As an Account Manager at Rave Retailer, working with other teams and departments is part of our daily life. While working remotely can be a dream for many people; ( including myself ), it can also pose some challenges.
Cross-functional teams are groups of people from different areas (or companies), functions, or disciplines who work together on a common project or goal.
The advantages of working within these teams of people are that they can bring diverse perspectives, skills, and expertise to the table, and foster innovation, creativity, and problem-solving. Working on complex tasks and projects requires all of these elements in order for great work to be produced. However, working in cross-functional teams remotely can create barriers to communication, collaboration, and coordination among team members, which can affect their performance and satisfaction.
Here are some best practices and useful tips for navigating and managing tasks and projects that require collaboration and input from cross-functional team members.
Define clear roles and responsibilities.
Here at Rave Retailer, we are fortunate enough to work with some amazing in-house software. It’s called Grand Centr.al and we use it to communicate and collaborate internally, as well as with partners, and clients.
One of the first steps to working in cross-functional teams remotely is to define clear roles and responsibilities for each team member. Having a centralized organizational tool like Grand Centr.al can help immensely to avoid confusion, duplication, or overlap of tasks, and ensure accountability and ownership
Grand Central can be used to assign roles and responsibilities based on who is responsible, accountable, consulted, or informed for each task. We frequently use this software to create and assign tasks, track progress, and manage workflows.
Establish regular communication.
Regular communication is a key step to working in cross-functional teams remotely. It is also a great way to build trust and rapport within the team or teams.
Communicating with team members is essential for sharing information, ideas, feedback, and updates.
You can use various methods and tools to communicate with your cross-functional team members, although we at Rave Retailer, do our best to keep our communication in a centralized location (Grand Centr.al), we also use Google Meet for online meetings and virtual discussions, simulations or demonstrations. These virtual meeting tools are useful for considering important issues, making decisions and presenting results, or in our case, delivering quality work!
Some other tools are:
- Instant messaging, such as Slack and Skype, can be used to communicate quickly with cross-functional teams in real time.
- Email is a formal and reliable way to communicate with your cross-functional team members asynchronously.
A third step to working in cross-functional teams remotely is to foster collaboration among team members. Collaboration is the process of working together towards a common goal or outcome. It can enhance the quality and efficiency of your work, as well as the creativity and innovation of your solutions. Grand Centr.al, again, is a fantastic tool for collaborating with our teams and when working on projects.
Here are some great collaborative techniques that you can use within your cross-functional teams and organizations:
- Brainstorming: Brainstorming is a technique that you can use to generate ideas or solutions for a problem or challenge. We can use Grand Centr.al to create virtual whiteboards where you can brainstorm with your cross-functional team members.
- Feedback: Feedback is a technique that you can use to give or receive constructive comments or suggestions for improvement. Our projects are intensely collaborative and require constant feedback on tasks and objectives that we set out to achieve.
- Recognition: It’s always a good thing to give kudos to colleagues and team members for a “job well done”. Recognition is a technique that’s used to appreciate and acknowledge the contributions or achievements of your cross-functional team members.
Great work can only be achieved when all parties involved in a project are fully engaged.
Engagement is the degree of involvement, commitment, and enthusiasm that team members have for their work and team. It can influence your team members’ productivity, performance, and retention. You can use various strategies and activities to promote engagement with your cross-functional team members, such as team-building activities, learning or training, and by also promoting wellness. ( physical, mental, emotional )
Working in cross-functional teams remotely can be challenging, but at the same time is also incredibly rewarding.
Hopefully, these tips can help you overcome the barriers and leverage the benefits of working in cross-functional teams remotely and also improve communication, collaboration, coordination, and engagement, and ultimately achieve your project or goal more effectively.
If you have any questions, or like to schedule a call with Claire, VP of Sales, click here