A cross-functional team is a collection of people from different backgrounds that work together to accomplish a single goal. Typically, it involves employees from all organizational levels. Members from several departments or areas of competence collaborate in cross-functional teams. Members of a cross-functional team may be of varying levels of seniority. It may also be able to make crucial decisions by itself. For example, a project team plans to the CEO instead of going through the usual approval process. While cross-functional teams are currently all the rage, they are nothing new.
Cross-functional teams comprise workers from many departments inside a firm, such as marketing, sales, product, and customer success. These can be functional groups where each member is a member of their functional and cross-functional teams or comprises its core structure.
Here are a few cross-functional team examples:
Promotions & Sales
A team from the marketing and sales departments is frequently organized for products, locations, or any other aspect. These are intended to decrease non-cooperation and boost marketing campaign efficacy. Lead generation, customer support, promotion, pricing, and closing are a few of these teams’ operations.
Technology and Business Units
To integrate IT capabilities across business units, this organization was created. The goal here is to have the same team define, implement, and manage needs to be less likely to drag things down in the IT department.
The Project Team
This is a group of people who are brought together to work on a specific project for the project’s duration. The objective is to avoid the overhead and unfavorable politics that may arise from significant departments of a company.
The Goal of the Cross-Functional Team
Cross-functional teams are a common strategy businesses use to increase efficiency and improve quality. Consequently, these teams are expected to perform at the highest level.
So, the idea is to get all the people who have a stake in a project together to work more efficiently and effectively as a team. There is no need to waste time passing a project between departments as there are typical team structures, and all the workers are working toward the same goal simultaneously.
Because cross-functional teams do not require the same amount of rework as traditional team or project management setups, they eliminate the requirement for rework and revisions in a more conventional section or project management structure.
How Should Cross-Functional Teams Be Staffed?
Design, development, and implementation experts, managers, salespeople, and owners of the final product should all be represented on a cross-functional team.
- The team’s purpose is to break through departmental boundaries, but each team member brings his or her unique professional and departmental talents to the table. The ability to communicate and operate well with others on the team is just as important as the knowledge and expertise that team members bring to the table.
- Project managers may encounter difficulties while attempting to assemble team members. As a result, it can be hard to strike a good balance between the team’s soft talents and hard talents so that no one ends up on the team with too many people with the same skill sets while simultaneously overlooking other potential team members who could help the team achieve its objectives.
As we see it, cross-functional teamwork occurs when people from different areas of operations get together to solve problems or execute process changes. Many of the most challenging organizational issues arise when work is transferred from one workgroup to another. Therefore, cross-functional teamwork is an excellent continuous improvement strategy.