Mergers and acquisitions, releasing new product lines, introducing fresh branding, changing your organizational structure, and implementing new systems or processes—are just a few examples of huge tasks that approach the work of numerous teams.
Growing businesses frequently complain that cross-alignment initiatives like these seem overwhelming due to departmental silos.
A planning approach that enables organizations to coordinate throughout the business and achieve success is necessary for companies with common resources or large projects.
Let’s explore further what is team alignment?
What Is Cross Team Alignment?
Cross-alignment teams are collections of employees from many departments within a business, such as product, sales, marketing, and customer service.
They can be working groups where each participant is a part of their functional and cross-alignment teams, or they can be the primary organizational model.
These teams act as a project management strategy using the agile methodology.
In essence, cross-alignment teams are a continuing initiative by companies like netflix, facebook, amazon, and google.
This intends to develop quick-to-market and creative approaches to the many problems they encounter during project management, project planning, and team collaboration.
With that said, it is challenging to cultivate and maintain cross-team alignment. The following tips will help you smoothen the process.
How Can You Practice Cross Team Alignment?
When cross-alignment objectives are vital for a good year, no one solution works for all organizations.
Based on the scope of your business, the organizational structure, and the number of projects requiring common resources, there may be various practical ways to connect around a plan.
1. Never Give Up on Communication
The structural breakdown of cross-alignment communication is one result of the functional silos.
When your department, accomplishments, and functions take precedence over everything else, you might lose sight of the firm’s bigger goal, making it easier to lose sight of the objectives.
Many large companies are shifting toward approaches that do away with the internal/external communications binary to combat this.
Deirdre Latour, vice president and chief commercial officer at General Electric, spoke on the company’s “go direct” approach.
This system builds a direct communication program using analytics that allows you to speak to all individuals and interact with those who value general electric.
It will be difficult for teams to align on a goal and vision to communicate to customers if they don’t discuss their views and aims.
On the other hand, when businesses form teams to collaborate utilizing various techniques, the outcome can be much better promotion and, consequently, more remarkable growth.
2. Focus On Setting up Systematic Meetings
Even when they are insufficient on their own, meetings can be a crucial component of a broader strategy.
They allow departments to fill in any gaps that might be useful to the other teams and add narrative to the information shared.
Additionally, they assist everyone on the various teams in getting to know one another beyond just their names and jobs.
If you only ever communicate with someone via email and slack, your understanding of them is considerably more constrained than speaking to them directly or over zoom.
The encounters remind everyone of the nature of the individuals they work with, making them feel more motivated to put in the effort necessary to support one another.
3. Be Prepared To Solve Conflict Resolutions
Each team member’s unique abilities and skills to contribute to the discussion benefit cross-alignment teams.
Having the appropriate team members on board as project managers is crucial.
You may take advantage of team strengths and identify areas of agreement among team members by creating detailed organizational charts.
The top candidates for the task will be easy to include.
Occasionally, leading cross-alignment teams require bringing together units that have typically operated independently.
Take marketing and sale, for example.
Even though greater sales and marketing campaigns arise from sales and marketing alignment, these teams frequently spend more time blaming one another than coming up with solutions.
Creating cross-functional teams can frequently lead to competition for scarce resources, authority, and control.
Project managers must anticipate and even welcome this dispute. Arguments and conflicts are frequently nothing more than missed chances for development and fresh thinking.
4. Setting a Clear Timeline
Taking on a new assignment can be immensely scary and demanding for staff who already have their primary duties.
Even if your staff members are enthusiastic about working on a cross-alignment project, they might not have enough time on their calendar to get started right away.
Selecting the members before considering the project’s overall timeframe can result in significant delays and possibly cause the project to be postponed permanently.
Because of this, it’s crucial to anticipate the project’s duration before you even begin collecting interest from other employees.
Calculate how long it will take to complete each stage of the project in its entirety. The average time the other team members will need to devote should also be described.
