How To Improve Your Cross-Functional Team Communication

Reinforcing effective cross-functional communication

Regardless of the size of your organization, effective cross-functional communication is vital to ensuring your departments can work together as a cohesive unit. It can be common, however, for many businesses to experience levels of tension as individual team members subconsciously favor their departmental interests over the bigger-picture needs of the organization.

In this case, it can be beneficial to bring in an outside source to help reinforce the importance of cross-functionality within your company.

Third-party firms can be an invaluable resource to your business, helping your teams to function more cohesively while giving them the tools to build better products more efficiently. Here are six ways that a third-party firm can help improve your businesses cross-functional communications.

 

1. Developing organizational goals

One way to get your teams collaborating more efficiently is by giving them unified goals that they can work towards. Setting and achieving goals together helps to create more cohesive working relationships and makes solving cross-functional issues much more efficient.

Third-party firms can help in this area by getting a better understanding of each departments’ needs and abilities while aligning them with other aspects of the business. By finding commonalities between multiple departments and how they can work together to achieve larger company goals, third-party firms can help to create achievable benchmarks that not only keep projects moving but also help to improve interdepartmental efficiencies.

 

2. Assembling the right teams

While the needs of a particular project may already dictate who is involved in a cross-functional team, in most cases it will be up to the organization to stipulate whose involvement is needed and whose isn’t. This can be a tough decision to make, especially an unbiased one when deciding which resources should be utilized to complete tasks efficiently. Third-party firms can take a lot of the guesswork out of this process by helping you organize the right team members for the correct assignments.

It’s important to understand the critical skill sets necessary to complete all tasks on time and accurately. Having an outside opinion on the best candidates for a cross-functional team can be extremely beneficial to have and will keep your teams productive and accountable.

 

3. Providing effective leadership

Consulting firms have a wealth of knowledge in their field and have the tools and experience necessary to become great team leaders for your organization.
Effective leadership is an integral part of getting the most out of your cross-functional team. More than just holding team members accountable, third-party firms can help educate your organization on the best way to plan for and execute their assignments. Having one point of contact to provide valuable feedback as well as report on the success of project development through several different stages can significantly improve the way teams collaborate.

A project leader can also help address any issues that may arise when it comes to inefficient processes and a lack of communication that commonly develops over time.

 

4. Creating efficient communication processes

When working directly with your team members, third-party firms can help to create important SLAs (Service Level Agreements) when it comes to cross-functional communication. For example, if issues arise during the development of a project, there should be deadlines associated with rectifying them. Third-party firms can help recognize potential threats to departmental efficiency and design appropriate countermeasures to address them as they arise.

Enforcing these standards will help ensure that teams are communicating regularly enough to support the integrity of their projects.

 

5. Building a cohesive working environment

Creating a cohesive working environment for your cross-functional teams is essential when working towards achieving mutual company goals. Third-party firms can identify a process that involves multiple departments and can create development plans and audit schedules to help ensure all cross-functional activities are being accomplished.

By utilizing third-party firms to help organize all of your projects efficiently, they can ensure that all parties receive equal levels of accountability and recognition when projects are launched successfully.

 

6. Auditing and reevaluating

The truth is, no matter how efficient your cross-functional communications may be right now, over time there ’s a high likelihood that you will need to adapt the current way of managing your projects.
As companies and their cultures begin to change over time, it’s essential to be able to recognize shifts in priorities as new goals are introduced into each department. Keeping your cross-functional communication intact means taking a proactive approach to auditing current processes and reevaluating the best ways of organizing your teams.

Third-party firms can actively monitor the effectiveness of your company’s operations and interdepartmental communication standards while making changes that directly support the sustainability of your projects over time.

When it comes to the overall success of your project development cycle, cross-functional communication between all of your team members is vital. Involving a third-party firm when constructing your teams and managing your organizational processes can help keep your business operating at maximum efficiency.
By focusing on these six core areas of cross-functional development, you’ll be able to build more cohesive project development teams while supporting a more sustainable working environment.