Cross Functional Success

Published on 3rd March 2018 in Leadership

Collaborative Cross-Functional Team Working

When planning an initiative, it’s important to understand the change implications across the organisation. You’ll need to draw upon the expertise of colleagues across the business and create strong cross-functional collaboration

Identify which functions you need to gain input from. This will vary depending on the type of initiative you are looking to implement, however

generally you should engage with representatives from:

  • Legal
  • Technical
  • Supply Chain
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Operations
  • Finance

If you are managing a large and complex project, it is advisable to set up a dedicated cross-functional project team.
It’s useful to describe the project in a simple document. It may seem very formal, but creating a Terms of Reference can be a powerful way to create alignment and ensure clarity of purpose. You just need to be careful with these. Set a limit of 3/4 pages otherwise, it starts to “work the issue” rather than d

escribe “what needs to be done”.
Once there’s clarity of project purpose, there needs to be clarity about each team member’s individual role and responsibilities. An effective tool is the RACI Model which forces the discipline of clarifying who should be (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed).
Agree upfront the time commitment you need from individual team members. It’s important that realistic expectations are agreed amongst the team. Now, it’s time to consider team ways of working. Team collaboration used to be restricted to setting up a place on a “shared drive”. Now there are countless ways to facilitate collaborative working: SharePoint, Wunderlist, Evernote, Yammer to name just a few.
Set up regular project meetings to monitor progress and ensure the team stays connected. Creating a regular tempo is important to build momentum.

Kick of Meeting  

The kick of marks the official start of the project. Its purpose is to ensure the key stakeholders become aligned with the objectives that’s there’s a common understanding of:

  • The project deliverables and timings
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Ways of working.

This should ensure that you are off to a flying start!

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