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Articles Cross-Functional Collaboration: Unlock Success in Project Management

Cross-Functional Collaboration: Unlock Success in Project Management

Project Management Communication and Collaboration
Vlad Kovalskiy
9 min
4899
Updated: March 11, 2024
Vlad Kovalskiy
Updated: March 11, 2024
Cross-Functional Collaboration: Unlock Success in Project Management

It takes tenacity, focus, and plain old hard work to manage a team and spearhead a project. You always want to put your best foot forward and produce the most impressive results to help promote your company, make sure clients are satisfied, and institute faith and reliance on your brand. However, picking out specialists from other teams to create your own super team and guiding them toward fruitful cross-functional collaboration adds a new layer of pressure on your shoulders.

There are things you can do to make it work and unlock success in project management. We are going to go through some of them in this article, and you can test out which ones do the trick for you. These are intentional action steps for you to take, focusing heavily on the fact that your super team is composed of people who are considered to be masters in their own respective fields. This means your approach needs to be mindful and purposeful. If you’re unsure as to how to proceed, read on. We’re here to help so your foray into cross-functional collaboration ends with a resounding victory!

Achieve successful cross-functional collaboration

Heading a project, acting as the manager, and leading a team can be tough work enough without the added pressure of having to put together cross-functional teams. It’s only to be expected that you want a specialized team working with you if you want to be assured of project success while also elevating your company’s reputation and brand. 

If you’re at a loss and unsure where or how to assemble your cross-functional team, keep reading. We’re bringing you some ideas, tips, and strategies not only for how to bring people from multiple other teams and disciplines into one workgroup. We’ll also help you achieve effective team collaboration through working on shared goals and constructive project management. 

1. Nurture and inspire cross-functional team collaboration

When you’re building a cross-functional team, you need to pay careful attention to the fact that you’re working with the best of the best, so to speak. They may be raring to go, ready to hit the ground running, but you also need to remember that you will have to deal with egos along with knowledge, skill, and competencies. There needs to be a delicate balance to avoid tension and strained work relations. 

Once you have your team assembled, make time to get to know each other and have a few laughs and some fun as a team before the real work begins. Giving everyone a chance to have a feel for one another will put them all at ease, making teamwork more possible and the work itself an enjoyable challenge to take on. 

You can also schedule team-building activities once the project is underway and use these times to combat stress and release the pressures of the workplace. During your team meetings, set aside some time for pizza or other finger food that you can enjoy while discussing more serious matters. Treat them to coffee or dinner. Giving your cross-functional teams time to unwind and relax while also working towards shared goals together cements the group, and bonds each worker to another, making for a stronger team that can accomplish anything they set out to. 

2. Create a collaboration plan for your cross-functional team

Everything good starts with a well-thought-out plan. You need to know where everything goes, what’s expected of each person, and who’s responsible for what, among other things. A plan sets your team up for project success because you have a blueprint for what it looks like and how you can achieve it. If you want guaranteed triumph and a fruitful cross-functional collaboration, start by building a collaboration plan. This is important because it:

  • Assigns roles and responsibilities based on team member specialties 

  • Sets deadlines in accordance with the project lifespan

  • Delegates tasks based on each member’s strengths and weaknesses

  • Manage risks and outline possible solutions

  • Installs modes of communication

Once your plan is complete, checked, and vetted, call a meeting to show it to everyone on the team. Check for understanding before getting their buy-in. Afterward, store the plan in a cloud, a central storage that can be easily accessed by everyone involved in the project. The plan should be referred to from time to time while the project is in progress. 

Having a sound collaboration plan in place to serve as a North Star for your cross-functional teams warrants not only a win for your collective efforts but also overall project success. 

3. Communicate clearly and effectively with your team

Work will flow smoothly so long as you communicate with your team clearly and effectively. This includes finding out which communication styles work for the members of your cross-functional teams and using them to your advantage. Some people might prefer email exchanges, while others might like instant messaging better. Tap into your resource of tools to always keep the channels of communication open. 

These communication techniques, modes, and schedules should be laid out in your collaboration plan, ensuring that everyone in the team is aware and open to continuous dialogue while the project is underway. Check that everyone is clear about when and how they are expected to communicate. This should be your top priority; otherwise, the work will suffer. 

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4. Delegate tasks evenly and fairly

The main purpose for putting together cross-functional teams for certain projects is to make good use of every person’s expertise, particular set of skills, and specialized knowledge. This dictates how tasks are distributed and assigned. It’s important that everyone contributes to the overall team effort. Your task as the project manager is to create a plan that allows for this without overwhelming one person with an unrealistic workload. 

To further cross-functional collaboration, you can use Kanban boards or Gantt charts for a more agile approach to task management. Use a project planning software that allows you to illustrate task dependencies, deadlines, and custom project stages. By doing so, your team members remain conscious of how their timeliness directly affects the next teammate or task.

