All organizations are engaged in one or more strategic initiatives that require extensive coordination and collaboration across functions and teams. Cross-team initiatives are challenging but also quite rewarding.
While protecting company data and devices may be an IT department’s responsibility, an effective data-security program involves collaboration between diverse teams.
Businesses of all sizes across all industries need to protect their data and employee and customer information. The first step is to identify the appropriate players within the organization who can team up to run data safety initiatives.
The following are some strategies for ensuring the success of cross-team security initiatives:
Maintaining leadership support
While this may seem self-evident, cross-team initiatives cannot succeed without leadership buy-in and support. The reason for this is quite simple. Each team has its own set of priorities, objectives, targets, and other success criteria. Regardless of how much a given team desires the success of a cross-team effort, that team cannot change its own success criteria. The higher-level view of the organization, which encompasses the needs and responsibilities of the whole team, is needed to ensure all interests are met without any compromises. Hence leadership executives need to be completely on board with the initiatives.
Setting Clear priorities:
In addition to leadership providing support for cross-team efforts, they must establish straightforward priorities for the initiative. That is the only way for different teams to understand the expectations for the effort in which they are participating and how it fits into the organization’s broader strategy. These priorities will play a significant role in the initiative’s decision-making process as it progresses.
One of the most difficult aspects of cross-team efforts is making responsible and timely decisions. This is critical because the people contributing to the effort are unaware of who is in charge and thus accountable for the project’s outcomes. Stakeholders and other participants will frequently share their perspectives, offer guidance, caution against certain negative outcomes, and discuss various alternative scenarios. Nonetheless, decisions must be made at some point in order for progress to be made. Making these decisions collectively is inefficient, awkward, and slow. These strategic efforts can only progress by appointing a responsible employee who solicits input, fosters discussion, promotes consensus, and then makes responsible and timely decisions.
Having Adequate resources:
While support, priorities, and a point person are all excellent places to start, a successful cross-team initiative requires adequate resources. While this appears to be self-evident, many organizations struggle with this step. Teams are generally accustomed to prioritizing and allocating resources to intra-team activities. When it comes to cross-team efforts, determining which resources should be drawn from which teams and in what numbers is not always straightforward. This is a difficult yet frequent situation, and it requires team leaders to guide teams in allocating these resources after considering priorities and budget constraints.
Effective communication is critical for a cross-team initiative to succeed. One approach to do this is to establish periodic touchpoints at which priorities are conveyed, input and criticism are sought, trust and consensus are developed, and status reports are delivered. With the correct collection of stakeholders, these routine touchpoints may become an invaluable resource for the cross-team effort.
It is unfortunate for larger organizations that mistrust or distrust exists at times between different divisions. Because cross-team trust is critical for teams to collaborate effectively, a lack of trust significantly impedes progress in cross-team efforts. All teams and their team leads must work collaboratively to develop trust among stakeholders and participants. This is most easily accomplished through competence, fairness, open dialogues, and transparency. By establishing bridges, teams can collaborate more effectively and efficiently. This, in turn, will aid in the achievement of the objective of the cross-team initiative.