Working cross-functionally can be a difficult task, and it’s essential to build strong relationships with colleagues from other departments. While I’m proud of the solid working relationships I’ve established with my cross-functional partners, there are still some areas that I wish I could improve upon. From communication to collaboration, I believe that these improvements would help make our inter-departmental relationships even stronger and more successful.
Along with making sure you have a good rapport with them, you need to check in with them frequently. Also, always download the most recent KPIs and OKRs, and wherever required, take chats offline. If you don’t have enough capacity to gain a complete overview of the scenario, don’t be scared to go back.
More alignment around long-term health. My biggest antagonists are sales, who often find ways to sell our products in ways that the system cannot support or make false promises on UX, which I then must spend time unwinding. I’d rather they bring their blockers & problems to me ahead of time, so that same time I’m currently wasting can instead be used to improve our product.
If you’re asking for general advice on improving cross-functional relationships, here are some suggestions:
- Foster open communication: Effective cross-functional relationships rely on clear communication. Encourage open dialogue and active listening between teams to better understand each other’s perspectives and work collaboratively towards shared goals.
- Establish shared objectives: It’s essential to establish shared objectives and ensure that everyone involved understands how their contribution fits into the larger picture. This shared understanding can help teams work more cohesively and productively together.
- Respect differences: Teams from different functions may have different priorities, timelines, and perspectives. Recognizing and respecting these differences can help foster a more collaborative working relationship.
- Create opportunities for collaboration: Encourage cross-functional teams to work together on projects or initiatives to promote understanding and build relationships.
- Celebrate successes: Celebrate milestones and successes with cross-functional teams to reinforce the value of collaboration and teamwork. This can help build camaraderie and strengthen cross-functional relationships.
Quit defending their terror-filled past and refusing to adapt.
I work for a big company with many of procedures and systems that have been in place for a while, and people who are familiar with them don’t think there’s a better way to do things. For instance, waterfall procedures since the business is particularly risk averse.
Better communication about project/feature scope. I feel like no matter how hard I try, or how many times I explain, designs, marketing plans, etc still get delivered outside of the scope of what we’re doing.
I usually take pride in my ability to manage and establish relationships, yet I would change the following:
Doing everything in my ability to make the partner or stakeholder understand that things like empire building or becoming territorial won’t help anything and that we succeed TOGETHER. If I’m stepping on your toes, it’s not on purpose; I’m only trying to help because I see a chance.
Quit putting individuals in the wrong. Even though I’ve been thrown under the bus so frequently that the tyres now just sort of bounce off me, it still stings, especially after I’ve worked hard to assist a partner in meeting a need or solving a business problem. When we were in the office, it was much simpler to have a “coffee talk,” but I’m looking for methods to make stakeholder conversations less “planned” and more casual.
Be less of a bulldog and accept that I don’t have the solution to every issue. Anyone who asks my spouse about his biggest pet peeve with me will hear that it is my inability to listen sympathetically without offering advice or answers. Simply put, that’s not how I work. I need to do a better job of admitting that I don’t have all the answers and that my team members aren’t only disagreeing with me; they’re also attempting to support me.
The job of a PM is 80% politics. The years and scars have made me MUCH better at them, but I continue to grow daily.
They should refrain from offering me complete solutions when they don’t know what the real issue is.
Better communication. We’re a start-up, therefore everyone at my company currently feels a little isolated.
@JaneWinfred, how in the world did that happen? Typically, the startup issue is the opposite, with individuals dispersed across and responsibilities and teams that are not yet sufficiently defined.
Kind of, it still works that way. We all seem to get mired in our work since everyone is juggling many responsibilities.
The issue at hand is not the worst that could ever exist. It’s unquestionably preferable to folks stepping on one other’s toes (e.g. a biz dev person having way too much influence on product or something like that)
Misalignment between project/feature scope and the actual deliverables can be frustrating, but it’s a common problem in many organizations. Here are some steps you can take to improve communication about project/feature scope:
- Define clear and concise project/feature scope: Ensure that the project/feature scope is defined clearly and concisely in writing, with all stakeholders in agreement. Make sure the scope document outlines the deliverables, timelines, and key requirements of the project.
- Set expectations and communicate them: Communicate the project/feature scope to all relevant stakeholders, including designers, marketers, developers, and project managers. Make sure they understand what is expected of them in terms of project/feature scope.
- Hold regular check-ins: Schedule regular check-ins to review progress and ensure that the project/feature is on track. Use these meetings as an opportunity to clarify any misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
- Provide feedback: Provide constructive feedback to designers, marketers, and other stakeholders when deliverables are outside the project/feature scope. Be clear about what needs to be changed, and provide guidance on how to get back on track.
- Use collaboration tools: Consider using collaboration tools such as project management software, design tools, and shared documentation to keep everyone informed and on the same page.
- Learn from mistakes: When a project/feature scope is not met, take the time to understand why and learn from it. Use this knowledge to improve communication about project/feature scope in the future.
By following these steps, you can improve communication about project/feature scope, reduce misunderstandings, and ensure that the deliverables meet the project/feature’s objectives.
Improving communication is essential to breaking down silos and promoting collaboration in any organization, particularly in a startup where everyone’s contribution is critical. Here are some steps you can take to improve communication at your company:
- Foster open communication: Encourage open dialogue and active listening across all teams to promote better understanding and collaboration. Encourage everyone to speak up and share their ideas and opinions.
- Establish regular check-ins: Schedule regular check-ins with team members to discuss progress and share updates. This can help ensure that everyone is informed and aligned with the company’s goals.
- Create a shared vision: Establish a shared vision and values for the company that everyone can rally behind. This can help foster a sense of purpose and direction, which can improve communication and collaboration.
- Use collaboration tools: Use collaboration tools such as project management software, messaging apps, and video conferencing software to facilitate communication and information sharing.
- Promote cross-functional teams: Create cross-functional teams that bring together people from different departments or areas of expertise to work on specific projects. This can help break down silos and promote collaboration.
- Provide regular feedback: Provide regular feedback to team members on their work and encourage them to provide feedback to you. This can help improve communication and build trust.
- Lead by example: As a leader, model open communication and collaboration. Encourage others to do the same and recognize and celebrate collaboration when it occurs.
By following these steps, you can promote open communication, break down silos, and build a more collaborative and productive work environment for your startup.
Thank you @Pankaj-Jain for such a wonderful step by step explanation. Appreciate it.
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