Cross Functional Teams (CFT) are an effective way for companies to solve problems. Both small and large companies have used them. Across the business landscape, these groups have tackled everything from Absenteeism to Zero Tolerance Policies.
Cross-functional teams are by definition, groups of people from different department of your company. They are charged with the task of solving a problem or reviewing a potential direction that the company has. CFT produce not only superior solutions but ones that reflect the requirements of all departments. When using a group of one department, the solution reflects what is best for that department to the detriment of others. As an example, Accountants may come up with procedures that is the best process for cashflow management however; it will be to the detriment of project management and field supervision i.e. little flexibility in the rules to reward good subcontractors or take advantage of special material buys. In essence, the process of cash flow management is very good however; it is hurting field supervision and project management. In this example it actually hurts profitability.
In these times CFT’s are the best way to come up with solutions, which will not be overhauled next month.
CFT’s harness the power of three dynamics. 1) The years of experience of your employees and 2) The people closest to the problem are the ones that will create the most effective solution for all concerned 3) Solutions designed by your people (versus created by senior management) will be supported by your people.
Major corporations, small concerns, and everything in-between have utilized this concept and have found it valuable to use this type of team. Construction contractors are using them more and more as the need for innovation increases