowledge to the formation of behavioral patterns and the strengthening of the role of employers in the educational process must take place.


“The creation of the project <5G_Dream_Lab> together with MegaFon has allowed GSOM SPbU to become a platform for integrating mathematicians, programmers and managers into a single joint process. We have created a field for students and given them the opportunity to solve open problems in order to understand how to integrate university education into work within the company using this example,” said Rostislav Speransky. Such an approach will help MegaFon to get developers and integrators working in the field of 5G technology.


The laboratory has turned out to be a popular project, the number of applications exceeded expectations twice. “In October last year, 412 participants went through an online selection and began working in the laboratory. About 60 students completed the educational unit and created about 10 teams. Until May 2020, these teams will work on creating products and services based on 5G technology in order to present the project to the customer in June. The best alumni of the program will receive the opportunity to have internships and find jobs in MegaFon and partner companies,” said Rostislav Speransky, Head of the <5G_Dream_Lab> laboratory.


Rostislav Speransky also noted that the experience of creating project teams in the laboratory showed that students have not yet fully learned to work in cross-functional teams, so further work in this area is very important.


The digital laboratory was launched in September 2019 based at the Mikhailovskaya Dacha campus and was named the <5G_Dream_Lab>. It is equipped with a 5G test zone and has become the site for the development of new services based on fifth-generation network technology. The agreement to launch the laboratory was signed at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum at the beginning of June 2019.