Managing Cross-Functional Teams: Challenges and Solutions

Cross-functional teams comprise individuals from different departments with varying sets of talents. While these teams are made up of divisions such as development, design, sales, and marketing, they work together in harmony to achieve larger goals. 

If you haven’t managed a cross-functional team before, handling one can seem like a massive challenge. But no matter if you are leading such a team for event management or product development, keeping a few essential tips in mind can help you benefit from this powerful collective of talent. 

To help you along the way, here is how you can manage cross-functional teams: 

Assign Responsibilities Clearly

From learning how to develop a great business website to figuring out how to launch a new product, a cross-functional team can help you achieve your goals across a variety of projects. But in order to benefit from these highly talented professionals, you need to make sure that you outline the responsibilities for each member of your team. This ensures that everyone can work according to their strengths while also avoiding any delays that may occur due to a lack of clarity.  

Use Purpose-Built Tools

With the emergence of purpose-built tools for project management, it has become easier than ever to manage cross-functional teams. With solutions such as a marketing dashboard and a development platform, you can find a range of options that cater to your specific requirements. This not only helps you bring together professionals from different divisions but also makes it easy to direct them towards your common goal. You can browse through various types of software to find suitable solutions.

Establish Active Communication

Regardless of the type of project that you run with your cross-functional team, active communication is essential to its overall success. If your team members don’t keep each other in the loop about updates, improvements, and shortcomings, it causes your whole operation to run blindfolded. By using tools such as an internal email platform, you can make sure that everyone is able to reach out to each other and avoid possible instances of miscommunication. 

Don’t Be Shy of Criticism

If you appreciate the importance of customer feedback, you may quickly understand how the same approach applies to cross-functional team management. In order to work together with mutual respect but without grudges and resentment, your team needs to be open to sharing their feedback with each other. Promote an open environment that encourages constructive criticism while also using these comments to improve areas where your project might be lacking. 

Determine Leadership Roles

No matter the size of your team, having clear leadership roles can help every team member with aspects such as reporting and accountability. With that, it also helps your employees feel recognized and seen for their efforts by the higher-ups. That is why you should absolutely assign leadership roles at the start of your cross-functional team project. When you have clear leaders in the team, it can also help you delegate ongoing tasks such as educating team members through an employee training platform.

Listen to Your Team Members

When managing any type of project, it is critical that you value your team members’ opinions from the start to the end of the project. This also holds true for cross-functional teams. By making yourself available for your team’s comments, suggestions, and complaints, you can promote a culture of trust and openness. With that, it also helps you strengthen and improve your project. Similar to the benefits of onboarding software, you can reap the rewards of employee feedback solutions for this purpose. 

Do Regular Check-Ins

Whether your project runs for weeks or months, your cross-functional team depends on you to lead the charge. This makes it important for you to hold regular discussions and check-ins with your essential team members. Even if you are managing these teams remotely, using solutions such as video conferencing software can help you remain in touch with your team members. This allows you to be on top of your project and lets you take quick actions to resolve issues and boost productivity. 

By following these suggestions, you can manage your cross-functional team with ease. This way, you can get the most out of their talent while also achieving your goals through your projects.