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No man is an island, or so the saying goes. And in business, playing nice with others is an essential part of progress and productivity. In some cases, this means not only collaborating with coworkers within a team, but also engaging in cross-team collaboration to achieve mutual goals. To make this work, you don’t necessarily need to spend time establishing trust – everyone involved understands that teams and team members have been chosen based on expertise and suitability.

Team collaboration requires careful planning and proper investment of time and money to assemble and manage complex resources. If your cross-functional team is underperforming we’ve looked at ways to turn that around here. When done right, a company can move mountains with the collective power of cross-team collaboration. Here are a few things you should know about coordinating such efforts in the modern corporate world.

Understanding the Challenges of the Modern Team Environment

These days, complex projects rarely involve a cohesive group of familiar coworkers sitting around a table to discuss a project. Once upon a time, a project team may have included fewer than two-dozen employees, but these days, complex enterprise endeavors may demand teams of more than a hundred various experts and outsiders working together throughout the majority of the project. This creates unique challenges when it comes to creating a unified team, namely getting everyone on the same page and making sure they work together to reach common goals.

Coordination

Planning for the proper coordination of far-flung resources is essential to effective cross-team collaboration and it begins with creating a budget, a schedule and project specs. However, it also means creating a network to connect team members that allows for centralized communications and sharing of information. Without these crucial foundations in place, it will be extremely difficult to conduct meetings, keep everyone up to speed and effectively manage collaboration on a massive scale.

Establishing Common Goals

Effective team collaboration requires some amount of push and pull, insomuch as team members have to work together, but are also focused on their own individual tasks. A team charter can be particularly useful when it comes to breaking down the collaborative process from a top-down standpoint. This document prioritizes the overall purpose of the project, as well as goals for completion, after which it breaks down targets for teams and individuals. Also included are the scheduling and budget breakdowns. You can think of it like a business plan for your project.

Support Mentality

One of the biggest potential setbacks in any team collaboration scenario is a lack of support from the company and the executive management team at the helm.  If an organization is unwilling to invest in the social interactions that are the cornerstone of collaboration, a project may fail before it ever gets off the ground. Companies that see the value of supporting and encouraging social relationships are much more likely to realize success in cross-team collaborations.

When paired with appropriate software solutions, like Clarizen’s cloud-based project management technologies, a culture that supports and values social relationships has the best opportunity to harness the power of team collaboration. This, in turn, can drive value outcomes that benefit clients, employees and businesses alike.

Doug Uptmor
Doug Uptmor, Director of Content