By Darya Danikovich
Multifunctional people are so rare that it is really hard to find an employee who is able to simultaneously accomplish different tasks for the sake of one organizational goal. But what to do if you already have an upcoming project and a certain goal is to be achieved at all costs? That is where a cross-functional team saves the day.
Any company is like a beehive where everyone has his/her own duties and responsibilities and contributes to company success. A cross-functional team is formed out of professionals with particular expertise and skills who work together to achieve a stated goal. The players of such a team come from various areas, departments or even geographical locations. Though there is no explicit build-in hierarchy, each team member provides a unique input to the project. Let’s find out why it’s necessary to launch a cross-functional team and how all its members can take advantage of working together.
Top 5 reasons to have a cross-functional team
Being comprised of employees from all the levels of an organization, a cross-functional team, turns into a powerful unit that is able to move mountains. As practice shows, such teams rack up many benefits both for the company in general and every team member in particular. Here are the most convincing reasons why a cross-functional team, if well-managed, is beneficial both for its members and for the company.
- Access to the pool of professionals. It’s a team that can make or break a project. A cross-functional approach allows choosing the best specialists that will productively collaborate with each other.
- Synergy creation. Members of a cross-functional team come with diverse knowledge, experience and skills that help to build synergy. Their efforts, channeled into one direction, have a significant effect on the results of their work.
- Faster results. Constant knowledge sharing provides the opportunity to leverage expertise and resources. That is why members of cross-functional teams don’t make common mistakes, deal with all the problems faster and deliver outcomes in shorter terms.
- Multilateral decision-making. A cross-functional approach facilitates thorough consideration and allows making smart and informed decisions based on professional views of all the team members.
- Effective communication. Clear and concise communication is the core principle of fruitful work. A cross-functional approach means continuous data sharing, discussing how well the project is moving forward as well as resolving conflicts easily, which is of great benefit to the entire workflow.
The team players closely work together on the same project whereas everyone makes individual unique contribution. As a result, the team covers all the tasks within scope of work. For instance, custom software development of an app for the transportation company might involve a customer representative, a project coordinator, a business analyst, a designer, mobile developers and testers. What is more, the team can be reassembled as per requirements by attracting necessary skills from other departments or service providers on temporal basis.
The game development project can also serve as a good sample of how cross-functional teams can be applied. Programmers, designers, audio engineers, writers, production staff and a huge number of other people work together to create qualitative and commercially viable projects.
Being a member of a cross-functional team is a great opportunity for employees, which allows them to establish a good rapport with colleagues from other departments, learn from them and gain an insight into what other staff do. Another great advantage is increased transparency within the company and the opportunity to show everyone what you are capable of.