Stand out in the Development Industry with Cross-Functional Teams

Companies that strive for excellence must systematically invest in people. In an increasingly competitive world, companies show concern for developing multidisciplinary teams to differentiate their competitive potential in the market.

To manage people it is necessary to understand people, like people, share with them, listen to them and leave paradigms aside, expand the mind to understand and even accept the circumstances that lead people to act in a certain way and perceive like the other is.

Teamwork requires trained professionals, understanding that the proper performance of its activities as a team improves communication across sectors and good organizational development, reaching individual goals and company.

In this article, you will see how you can develop cross-functional teams in a company and having some Scrum methods through them. And GitScrum has the best features to help you evolve your cross-functional team and make them more productive!

What are cross-functional teams?

Cross-functional teams are units within a business that include members from various departments of the business. The team can be assembled temporarily to work on a specific objective and short-term objective, or it can be a permanent unit designed to solve ongoing business problems.

By combining people with different areas of experience and skill, a company can create a very small functional unit capable of accomplishing goals.

Likewise, a person in the department who focuses on packaging and distribution would consider issues related to that department, and so on. This can reduce line inefficiency by ensuring that the needs of different departments are considered at every step of the decision-making process.

Cross-functional teams can be tasked with making decisions, developing products, and solving problems faced by the company. And that’s why using GitScrum’s User Stories, for example, you will be able to understand your client’s demands and share information with various teams. 

They can work quickly and highly efficient and can be given a lot of autonomy. Using cross-functional teams in operations can encourage innovation, as people can feel more comfortable exploring and presenting new ideas in small groups.

Interpersonal conflicts can reduce efficiency, in addition to creating an unpleasant work environment, which makes it difficult for the team to achieve its goals. On the other hand, team members who think a lot alike may not make a great team because they will have difficulty understanding the big picture or thinking about problems in new ways.

The benefits of cross-functional teams

At the heart of agile development are self-organizing cross-functional teams. However, this is often understood as, for example, back-end and front-end developers working together.

If an organization is aiming for agility across the enterprise, to fully benefit from agility, it must enable teams to be truly cross-functional value centers, bringing different perspectives of business, markets, cultures, beliefs, etc.

In this way, cross-functional teams overcome not only the limitations of organizational silos but also a unique view of the market.

Many products have been developed that serve only one type of customer.  The reason is that the composition of teams leads to the development of products that only serve people who resemble the people on the team.

If teams are truly cross-functional and resemble the diversity of the market, the products they are creating are also better. Having a tool like GitScrum’s Task Custom Fields will help you track your workflow easily with different teams in a customizable task area.

Thus, if the entire team has full business expertise, knows the market, reflects all the diversity of customers, then it can even disrupt the market and not wait for someone to decide on priorities.

With this true multifunctionality, the team can fully understand the company’s business and take a holistic view of it, knowing its contribution to the company’s value stream.

Real cross-functional teams are an essential building block for implementing agility across the board.

The development of cross-functional teams with Scrum

The development team of a Scrum project should be a self-organized, multidisciplinary team, composed of seven plus or minus two members. Teams with more members need more effort to coordinate.

Saying that the team is multidisciplinary means that all members have the necessary competencies to carry out all the stories of a given Sprint, members can work together, with each member of the team contributing to the work in the Sprint.

What is different from having teams with each member having different knowledge and working on the development of the same product.

One of those issues is there are teams that generate Sprint inputs from another team, delays in delivering functionality at the end of the Sprint can seriously impact the Sprint of other teams.

The multidisciplinary and self-organized team model will be much easier to add value to the product, with quick adaptation to changing requirements and vertical development, which is one of the focuses of agile methods.

With vertical development a certain product functionality can be developed in a Sprint, going through all the layers, from the persistence layer to the presentation layer.

With all these qualities, the Development Team is a team that can add more value to the product due to the work dynamics.

Ways to implement cross-functional teams engagement

Team engagement is linked to increasing a company’s productivity and results. After all, engaged professionals tend to produce with better quality, directly impacting all points of a business.

This concept means how much a company’s employees are committed to results and encompasses the understanding that each of their actions positively or negatively impacts the business.

1. Foster an engaged organizational culture

It is the manager’s role to establish conditions to maximize team engagement. They need to lead by example and work daily to maintain that engagement.

This is done, for example, by including employees in the definition of company processes, enabling them to participate in business decisions, obviously, within the limits of their responsibilities and attributions.

2. Encourage them to work together

Another important step is to encourage employees to work collaboratively. This can be done by setting shared goals across teams.

Allow the formation of cross-functional teams, with people from different specialties or areas, who will think together about the best solutions for the project. Do not create competitions at this stage, as this can put the attempt at integration between teams to lose.

3. Get to Know what motivates your employees

A motivated professional is not necessarily an engaged professional. Likewise, an engaged professional is not necessarily a happy employee.

Different people are motivated by different things.  Use GitScrum’s Rock Star Team feature to make them competitive and create a healthy environment to deliver tasks efficiently. So talk to team members and find out what motivates them. This is a key step in creating an engaging environment.

4. Insert OKR in your cross-functional teams

It is essential to adopt OKR. OKR is an approach that aims to mobilize the entire company in achieving its main goals.

Through OKRs, employees, managers, and executives gain more clarity and alignment about what is most important to the business and can define priorities that are related to the company’s strategies and purpose.

The results of applying this concept are a higher level of engagement and greater employee satisfaction. After all, OKR provides more transparency, more engagement, and better communication across the company. Employees can identify the real impact of their activities and start to execute them with more fluidity and quality.

GitScrum supports your team to better results and effective deliveries!

Set your workflow and board to guide your Agile team, assign Tasks, Subtasks and keep in charge of the whole process evolvements. Allow your Agile team to collaborate.

Reach higher levels of efficiency, productivity, and deliverability with GitScrum. Work focused on prioritizing what’s valuable and tracking your flow to overcome results.

Sign up now and make your team grow together!

Leonardo Salles

Copywriter for GitScrum.