Historically, IT and business teams interacted sparingly, typically at annual gatherings. However, the evolving corporate landscape now emphasizes cross-functional collaboration, despite its challenges. Trust is pivotal in overcoming these barriers. This guide offers 10 strategies for effective cross-team collaboration.

What is Cross-Team Collaboration?

When we work together with multiple teams to achieve a common goal, it is called cross-team collaboration. They usually come from various areas or departments to share their knowledge and insights. Collaborating with cross functional teams can help you to complete the project more thoroughly. With this collaboration, employees can also improve their experience.

Nearly 40% of workers said teamwork is essential which we found in a study from 2022. It is also mentioned that you need to use online tools and collaborate regularly to make remote work more efficient. Further, it increases talent retention by almost 5 times. In short, cross-team collaboration plays an important role in the company’s culture and how employees feel about their work.

Benefits of Cross-Team Collaboration

Cross-functional team collaboration helps organizations to produce creative and interesting things by sharing ideas. Below are some of the benefits of cross-team collaboration.

  • Fast work progress: Teams can finish their projects faster and better when they work together often. They can all work towards the same goal by sharing tasks and collaborating. It will make the progress faster compared to teams that work on their own.
  • Increase creativity: Communication and collaboration is the easiest way of making new and creative things. Cross-functional team collaboration is like having a place to share and try out new ideas. It helps them come up with even more innovative and creative stuff.
  • Eliminate unnecessary stuff: If there is no regular collaboration, you might not understand what other teams are doing. Also, you might end up spending a lot of time sending emails. However, teams can work together better and ensure everyone knows what’s going on through cross-team collaboration. It will help teams to reduce the need to send too many emails.
  • Detailed procedure: Teams have a way to check their work and how things are done when they collaborate. They can add these extra steps and make their projects better with careful procedures and higher standards. Additionally, it makes the stakeholders happier with how things are done in the organization.

Challenges of Cross-Functional Collaboration

Every organization aims to collaborate with cross functional teams. However, it requires a lot of effort and also, it’s challenging. Below are some challenges of cross-functional collaboration.

  • Unbalanced team relationships: Teams from different parts of a company don’t understand what the other teams are up to. Since they don’t communicate well, they’re not sure about each other’s responsibilities. Without knowing or seeing the whole picture, each team works on its bit of the project. It will lead to unfriendliness, small conflicts, and uncertainty about other teams.
  • Limitation over geographical: It can be hard to ensure everyone knows what’s going on if your office is in multiple places or on different floors. Many companies use emails and messages to communicate with others about important issues. But it feels like searching through a big stack of chat messages when it’s time to check up on those texts later.
  • Uncertainty of progress: Do people care about the goals you set if it’s not their job to look after them? As some team members are too focused on their goals, they might ignore their tasks or not want to help others. Everyone uses different spreadsheets or apps to keep track of their goals. It makes it difficult to see how much program has been made.
  • Ineffective discussions and meetings: A good way to share the newest information and move forward as a team is getting together for meetings. However, it can leave everyone feeling upset if everyone isn’t given a fair chance to join in.

How to Improve Cross-Team Collaboration

Many ways can help you to improve cross-team collaboration. Below are some of the cross team collaboration best practices to improve.

1. Create trust and respect

Nowadays, teams have people from multiple backgrounds, qualifications, and experience. The team needs to come together and work as one for a project to work well. Team members should communicate respectfully and clearly to make this happen. It is essential to have trust and respect for building team spirit. When a team works in a friendly and respectful space, it becomes creative and open to new ideas. Each team member can use their strengths as they feel safe contributing. Teams can thrive and finish projects successfully in a positive environment.

2. Clarify project outcome

Every team member should know the main goal and collaborate to reach those goals. For instance, you can get ideas from your team by starting a project on how to solve any issues. Try to pay attention to what everyone says and ensure it all matches the main goal. It should be in line with the company’s overall objectives.

3. Encourage punctuality

A big factor in a project’s success is completing it on time. It’s important for your overall reputation and the chance to have customers come back. The project manager should ensure everyone stays on schedule and each member needs to be on time.

4. Use Collaborative Tools

You can use a collaboration tool like Docuo to easily communicate and handle projects. Docuo is the best cross-team collaboration software that helps you to produce and manage documents. Companies can organize their important documents and create documentation sites with Docuo. Also, this software helps you to keep track of changes in the documents. You can collaborate with other team members in real-time through the same document. Besides that, Docuo also allows you to improve your writing with the help of AI assistance. So, try Docuo now to improve cross functional team collaboration.

docuo for cross team collaboration

5. Try to socialize

When teams spend time together outside of formal work, they can do better at work. We found from a PGI study that teams with members who knew each other performed better compared to teams where everyone was a stranger. This kind of atmosphere should be encouraged as they don’t happen by themselves. Project managers need to focus on improving the team environment. You can organize friendly competitions to achieve this. Also, you can give rewards to teams and individuals.

6. Set up brief meetings

You can have effective meetings by keeping them brief and full of useful information. Before the meeting, you can share a detailed plan and explain the context. To get things moving, you can start by sharing any important info. During the meeting, stick to the agenda and don’t go off-topic. Ensure that the meeting achieves its goal. Try to take notes and record everything discussed. It will guide future meetings.

7. Promote transparency with communication methods

Teams can be more open by using chat tools less. Chat tools can help you with quick communication with others. However, it’s better to use open channels to keep everyone informed. These channels can easily be accessed by everyone in the company. Channels are a place where you can share announcements, updates, and notes from meetings. This place is good for having fast and organized communication with teams. Furthermore, the channel can also be used for solving issues with the help of others.

8. Be adaptable

To ensure a project makes the customer happy, it is important to have regular communication and get feedback. Project managers need to understand team members concerned about the project by working closely with them. It’s better to create an environment for a team member to talk freely about their problems. You can encourage them to talk openly about issues and think of creative solutions. A project manager must be open to creative solutions. You can help the team to meet their needs better by giving them the freedom to find their solutions. This flexibility sometimes allows teams to finish the project more effectively.

9. Open and honest discussions should be encouraged

Work environments become more comfortable when there are open and honest conversations. It helps team members to understand each other better. Teams can work together on projects more effectively when there’s better understanding. Tension can build up and turn into arguments without good discussions. It can harm the success of a project.

10. Make guidelines for cross team collaboration

People might think that collaboration is simple when it’s not. Who leads the talk? What if someone talks too much? How do you ensure everyone shares what they know? What if no one responds to a message? And what if things get tense? Having clear rules for collaboration helps when different teams come together.

Final Words

It is essential to have cross functional team collaboration to reach company goals and come up with new ideas. The good things that come out of collaborating across teams are worth it even though it can be hard. In this guide, we discussed the 10 tips for collaborating with cross functional teams. You can use all of them and do well in projects.

Furthermore, give Docuo a try if you want to improve cross-team collaboration. It’s a great tool that helps manage documents in real-time. Also, this software improves writing with AI and makes communication smoother. With Docuo, your teams can collaborate easily and succeed in their projects. Give it a shot to make your teamwork even better!