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5 Ways To Develop Cross-Functional Teams


cross functional team members

If your teams are working in silos, where information isn’t correctly shared between departments or divisions, it can lead to low shareholder motivation, reduced confidence in leadership, and poor synergy across an entire business or organisation. When this becomes harmful to productivity and profit, it’s time to consider a different way of working.

By developing your teams to be cross-functional, they’ll each bring their own unique skills-sets forward and work towards a common project completion or goal. By improving communication and coordination, you’ll see an increase in innovation as ideas are shared between employees who are engaged and encouraged to collaborate creatively.

So what’s the secret to developing effective cross-functional teams? While there’s no single magic formula, and transformation may seem daunting at first, developing a cross-functional approach to working can be hugely rewarding, providing you have the right tools at your disposal to do so.

That’s where Kahootz collaboration software comes in. Here are 5 ways to develop cross-functional teams, and how, when you’re in Kahootz, you’ll have the powerful tools for effective implementation at your fingertips.

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1. Set up specific and well-defined goals
2. Share securely and communicate clearly
3. Encourage co-creation
4. Build trust and strengthen confidence
5. Review, re-evaluate and readjust

 

1. Set up specific and well-defined goals

Since most cross-functional teams may come from areas of your organisation that have different agendas, backgrounds, and schedules, it comes as no surprise that a 2015 article from the Harvard Business Review found that almost 75% of cross-functional teams are, in fact, dysfunctional. Even a well-established cross-functional team can run into blind alleys and dead ends if they don’t have clearly defined and attainable goals in place.

Pre-determining a plan of what your teams are trying to come together to achieve and breaking this down into clear and measurable tasks will go a long way to ensuring success. When your stakeholders understand their role in an overall project, they can work confidently, creatively, collaboratively, and with significant autonomy and empowerment. In this matter, QSR restaurant needs careful planning and task breakdown to streamline kitchen operations, ensure timely food preparation, and maintain the quality and speed of service for customers.

Kahootz’s task management tools let you create, assign, and manage these clearly defined tasks from one centralised digital location. Since Kahootz’s cloud-based workspaces ensure everyone can see who is working on what, there’s no more wasted time and resources from completing the same tasks twice.  

Kahootz even lets you set up notifications to chase up on missed or approaching deadlines. These then get added to your stakeholder’s personalised task lists, so they’ll know exactly what needs to be completed and when.

 

2. Share securely and communicate clearly

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, cross-functional teams were often spread out across multiple geographies and time zones. Now that even more stakeholders work remotely, it’s vital to have an open and transparent avenue of communication that allows for documents and ideas to be shared securely.

With traditional office communication methods such as email, it’s easy for attachments to get lost in long unread inboxes or for somebody to misunderstand or miss an essential part of a conversation chain altogether when ignored. Old files may be worked on under the presumption that it is the latest and most up-to-date version, wasting time and resources. If the email is part of your internal communication, you need to maintain a high level of email security by using an SPF record check and taking other necessary steps.

Kahootz document management software provides that centralised location where your stakeholders can share, discuss, and collaborate. Uncontrolled email attachments are a thing of the past, and individual stakeholders or whole teams can simultaneously author documents in real-time, according to your determined permission levels. Full Microsoft Office 365 integration means co-authoring co-editing is centrally organised and version-controlled, so everybody knows where a project is up to.

 

3. Encourage co-creation

If your business or organisation is running out of ideas, or out-of-the-box thinking is near non-existent, it’s vital to stimulate your stakeholders so that they can innovate and co-create.

A popular Havard Business Review article from 2000 spoke about the importance of co-creation: the engagement and interaction between stakeholders, consumers, and prospective clients. When implemented correctly, it can lead to new perspectives, better processes, and original ideas.

Kahootz facilitates co-creation through secure online workspaces, with everything you and your stakeholders need in one secure and central location. Kahootz’s secure collaboration platform brings content, tasks, and communications together to transform your stakeholders’ working experience. By removing the restrictions of a physical workspace, your business or organisation can discover fresh and agile ways of working. 

 

4. Build trust and strengthen confidence

A cross-functional team can only function effectively when there’s well-earned trust between you, your stakeholders, and anybody else involved in a project. To do this, you should get to know your teams, carefully listening to their ideas and encouraging feedback. However, when a team is working in silos, this can be especially difficult. 

 Kahootz’s online survey software lets you quickly procure the feedback and information that you need. It’s easy to set up a survey with various types of questions, including open-ended, multiple-choice, and scored options. Implementing informed business decisions from this feedback lets your stakeholders know that they have a voice that is valued by your organisation and that they can play a productive role in determining where a project will head next.

 

5. Review, re-evaluate, and readjust

Effective cross-functional teams are flexible, agile, and adaptable. They can quickly respond to consumer needs and demands to deliver innovative solutions to the market. To remain as effective as possible, you and your stakeholders must be able to measure your progress, success, and failures, from the first day of a project to the last.  

Kahootz allows you to closely collaborate, inform, and consult with your key stakeholders, so they know exactly what stage a current project has reached. Virtual meeting rooms allow instant access to tasks, your most important documents, and conversations, with conversation histories so nobody misses out on any changes to a project.  

 

Conclusion 

By developing cross-functional teams, you’re encouraging your stakeholders to collaborate, communicate, and cooperate to deliver project goals in new and engaging ways. You’ll build team spirit and foster trust so that everybody feels valued, so morale and creativity remains high. Kahootz can give you the tools you need to do this and more through secure cloud collaboration software. 

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