It will be simpler to recruit team members and guarantee that the project is completed within the allotted time once the employees know what is needed and how long it will take them to complete it.
5. Reevaluating Processes Is Very Important
The mobility and quick adaptability of fully cross-alignment teams are one of their advantages.
Cross-alignment teams frequently use agile methods to ensure that new investments, tools, or marketing campaigns integrate easily, securely, and affordably.
After establishing successful cross-alignment teams, you must continuously assess, gauge, and improve your established systems and procedures.
What is effective? What isn’t effective? Where did the lines of communication fail? Which innovations can be replicated?
This procedure will assist you in maintaining process optimization, creating cutting-edge products, and promoting productive teamwork throughout the business.
Even the most seasoned project managers may find creating and leading productive cross-alignment teams challenging.
However, firms that successfully combine diverse competencies can bring fresh viewpoints and ideas into their business.
Benefits of Cross-alignment Teams
1. Gives Rise to Innovation
Finding and delivering improvements across the value stream when firms work in silos is challenging.
To encourage unity and efficiency throughout the organization, cross-alignment teams might work to discover best practices for various processes and then train other cross-functional teams.
Cross-alignment teams can produce more creative, all-encompassing answers to challenges by working together than each professional group could do alone.
They encourage the development of more innovative goods as well as processes.
Suppose your company used insights from sales discussions, product usage data, UX focus groups, marketing campaign data, and other rich customer data sources when making product decisions.
This is how cross-alignment teams should work.
2. There Will Be More Engaged Employees
The last several years have seen a continuous fall in employee engagement.
Employers are finding it difficult to keep workers engaged and on task, given the confusion around whether they will work from home, a hybrid, or return to the office.
Cross-alignment teams can accomplish two goals at once by boosting productivity throughout the firm while maintaining employee engagement.
They feel more bonded when alignment teams cooperate, especially between departments. Team members establish mutual trust and set mutual objectives when they feel linked.
The cycle of disengagement vanishes when individuals enter a fresh position with new people exchanging new ideas in a new environment.
Additionally, when given a role designed for them based on their skills, people will feel more driven and responsible for their part in the team’s overall success.
3. Chance To Develop Management Skills
Encouraging individual employees to take the team lead is a fantastic advantage of cross-alignment teamwork.
Every employee can get a chance to improve their leadership abilities on a temporary team, which encourages them to modify their conflict resolution, communication, and collaboration methods to suit the demands of their group.
A proposal can be given new life by new leaders, who aim to seek out permanent management posts if the project is profitable.
4. Change in Culture
An organization values teamwork, but what does that mean?
Many businesses have siloed departments that hardly ever interact with one another. They frequently duplicate tasks and exhibit little transparency.
Because cross-alignment cooperation brings more of your team members together to work together, irrespective of what division they are in, it automatically develops a collaborative culture.
Every level of the organization benefits from improved interaction skills due to joint decision-making, consistent team development, and working toward a single objective.
5. Building Team Spirit
You will have the chance to create a team of achievers through cross-alignment teamwork, allowing them to accomplish something outstanding and face significant obstacles.
Collectively, they can build a sense of oneness and increase their understanding of patience.
It might be difficult for many teams in large businesses to form cross-alignment teams to go above and beyond.
Therefore, you must take advantage of opportunities so your cross-alignment teams can work to their fullest potential.
Implement the cross-alignment collaboration best practices as soon as you decide that your project requires a cross-alignment team and use them to create a collaborative team.
It’s challenging to coordinate alignment between several departments. It needs effort.
It includes getting beyond any resistance raised by team members with competing priorities.
But if you succeed, everyone in the company gains from having the knowledge they require to enhance your services, boost the image of your brand, and drive sales.
Cross-alignment collaborations frequently occur in businesses, but how they function can have a significant impact.
Strong cross-alignment teams contribute to achieving company objectives and, ultimately, more tremendous success.