7 Benefits Around Improving Cross-Team Collaboration
December 02, 2022
The ever-famous adage “teamwork makes the dream work” is just as relevant today as it was before. Coined from John C. Maxwell’s book, the full quote reads:
“Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team.”
It may be that the reason why these words of wisdom remain prevalent is that there’s truth to it. A team that works well together can perform better to achieve a common goal. With this in mind, industry leaders continuously strive to improve communication and collaboration at work.
Today, the most productive organizations dedicate themselves to enhancing cross-team collaboration.
Why is cross-team collaboration crucial in the workplace?
Teamwork becomes fundamental when employees from different departments need to work together on a project. But still, according to a Harvard Business Review, 75 percent of cross-functional teams are flawed. It means many organizations still need to improve in this area.
Although promoting cross-team collaboration takes immense effort, the benefits of getting it right are well worth it. Here’s why.
1) It injects a sense of shared responsibility
Every employee involved in a project should no longer be responsible for only completing their specific tasks. Instead, each team member will have shared responsibility for the result of the project. In contrast, members that work in isolation function to simply get things off their plates without any concern for the outcome.
By injecting a sense of shared responsibility, each member understands the value of their contributions to the team. It ultimately puts your employees and the entire organization on the path to success.
2) It reduces friction
Picture this: John from engineering and Sam from marketing has been in a silent war for years. While marketing is always promising new features that still need to be created for clients, your engineering department is struggling to achieve deadlines.
There’s chronic tension between the two departments because they must protect their own. If this situation is familiar, you likely have a company silo problem. And you must take care of it before it compromises your organizational goals.
By improving cross-team collaboration, you can reduce the impact of these friction points on your team’s overall productivity. Identify where silos exist in your organization and take steps to combat them, whether imposing a more robust company culture or aligning everyone towards a shared goal.
3) It develops management skills
Managing a team well doesn’t always come naturally to everyone. Leadership is a skill that’s improved and polished through various experiences.
When teams are put together on a project, management skills are put to the test. Certain individuals will then stand out as they develop leadership skills to collaborate with diverse people and work styles. By going through unique challenges, individuals with “leadership potential” shine.
A project management platform like Shortcut is quite helpful for managing tech teams. It’s simple to use and can be integrated with other apps. Check out their best practices library, where you can get tips to get the most out of the software.
4) It breaks stereotypes
As employees from different areas of the company work together, they learn about each other’s strengths. For instance, when a tech team collaborates with a non-tech team, they get to share knowledge and skills.
A diverse group of people from different ages, backgrounds, and departments can bring new ideas to the table. And by being able to collaborate, these individuals discover how other teams work, which breaks workplace stereotypes.
5) It promotes innovation
Each member of your organization has unique experiences, knowledge, and skills to bring to the table. Cross-team collaboration is the most efficient way for them to share what they have and learn from each other. As relationships are formed, effective knowledge-sharing can stimulate innovation.
Teams can easily share advice and tips as they work on tasks. It can help team members overcome daily barriers and hurdles at work. With knowledge and expertise flowing freely in an organization, teams constantly find innovative ways to solve problems.
6) It fosters healthy opposition
While conflicting opinions are bound to rise in a diverse team, it doesn’t have to be a win-or-lose situation. Cross-collaboration also feeds healthy opposition, which can lead to ideas that solve problems. Think about it, whenever teams explore opposing ideas, breakthrough solutions happen.
Teams are expected to complete a project which is why they must learn to overcome conflict to move forward. While a diverse team may seem to be moving on the edge of chaos, this is the best environment for innovation to emerge.
7) It improves team performance
Looking at all the benefits discussed, it’s clear that promoting cross-team collaboration can improve your organization’s productivity. Your daily operations will run smoother when teams are more connected and collaborative.
By establishing a shared vision and goal, employees become dedicated not only to their own success but also to their colleagues. As the team’s knowledge management process evolves, your collective knowledge improves, too.
The Bottom Line
When handling different teams and projects, it’s important to stay on track! A report from McKinsey indicates that 80 percent of organizations use collaboration tools to improve processes. Enhance teamwork and streamline operations, or you’ll get left behind by the competition.
Featured image: jacoblund, iStock.