How to Make Cross Team Collaboration a Success

We all know the importance of collaboration within a business. It’s when people work together towards the same objective. That could be the marketing team launching a new pay-per-click campaign or a contact center collaborating to improve customer satisfaction.

But what about collaboration across different teams within an organization? That’s known as cross-team collaboration – and it’s becoming increasingly important.

Defining cross-team collaboration

In simple terms, cross-team collaboration is when different groups within an organization work together towards the same objective. Consider a website redesign, which would require input from developers, designers and marketers, but also key stakeholders and decision makers to direct the process.

Alternatively, it could be an ongoing project like generating more leads. While some businesses might put it down to sales or marketing teams, collaboration across the two could deliver better results. Why? It removes silos and facilitates the exchange of ideas, creating a more engaging, inclusive and productive environment…

Eliminating silos

Silos occur when a single team or department work on the same issues and projects without any other involvement. The result is often a stale status quo with the same practices and procedures being passed on to new cohort after new cohort. But what if they’re missing a blinding error in how things are done?

By collaborating across teams, you eliminate the build up of silos within your organization. With an outside perspective, you’ll find people asking ‘why’ a little more when things are put forward – with alternative ideas often added to the mix. Most importantly, you’ll give all teams a better understanding of one another’s roles.

Increasing engagement

It’s easy for frontline employees to become isolated from the rest of an organization. They’re given their training at the start of a job, then expected to keep the same values and enthusiasm day in, day out. Cross-team collaboration is a great way to keep the spark alive and promote cohesion throughout your workforce.

Involving frontline staff in collaborative projects will create a two-way communication stream, where they can contribute their own ideas and feel more involved. It also gives invaluable insight to the collaborative process as a whole, getting direction from the people who deal with customer issues first-hand.

Challenges of cross-team collaboration

As you can imagine, collaborating across teams isn’t always the easiest task. First of all, you’ve got the logistics of multiple teams, potentially including different time zones. Once you’ve found your team’s time-zone overlap, there are a few other challenges to navigate…

Effort

Most people have their own duties and won’t always jump at the chance to juggle more work with their day-to-day responsibilities. If one team or a few employees aren’t pulling their weight, soon enough the whole collaboration begins to falter.

Conflict

With unfamiliar colleagues collaborating for the first time, misunderstandings can arise. Alternatively, they might anticipate this outcome and actively avoid conflict by holding back their ideas. In either case, conflict (or the fear of it) can seriously impact cross-team collaborative efforts.

Trust

Believe it or not, there’s also a trust issue. When working with unfamiliar teams, people can be hesitant to share their best secrets or most valuable information in case another team gets credit for it.

Best practices for cross-team collaboration

Fortunately, there are ways to overcome the issues listed above. Here are some best practices to make cross-team collaboration a success…

Selection

The first thing to get right is selection. You’ll want to get the ball rolling with the best collaborators from each team. Once a system is in place, it’s easier to introduce new team members.

Leadership

Be clear on who’s in charge of the cross-team collaborative process. Leaders need to delegate and ultimately make decisions, drawing on collaborative insights. They can also be critical to conflict prevention or resolution.

Time requirements

Make sure everyone involved knows how much time and effort is required for the project – and ensure they have that time to spare. This will make it much easier to get people involved and keep them engaged.

Setting goals

Create shared objectives from the get-go. These cross-team goals keep everyone on the same page and avoid issues of mistrust and secrecy. Make sure staff are rewarded too, so they don’t feel like cross-team collaboration is wasted time.

Equipping your teams

It goes without saying that collaboration software is pivotal to any cross-team collaboration. Employees need the tools to communicate freely, regardless of their location or even device, as well as tracking and monitoring whatever they’re working on.

Aura provides expert support for a wide range of collaboration tools as part of our Modern Workplace services. That includes everything from Avaya and Cisco to Poly and Nectar – not to mention the most widely used collaboration software, Microsoft Teams.

Most importantly, we have multi-vendor capabilities so we can support whatever combination of these tools fits your requirements. With our transformation expertise on your side, you can move at your own pace from your current setup to the ideal infrastructure for seamless collaboration.

Let’s talk

If you’re looking to improve collaboration across your organization, Aura can help. As a multi-vendor specialist, we can recommend the solution that’s right for you – based solely on your requirements. To find out more, contact our team.

Want to get in touch?

We’ll contact you!

Comments are closed.