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Chapter 25. Cross-Functional Teams > Completing the Assignment - Pg. 336

Cross-Functional Teams 336 Another advantage of cross-functional teams is that they enable companies to break down the artificial barriers that separate the different departments in the organization. Members serving on these teams get to know colleagues from other teams or departments and, once the project is completed and the team disbanded, these friendships carry over into their normal activities, facili- tating communication between these former teammates and engendering cooperation among de- partments. The Least You Need to Know · Cross-functional teams work on assignments in which the expertise of members of diverse departments is needed. · In creating a temporary cross-functional team, make sure each member knows the capabilities of the other members and feels free to call on them for help when needed. · Cross-functional teams are sometimes established on a permanent basis. They are not usually full-time assignments, but additions to the members' regular work. · The person who forms a new cross-functional team should be thoroughly familiar with its objectives and should learn a good deal about prospective members. · In a cross-functional team, it's logical to assign those aspects of the work which are in a member's special area of expertise to that member. · One barrier to successful cross-functional teamwork is that members tend to look upon themselves as representatives of their department or discipline, instead of as team members. · To overcome barriers to team success, members must first become aware of their own negative behavior patterns and take steps to learn and use different approaches to team activity. · Emphasize the need for all members to think in terms of the team's mission and objectives--not those of their previous or current full-time team goals--when working on this team's projects. · When a project is completed, a full report should be completed to be used as a guide to future teams