A study by Harvard Business Review suggests that 75% of cross-functional teams are dysfunctional. We have all experienced the failure of cross-functional teams (CFTs) in our organization at some time or another. They are difficult to manage and a lot of work goes into successfully running productive CFTs.
The reason for this dysfunction is simple. The interaction of numerous departments means confusion.
Who reports to whom? What is each person’s specific role? Communication tends to get somewhere lost in translation and as a result, the overall goals of the company begin to suffer.
Tools like Trello help bring team members from each department on the same page. It helps in aligning communication and properly preparing cross-functional teams for productive collaborations.
Here are 3 steps to help you make the most of Trello to maximize your workplace productivity:
#1. Clarify team AoRs
In an organization, each and every member of a team should know what their exact role is. As soon as a team is assembled, each individual should be aware of their functional roles and assigned duties.
The responsibility of delegating tasks and assigning duties rests with the Team Leader or Manager.
They are expected to ensure that everyone is on the same page about their expected deliverables. They need to ensure that each team member must be clear on their AoRs (Areas of Responsibility). Doing this helps fuel the harmonious functioning of the team.
However, a team leader or manager has enough on their hands and does not enjoy the luxury of checking up on each employee with the whip of a stick.
In such a scenario, setting up an AoR system that diligently demarcates work becomes a tiring task for the person leading the team. This is where a tool like Trello comes handy.
Trello can be used to set up an AoR system easily, thus facilitating easy communication within dimensional teams. By using Trello, managers can assign tasks, define responsibilities, and categorize resources without taking any pains.
#2. Visually boost organization & communication
Using Trello to boost team organization
Trello is a great tool to organize teams. Each member can use it to provide updates on issues, deadlines, and project details.
They can open new tasks and close the finished tasks so everyone is updated and in the loop. You can also view notifications in real-time so everyone is notified as soon as an action is taken.
This simplifies the work of a manager. They can sit back and take it easy on the ‘managing’ as every team member has an understanding of the project’s progress.
As members of a CFT are bound to have additional cross-functional responsibilities, it is a good idea to use Trello to manage regular as well as cross-functional team roles. It ensures that the different daily schedules and work priorities of team members don’t interfere with team productivity.
Using Trello to boost communication
According to a Holmes Report, poor communication has caused a whopping $37 billion in 100,000-employee companies, among 400 surveyed corporations in the U.S. and U.K.
Communication between each link of the chain needs to be clear for a CFT to function effectively. Poor communication can cause frustration which results in poor productivity. Trello can rescue you from this problem as it is a great platform to keep everyone in the loop.
Any member of the team can visually observe the progress of various projects and themselves open dialogues.
See the image below to understand how the entire team doesn’t even need to be in the same place geographically to align communication. Trello can be used to set up boards where lists of topics can be created for discussion and team members can exchange information regardless of time and location.
#3. Track OKRs
In a CFT it becomes difficult for team members to prioritize tasks and it becomes easy to lose track of what one is supposed to be working on at the moment. Trello can be used to clarify goals by using OKRs (Objectives and Key Results).
The use of OKRs is a cross-functional team management strategy that can help give direction to team members. OKRs define qualitative and time-bound objectives. These objectives have quantitative defined results. The results are measured based on engagement, revenue, performance, or growth.
Trello lets you form lists to summarize objectives and cards to summarize key results. You can put labels on these cards to display the status of each key result.
As covered in this article, Trello is undoubtedly an amazing tool that helps in the effective management of cross-functional teams. It helps in assigning goals to each team member and ensuring effective communication within different departments.
Management becomes a lot easier when all the data the company needs to function on is shared on a single platform for anyone to view and contribute in. If you’re struggling to manage the smooth functioning of CFTs in your organization, a tool like Trello can help.
But don’t take my word on it. Use it to experience the effectiveness of this tool first-hand.