9 Benefits of cross-functional team collaboration

Cross-functional Team Collaboration


Many innovative software companies like Google, Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon have adopted cross-team collaboration. Do you know why? Because of inspiration and innovation, coordination organization, and speed. You need to re-think if you are still dependent on siloed departments. A cross-functional team collaboration brings together experts from different departments of the organization, these teams foster innovation, creativity, improved communication, and drive efficiency.

In a recent research, it was found that 75 percent of businesses are considering online collaboration tools important for their business. This is true as online tools greatly help in collaboration bringing unexpected value to a business.

What is a cross-functional team?

A cross-functional team is a group of individuals from different departments or areas of expertise within an organization who collaborate to work on a specific project or task. These teams have members with diverse skills, backgrounds, and perspectives, allowing them to approach problems from various angles and offer unique solutions.

The collaboration of these cross-functional teams brings together their knowledge, expertise, and experience. The major point is “work interdependency”. Teams have to work together to succeed.

Cross-team collaboration has become the need of constantly emerging new technology, with continuous competitors scrumming, and companies wanting to stay on top of the game. The success of a cross-functional team collaboration depends on certain factors, without which a team will always be struggling.

  • Highly-motivated team members
  • Teams hold accountability for accomplishing the mission
  • Open-minded team members
  • Management to support the team
  • No conflicting personal goals
  • Clear priorities or direction
  • Adequate communication

Benefits of cross-functional collaboration

It can be a bit daunting to build a team that involves people from more than one department. But when you do so, it is worth it. Here are some amazing reasons that you might want to consider cross-functional collaboration in your teams.

Benefits of cross-functional collaboration

1. Gain a better insight

To bring a gulp of creative ideas, cross-functional collaboration is a great choice. Creativity is a group process. When the project managers, put together people who are experts in different subjects, each with unique skill sets, it will bring out some new perspectives. This method of collaboration will bring new insights to the team to bring up creative solutions and enhance development. With each team member bringing their skills and knowledge to the table, the work will progress and thrive bringing solutions quicker.

2. Engaged employees

In the past few years, employee engagement has been declining. According to a 2013 Gallup Poll, 63% of employees are “not engaged” by their current work. This makes a big difference in the overall productivity of the organization. Therefore, shifting to team-oriented structures can boost team bonding, improving workplace dynamics. A strong leader handling a cross-functional team will help in combating a silo mentality and bridge the gap between team members.

3. Enhance problem-solving capabilities

With a cross-functional team, you can find solutions to complex problems as you get inputs from the perspectives of experts from different domains. Cross-functional teams are well-equipped to handle such challenges, with the collective knowledge and skills of the members. By bringing together experts from various departments, your team can identify root causes, explore alternative solutions, and implement effective strategies to address issues.

4. Spurring innovative ideas

It is said that a cross-functional team is a calculated investment for teams to sip in productivity and work together. This is because a collaborative team brings new insights with which comes innovation. It is a great way to boost creative minds to pool ideas together that separate businesses from their competitors. When different minds playing different roles are brought together, they think outside of the box to substantially bring better results. When people think in new ways, it helps them make smart mistakes, take better risks, and spur innovation and creativity.

5. Exercising communication skills

Effective communication is the cornerstone of any team for successful projects. It is an art that can make or break your team. Clear and concise communication encourages sharing of ideas between cross-functional teams. Having a cross-functional team means bringing in a diverse group of people who can develop their struggles and strengths of communicating by discussing constructive feedback and understanding diversity issues.

6. Developing management skills

Cross-functionality has another great value in honing management skills. Of course, managing a team doesn’t come naturally to everyone, it should be polished by learning through experiences. When the teams are put together, your management skills will be put to the test. You will need to develop special skill sets to work with diverse backgrounds and work styles and effectively lead a cross-functional team going through unique challenges.

7. You get to be in leadership roles

When you work together with teams from different departments, you get the chance to lead the way for your team. The manager can give chance to other folks in the team to lead the project so they learn to be in the leadership role and can pump new life into the project.

8. Break stereotypes and benefit from diversity

As it involves people from different areas, a team will know the strengths of other teams. When a tech team meets a non-tech team, they understand each other’s efforts and take advantage of their knowledge. You start sharing common goals and foster a bit of understanding. This type of understanding that breaks the stereotype, is a boon for the business. Also, a diverse group of people of different ages, backgrounds, and thoughts can bring innovations to the table.

9. Build team spirit

The process of cross-functional teamwork will allow you to make a team of high performers so they can bring out something huge, grow more reliant, and take big challenges. Together they can create a sense of unity and learn more about patience.

Many teams in big organizations find it a challenge to create a cross-functional collaboration to go the extra mile. So, you need to capitalize on times so your cross-functional teams deliver their best to a complete advantage. As you decide that your project needs a cross-functional, adopt the cross-functional collaboration best practices to help you make a collaborative team.

  • Identify who has the best skill sets along
  • Make sure the right people are selected
  • Build ongoing relationships with stakeholders
  • Invest in collaboration software
  • Encourage cooperation between different units
  • Goals should be mutually supportive

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Ready to make the change?

A big contributing factor that decides the success of a project is to determine how well the teams work together. There are going to be barriers, but there will always be a solution to each. Cross-functional teams have been promised to be the workplace’s secret weapon for all creative problem-solving methods. Get your cross-functional team collaboration right and get infinite rewards.


How is a cross-functional team different from a traditional team?

Cross-functional teams are composed of individuals from diverse departments or functional areas within an organization. Traditional teams typically consist of members from the same department or functional area

What are some common challenges faced by cross-functional teams?

Communication barriers, conflicting priorities, and resistance to change can be challenges for a cross-functional team. Additionally, managing diverse personalities and organizational politics can be challenging for team leaders.

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