Many companies have one or more strategic initiatives that need extensive coordination and collaboration across functions and teams. These cross-team efforts are frequently the most difficult while also being the most rewarding.
The necessity and significance of strategic cross-team initiatives are well understood by most businesses. Despite this, many organizations are having difficulty with these initiatives. While there are certainly a number of approaches to accomplishing cross-team efforts, here are seven measures to ensuring cross-team security initiatives are successful:
Support from the top
Although it may seem evident, cross-team projects require leadership support to succeed. The reason for this is often rather clear. Each team has its own set of goals, priorities, targets, objectives, and other success indicators. No matter how much a team wants a cross-team initiative to succeed, that team cannot modify its own success criteria in reality. As a result, supporting a cross-team initiative at the expense of other essential intra-team endeavors would reflect poorly on the team, even if it is in the best interests of the business as a whole. To break this loop and guide the organization in the best possible direction, executive support is essential.
Executive support for cross-team efforts is essential, but executives must also establish clear priorities for the initiative and the business as a whole. That is the only way for different teams to understand the expectations for the initiative they are working on, as well as how it fits into the overall plan of the company. As the initiative progresses, these priorities will play a significant role in the decision-making process.
Priorities, support, and a point person are all good places to start, but a successful cross-team project also requires enough resources. Despite the fact that this appears to be evident, many companies struggle with this stage. Teams are accustomed to prioritizing and allocating resources to intra-team activities. When it comes to cross-team projects, it’s not always clear which resources should come from which teams and in what quantities. This is a challenging position that frequently develops, and it necessitates executive and responsible party guidance in allocating these resources according to priorities and budget.
Responsible and timely decision making
Making responsible and timely decisions is one of the most difficult aspects of cross-team initiatives. One reason for this is that it is unclear to individuals who are contributing to the initiative who is in charge and, as a result, who is accountable for the project’s outcomes. Stakeholders give their perspectives, advise, warn against possible negative effects, and discuss various options. However, in order to make progress, decisions must be made at some point. It’s clumsy, difficult, and slow to make these decisions as a group. These strategic initiatives can only proceed forward if a responsible party is appointed to elicit feedback, foster discussion, establish consensus, and then make responsible and timely choices.
It is an unfortunate reality of larger companies that mistrust or distrust can develop between different teams within a company at times. Because cross-team trust is essential for teams to collaborate effectively, a lack of trust stymies progress in cross-team activities. Top management and the responsible party must work together to build trust among participants and stakeholders. Competence, fairness, openness, transparency, and trustworthiness are the most effective ways to achieve this. Teams can collaborate more effectively and efficiently when bridges are built. As a result, the goals of the cross-team initiative will be more easily achieved.
Cross-team initiatives, like intra-team efforts, should be broken down into smaller, more manageable milestones. Progress toward each of these milestones can be assessed and tracked, and if the effort starts to veer off course early on, it can be spotted and corrected. Even the most well-intentioned cross-team projects can go wrong when targets are set too high or too tough to achieve.
A successful cross-team effort requires effective communication. Establishing regular touchpoints on a routine basis when priorities are discussed, input and feedback is asked, confidence and consensus is created, and status reports are delivered is one approach to accomplish this. These regular touchpoints can become a valuable resource for the cross-team effort if the right group of stakeholders is involved.
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