Help improve cross-team collaboration to reduce risk and inefficiency

Your team runs like a well-oiled machine. They each know one another’s skill sets and can efficiently map out a product launch plan that utilizes everyone’s unique talents. They have a communication shorthand that leaves outsiders flummoxed. It often seems like they share a single brain.

Yet when your team needs to collaborate with other functions or departments, the magic falls apart.

Your team members struggle to understand and process outside perspectives, and are spending precious hours answering the same questions over and over for their collaboration partners. They might also be failing to take important context from the other teams into account.

All of this introduces both risk and inefficiency into the development process when teams have to work together. How can you solve this communication gap?

Bringing together diverse teams to collaborate effectively relies on setting the right stage and structure. Everyone’s point of view matters and should be considered when problem solving. Try these strategies to improve your cross-team collaboration process:

Appoint a central leadership team

Make sure that one individual or a small group is steering the ship as you embark on a joint project. The leadership team should work together to collect input from both sides and ensure that they are equally represented, then use them to build a comprehensive strategy for moving forward.

Create a centralized knowledge repository

One common problem with cross-team collaboration is a lack of information. Each team knows how their unit does things and why, but doesn’t have the same context for the other team. Consider using a knowledge-sharing tool where members from both teams can ask questions, share responses and add context, and search for relevant information. This will cut down on repetitive questions and ensure that no one is left in the dark, giving them the insights to make better decisions, faster.

By creating a strong framework for communicating between teams, and appointing leadership who are working together to advance both teams’ respective goals, you can help each team move outside of their silo and learn how to use their strengths to benefit the entire company.

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