In your collaboration plan, take a good look at how tasks are spread around evenly to prevent burnout or demotivation. Confirm that everyone involved is aware of their deliverables and deadlines as well as the backup plans should they encounter roadblocks that prevent them from turning over their assigned tasks on time. 

5. Establish quality checks to vet results

Nobody, as much as we would like to, is perfect, regardless of your team’s collective years of experience or proficiency. That’s why the responsible thing is to always set up quality assurance checks at different stages of the project. If you already have a template, you can use those to compare the outcome of your cross-functional collaboration against the project standard of quality and excellence to see if they meet the client’s requirements. 

After the checks are done, you can go through all the completed deliverables and vet their contents based on comprehensiveness, compliance with the clients’ measure of merit and efficiency. Thoroughly sifting through all the completed work allows for refining the output and ensuring the highest quality. Subsequently, only the finest contributions from your team will be submitted to the client.

Nothing impedes exceptional, quality work and unparalleled cross-functional collaboration than the lack of access to the necessary resources. For every undertaking, there should be a wealth of references and information sources that the team can refer to and consult all throughout the lifespan of the project. These should be summarized in the collaboration plan so everyone will know where to look and which reference material to look up when needed. 

Get yourself a cloud storage that’s not only accessible to everyone working on the project but also safe and reliable. In this way, your team will be able to do the work they need to finish whenever and wherever they may be. This is key in ensuring productivity even when you have remote workers on the team or those who may be indisposed for a day or two but still want to work online. 

Keep the integrity of your project resources, reference materials, and information sources by limiting editing rights. This ensures they can be viewed and utilized without unnecessary alterations or updates. Store every project-specific document in a protected folder for maximum security and peace of mind. 

7. Use the right technology and tools for your project

Project success is nearly impossible to achieve without the right tools and technology at your team’s disposal, and in this day and age of high technology, which tools are perfect for your project? Survey your collaboration plan again and make a list of the tools that you might require to complete the job. 

After you are done doing this, you can then start shopping around for a provider that offers you every technological solution and tool to enable you to successfully finish the project at hand. This is one part of the endeavor that you should not scrimp your budget on. Since you already have a number of experts gathered to work together on your project, you should also give them the means to use only the best tools, whether it’s for communications, task management, or file storage. 

Find a collaboration platform that allows you to monitor productivity, deadline compliance, and task completion while also giving your team the benefits of phenomenal work aids. These tools need not break the bank, either. There are free ones you can get your hands on. However, if you want to make the most of what you have for your particular use, it’s worth investing money on, especially if you have enough room in your budget anyway. 

Cross-functional collaboration made possible with Bitrix24

Bitrix24 offers secure document management software for all your important papers, such as your collaboration plan, along with all your project resources, references, and information sources. Get secure storage for unlimited users and enjoy full synchronization, ready access across all devices and operating systems (perfect for remote workers), and sharing capabilities. Keep your archives safe through time- and password-restricted sharing, closely monitored access rights, and custom employee or team drives. 

Communication is the key that unlocks all of your cross-functional team’s potential. Even with your team member’s expertise, everything will collapse if no one communicates well. Bitrix24 makes effective communication that produces impactful results possible. The software offers video conferencing, instant messaging, as well as emails and voice calls. 

Monitor your delegated tasks and various deadlines easily with Bitrix24’s online platform for team collaboration. Not only can you use them for use with onsite teams but remote workers as well. You can have peace of mind all throughout the lifespan of the project, knowing that the work that needs to be done is getting done even without you looking over everyone’s shoulders. 

Deliver impressive results and complete your project with tools and work solutions brought to you by Bitrix24. Achieve project success through effective and efficient cross-functional collaboration with the aid of Bitrix24.

FAQ

What is cross-functional collaboration?

Cross-functional collaboration is defined as a group of people, often top performers or experts from various other teams, coming together as one group to work towards and achieve shared goals or projects. It’s sometimes referred to as a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary team.

What benefits does cross-functional collaboration bring to project collaboration?

  • Elevated quality of output
  • Expert insight
  • High-level innovation
  • Improved team morale
  • Increased employee engagement 

How can cross-functional collaboration lead to project success?

Cross-functional collaboration leads to project success by populating your team with subject-matter experts to ensure that the work produced is of the utmost quality. Since you have the top people from different teams working together, yours is more efficient, productive, and prompt. 


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Table of Content
Achieve successful cross-functional collaboration 1. Nurture and inspire cross-functional team collaboration 2. Create a collaboration plan for your cross-functional team 3. Communicate clearly and effectively with your team 4. Delegate tasks evenly and fairly 5. Establish quality checks to vet results 6. Give access to resources, references, and other work-related information sources 7. Use the right technology and tools for your project Cross-functional collaboration made possible with Bitrix24 FAQ What is cross-functional collaboration? What benefits does cross-functional collaboration bring to project collaboration? How can cross-functional collaboration lead to project success?
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