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How to create a cross-functional collaboration that works

Cubo writersOct 11, 2022

When cross-functional collaboration is done properly, it produces inspiration, innovation, and organization.

‍Therefore, it should be no surprise that modern companies like Google, Netflix, and Amazon are abandoning the custom of siloed departments in favor of cross-team collaboration.

Cross-functional collaboration occurs when a group of individuals with various areas of expertise works together to accomplish a shared objective. Collaboration across teams from other divisions gives your company a global perspective. 

That explains why many companies are ready to spend money on online collaboration tools in the hopes that they will benefit their projects and processes.

Bringing together individuals with diverse areas of knowledge gives deeper insights and novel opinions. This may also lead to quicker invention and more "out of the box" ideas, offering your company a competitive advantage.

A startup brainstorming meetingThe good news is that contemporary technology is designed to enhance communication, and many apps and tools are available that promote cross-team collaboration. Two of the numerous ways technology has made collaboration simpler and more effective are the ability to manage and interact with huge teams using CUBO and sharing papers with colleagues who work remotely using Google Drive.

But it's never simple to introduce software and hardware to a team. Before your cross-functional teams can be completely effective, other, more interpersonal hurdles like poor communication and inefficiencies must also be removed. Let's look at the importance of cross-team collaboration for distributed teams and the numerous strategies you can use to make the most of it.

How to encourage cross-functional collaboration in your organization

An image of a businessman's quality strategyDecide who has the last say.

Make the decision-making process clear. Everyone must be able to respond to the following simple question truthfully and consistently: Who has final authority? As a leader, you should define who makes the ultimate decisions, streamline the process to reach a consensus, and ensure that these processes are consistently followed every time. Building successful cross-functional teams require taking that crucial step.

Include key figures from both R&D and marketing

An efficient cross-functional team must have leaders from R&D and go-to-market who work hand-in-hand from conception, build, and release to marketing and launch as part of a product's planning, execution, and launch. This will help adoption efforts succeed. As main ownership transitions from one function to another, these team members will support one another, preventing communication lapses.

Find the right combination of skills

Agile, technical, and communication skills must be combined properly for cross-functional teams to interact with the business and proactively ensure that solutions satisfy business objectives. Additionally, a mix of development and quality assurance roles will guarantee that the produced apps keep technical health in mind for long-term sustainability and a great user experience.

Seek a balance of different and complementary views

Building a team requires the correct balance of opposing but complementary viewpoints. Regardless of their seniority or position, one tactic you should employ when choosing team members is to concentrate on bringing in the best subject matter experts—those who complement one another. Managers typically put titles and seniority above abilities and knowledge when choosing team members, which is a poor strategy.

Ensure that each member's goals align with the team's and the organization's

Make sure that each team member's goals align with the objectives of the entire cross-functional group and the organization. You must explain how their assistance will promote the company's objectives and ultimately aid each person in achieving their objectives. Because successful project completion depends on team members having total visibility, this is particularly crucial.

Definition of roles and responsibilities 

A cross-functional team can only succeed if there is a shared vision, value for each member's contribution, and a framework for collaborative decision-making with input from all team members. IT will be able to provide effective solutions by defining roles, responsibilities, common values, and decision criteria and choosing individuals from various backgrounds.

Maintain effective management oversight

Unlike specialized teams, where the same sort of work is split among the members, cross-functional teams generate a large amount of information flow and hence strongly rely on communication and collaboration. You must prioritize the management component to create the most effective new team possible.

Have a uniform, consumer-focused goal

One tactic is giving everyone the same aim, which should be a user goal. In this manner, each team member concentrates on the user and contributes their opinion to the discussion. For instance, the number of front-end dev interviews conducted on the platform in a month would be the team's aim if they wanted to create a new experience for front-end dev interviewing.

Adopt a design-oriented mindset

Successful cross-functional teams are laser-focused on their goals. By using a design-thinking strategy, you may more easily determine what the goal should be and what responsibilities are required to achieve it. Establishing objectives and important results is essential to align everyone on a roadmap, identify the metrics that matter, and monitor progress toward the goal after the right team members are in the right "seats."

Start with a simple project that the group can complete together

The most crucial element in building a solid team is communication. However, given the various expertise of the team members, this can be challenging to create in cross-functional teams. At the beginning of the project, assign the team a simple assignment they may complete together. Early success can create communication ties that will keep the team together even when individuals split off to concentrate on their areas of expertise.

Hold regular blueprint meetings

Conducting weekly blueprint sessions for each function and one session to walk through the entire process is one clever way to create a successful cross-functional team.

Women colleagues gathered inside conference roomBy doing this, you can ensure that the end user's needs are satisfied at every stage and maintain team cohesion.

Ensure teams are open and accountable to each other

Communication transparency, team trust, and accountability are essential. To build trust among groups, teams must be honest about their difficulties, obstacles, and triumphs. Individual teams must hold one another accountable to complete projects on schedule, meet deadlines, and meet deliverables.