How to Achieve Cross Functional Project Success
Managing cross-functional teams or projects through a change process across borders can be challenging. Clear objectives that are actively communicated, cross-functional responsibilities that are transparent known to all team members and staying on the path are critical success factors.
Through the progress of a new or change project, there will always be opinions and individuals with intentions which may vary or differ to the bigger picture you are conveying. Communicating the company’s vision is crucial so teams remain on the correct path and do not become fragmented. Teams that understand and believe in the idea, the chance of success become greatly higher. The cynics will be shunned and either converted or pushed out.
These are the steps that I follow when building or changing teams and projects;
- Discover and understand the current situation.
- What are the needs and desired future outcome.
- Set the vision of how you will achieve the change and how you get there, and outline the communication plan to all team members involved. Where communication is cross-functional in different locations, you will need to assign leaders who will be your voice as well as travel to the various places of work.
- Map the current situation and the future outcome, what are the changes needed to achieve the change. I use Microsoft Visio for this process as it is easy to design in functional swim lanes and manipulate the flowchart as needed to tell visually a story of what you are going to achieve.
- The flow chart will give you a big picture view, this then needs to be extrapolated into details that assign responsibility to pillars, functional teams and individuals. An excellent tool to use is RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) responsibility assignment matrix. RACI is a fundamental instrument for producing position descriptions, but at this stage establish a clear value chain to stop confusion. RACI matrix’s need to be build and modified as businesses evolve and change.
- For any project, there needs to be a time and action blueprint. The plan works across the flowchart (what needs to be rolled out), RACI (who is responsible) and adds the missing ingredient when it needs to happen.
- The core communication and deployment tools are now created, Vision Statement, creation or change roadmap and the responsibility assignment (What, Who and When). With these tools completed, the need step is to communicate the plan and the required outcome to the teams. The tools help you tell a story that that will mobilise teams to deploy the project, these tools are a critical part of the process.
Deployment projects there will be challenges from people and unforeseen obstacles. The project must be managed on a weekly basis to milestones set and recommunicated as much as possible to remind every one of the objectives and the benefits.
Sizable projects need to have intermediate key objectives; this will give you wins and something to celebrate so all participants start to see clear value in what they are doing. There will be a perceived sense of purpose to keep all teams motivated to keep them going to the end.
When there is an obstacle, be it an individual or a thing you need to address it quickly so it does not fester and infect other team members. Communicating and telling the story is critical to change but were no longer viable replacement of the individual will be necessary. Unforeseen obstacles need to be removed or accounted for depending their worth in the value stream.
ID Global Concepts are experts in managing cross-functional procurement start-ups, change and projects with 20 years’ experience. We add value to your sourcing service either through consultancy or management contract to ensure your business is using best practice process that is the right fit for your business and meets your value expectations.
Maintain an open door to enable individuals to communicate; your people are your core asset to success.
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Macy’s, Urban, Sears, Marks & Spencer, Myer, Kmart US & Kmart Australia, Dunnes Stores, Debenhams Monsoon Accessorize, Asos, Witchery, Brown Sugar, RM Williams, Coles, Chloe, John Lewis, Disney, Next, Firetrap, Lonsdale, Postie, ASDA, Harris Scarf, River Island, Tesco, Woolworths, Walmart, Glassons, Babies’R’Us, New Look, Target US & Australia, Primark, David Jones, Best & Less, Sophie, Yakka, Top Shop, BHS, Burlington, BigW, Oasis, JayJays, Blue Illusion, Driza-Bone, Just Jeans, Volcom, House of Fraser, Pumpkin Patch, Suzanne Grae, Pelaco, Laura Ashley, Sportsgirl, Ted Baker, Truetex, TableEight, French Connection
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