Cross Functional Teams

Project management efficiency and strong communication strategies can mean the difference between success and failure when it comes to complex or high-visibility projects. As organizations pursue goals that increasingly impact multiple operational groups, ensuring that team members are able to move outside the silos of their department or discipline is key to achieving success. At PMAlliance, our experts are skilled at developing cross-functional teams capable of planning and executing even the most challenging projects.


Challenges of cross-functional project management

The complexity and reach of today’s projects has brought about a more pressing need for cross-functional project management teams. Unfortunately, there are two primary challenges organizations encounter when trying to leverage these cross-functional elements. The first is that it’s difficult to develop a project management team that encompasses the multiple functional areas and deep expertise needed to execute difficult projects.

The second hurdle is that effective management and deployment of a cross-functional team can quickly become a scattered effort that lacks enough cohesiveness and accountability to accomplish anything. Ensuring that communication flows are effective can be troublesome, as various departments or disciplines may not be adept at dealing with those outside their group. They may not use the same terminology, share the same resource needs, even rely on similar reporting structure. Creating order out of the chaos is a skill all its own.

 

Risks abound for organizations stuck in silos

With oversight of the project team’s activities hindered by lingering silos, the risks for the organization quickly mount. Problems are likely to crop up in multiple areas, including resource allocation and use, timeframe development and adherence, scope creep, and stakeholder satisfaction. It’s not uncommon for these unstructured teams to lose their grip on the project’s parameters and goals, factors which often puts the various stakeholders at odds with each other and creates additional problems for the team. The various factions could devolve into quibbling over resources or adopting their own strategies in pursuit of what each considers to be the project’s priorities. Even if the groups achieve one or more of the project’s stated goals, the lack of a structured team approach often results in higher costs and missed deadlines.

 

What PMAlliance can do for you

Our PMP®-certified consultants bring with them expertise in navigating the difficulties of cross-functional teams. We can help your organization provide the team and its stakeholders with the structure necessary to ensure effective communication flows and robust collaboration across every functional area. Establishing the right governance procedures allows activities across multiple disciplines to be brought under one umbrella and efficiently moved from planning to completion.

PMAlliance utilizes a strong, tested methodology that includes stringent project controls. These are crucial to the success of cross-functional teams. Our technology supports status updates that can be made readily available across much of the project team to ensure everyone is working toward the same successful end. Lagging activity timetables or missed milestones anywhere along the functional spectrum are easily identified and any issues likely to impact the project’s outcomes can be quickly addressed and resolved.

Case Study

Industry
Food Manufacturing
A food manufacturing company asked PMAlliance to manage its project to transfer a sizable portion of its product manufacturing to a former supplier’s new facility. The project faced several significant challenges including managing a downsizing workforce, international teams in different locations, maintaining consistent product flavor and quality, and ensuring equal commitment between the company and the supplier.