Definition of Cross-Functional Team

A cross-functional team is a group of people from different departments of an organization such as sales, marketing, finance, or customer success. 

Key Leadership Characteristics to Manage a Cross-Functional Team

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Strong Ties
  • An A-Team
  • Flexibility
  • Clarity
  • Mutual Understanding
  • Individual Attention
  • Excellent Communication
  • Thorough Organization

Advantages of a Cross-Functional Team


Creating cross-functional teams is a way of encouraging employees to step out of their comfort zone. When people from different teams come together, they participate more and learn to look at a problem from a different angle. This helps them to come up with creative and innovative ideas. 

Strong Work Relationships

Cross-functional teams allow people to interact with colleagues outside their department. Eventually, new friendships are made and with time the bond becomes strong. This is known to make employees happy and motivated, leading to healthy workplace culture. 

Learn New Skills and Tools

Working with people from different functionalities gives one an opportunity to learn skills and tools previously unknown to them. They learn by observing each other which when applied to their own work increases productivity. 

Employee Productivity

Alignment With Company’s Goals and Missions

Often companies find it challenging to align all the teams on the business’s mission and vision. When teams work together, they are all striving to achieve the same mission and vision. Moreover, working together makes people realize that all the departments in the company are interlinked and that the work one department does impacts others as well. 

How to Establish a Cross-Functional Team?

Identify the Skills Needed

In order to make a cross-functional team, you have to identify and select people with varying skill sets. This will add value to the group and enable members to learn from each other. 

Find a Leader

Next, choose a leader who enables members of the team to demonstrate leadership. Identify a leader who gives autonomy and is always there to support their team. 

Define Goals

This step should be taken even before a cross-functional team is formed. Set clear goals and objectives so that when the team comes together, they know that they all are headed towards achieving a common goal and will work collaboratively

Set a Budget

Budget allocation is equally important as other steps. Try discussing this early on with the team. 

Develop Project Schedules

Develop realistic schedules and assign deadlines so that each member of a cross-functional team takes responsibility and turns in their work on time. This is important to ensure progress at each stage. 

Establish Clear Lines of Communication

A clear line of communication makes it easy for team members to work cohesively with each other. Ensure that members coordinate and communicate with each other in person and online. 


Related Terms 
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