How to improve cross-team collaboration

Cross-team collaboration is essential for many projects. Your marketing team needs to work with product development so they know how to promote and build messaging around new features. Your sales team needs to work with your tech team so they can help their customers understand technical requirements and implementation needs. In order to build the smoothest and most efficient process, all teams should be sharing and talking through the most relevant data to move projects forward.

The problem is, they rarely are. Especially when different teams are housed in different locations—engineering might be in Singapore, marketing might be in San Francisco—cross-team collaboration efforts can be a struggle to stay connected across different time zones and faulty wifi connections.

As a result, one team often takes the lead on certain initiatives, not relying on input from others. Issues that are obvious to one team won’t even be a blip on the radar for another. That can cause problems or redundancies down the line.

So how can you course-correct?

Set the right stage and structure for inter-departmental collaboration. Especially if your teams aren’t able to easily communicate in real-time, it’s essential to adopt tools that will help them clearly ask and answer questions around projects they’re working on together.

Using a chat tool that enables both real-time and asynchronous communications will make it easier to reach out with and respond to timely questions. But it can be difficult to keep track of all of the discussion threads and understand which information is the most relevant and up-to-date.

In addition to chat tools, make use of a knowledge-sharing tool where any employee can post a question, share their answer to an existing question, or add to an answer thread. Employees should also be able to sort knowledge based on categorical tags or search for specific keywords, ensuring that even new hires can get the proper context on collaborative projects quickly.

By adopting the right processes and technologies to collaborate across departments and locations, you’ll be able to build a more agile and efficient company.

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