What Is Cross-team Collaboration?

UC Today Team

A collection of diverse groups that operate effectively toward a single objective

UC Today Insights
What Is Cross-team Collaboration?

Collaboration is an essential practice that helps companies achieve their goals, take advantage of collective knowledge and cognitive diversity, and improve workplace relationships.

Collaboration is more important than ever before – helping hybrid teams stay on the same page and alleviating isolation and burnout for remote employees. According to Stanford research, individuals who were prepared to behave cooperatively persisted with their tasks up to 64 percent longer than their counterparts, reported more engagement and experienced less overall weariness. A vital form of collaboration that enhances all of these benefits is cross-team collaboration, sometimes also known as cross-functional collaboration.

What Is Cross-team Collaboration? Definition

Cross-team collaboration, also known as cross-functional team cooperation, refers to a collection of diverse groups, such as designers, developers, marketers, service executives, and salespeople, that operate effectively toward a single objective.

This target might be to finish a one-time project (like redesigning a website) or a longer-term, time-sensitive commercial objective (like encouraging the growth of outbound leads).

Collaboration across groups increases corporate performance by allowing businesses to experience the advantages of scale, discover new ideas, and increase employee engagement. Over time, personnel working to eliminate silos are better equipped to support creativity and inclusivity.

Benefits of Cross-team Collaboration

By enabling cross-team collaboration in an organization, it is possible to:

Break down silos

A cross-functional team’s greatest asset is its capacity to question the status quo. Staff members working in the same department or trained to solve issues in the same manner as their superiors often adhere to existing procedures. This indicates they are prone to committing the same errors and missing chances to work more effectively.

Encourage frontline worker participation

Deskless employees are often cut off from their office-based coworkers. During a crucial phase, cross-team engagement with frontline employees helps promote team cohesion and reinforce values. It also allows deskless employees to provide ideas on new procedures. Two-way communication will enable organizations to make more informed choices and respond swiftly to emerging scenarios.

Discover insights faster

Cross-team cooperation is an excellent way of producing innovative ideas. When a project manager assembles subject-matter specialists with distinct skill sets, fresh views emerge. This style of cooperation will provide new perspectives to the team, allowing them to generate innovative ideas and improve growth. With every team member contributing their knowledge, ideas, and expertise, projects will advance and flourish, offering solutions more rapidly.

Benefit from diversity

Interestingly, due to its diverse composition, a team is aware of the capabilities of other teams. When a technical team meets a non-technical team, they appreciate individual work ethics and imbibe each other’s expertise. They begin to share collective goals and develop a deeper understanding of capabilities and targets. This style of comprehension eliminates preconceived stereotypes. Additionally, a varied mix of individuals of various ages, backgrounds, and perspectives might lead to breakthrough solutions.

Foster shared responsibility

Breaking down departmental boundaries and promoting cross-team communication infuses your company with a feeling of shared responsibility. Individuals working on a project are no longer solely accountable for accomplishing their assigned duties. Each group member will now take accountability for the final result of the task. Developing a common sense of responsibility helps coworkers create a shared vision for the organization’s future.

Challenges and Pitfalls

As you transition from a more conventional way of operation to genuine cross-team capabilities, you may encounter the following obstacles:

  • A trust deficit – Different workers, will be hesitant to trust individuals with whom they have never collaborated. A lack of trust amongst co-workers might result in the hoarding of information. Concerned that their coworkers would “steal” their knowledge and get all the praise for a job well done, the team members retain their expertise to themselves.
  • Logistical barriers – Additionally, remote cross-team communication presents a variety of logistical difficulties. For instance, a geographically dispersed remote workforce may have members working in several time zones, making it impossible for everyone to interact in real-time. Or, certain team members may work different hours than the rest of the team.
  • Lack of commitment – The majority of cross-functional members of the team will have departmental duties. They must discover methods to reconcile the new assignment’s demands with their daily responsibilities. If the new team lacks confidence in the degree of commitment of other members, enthusiasm and productivity may suffer.
  • Conflict aversion – When coworkers are unfamiliar with one another, there are two possible outcomes. Fear of confrontation might inhibit team members from discussing ideas to maintain an artificial feeling of peace, leading to groupthink. Alternatively, coworkers may argue with each other due to simple/basic misunderstandings.

Preparing for Successful Cross-team Collaboration

When preparing for a project that requires cross-team collaboration, the following tips can help:

1. Successful cross-team cooperation begins with the selection of competent teammates who know how to work with others and cooperate. The emphasis should also be placed on the shared talents that each team member must have to create a well-oiled machine that can function with minimal disturbances.

2. Cross-functional teams need a leadership that can delegate, train, and empower each team member while constantly monitoring the project’s development. The absence of a leader to make the ultimate decision might lead to future challenges of greater magnitude.

3. Before beginning work, cross-functional teams need to review the project’s objectives and ensure that they match those of the organization and its various divisions.

4. Outline the typical amount of time commitment required from other team members. Once employees have explicit knowledge of what has to be accomplished and its possible timeline, it will be simpler to get their support.

To make this simpler for workers, companies should provide them with the necessary collaboration tools to facilitate communication and close cooperation. Once all departments can work and communicate using the same platform, it facilitates robust cross-team collaboration.



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