Cross Functional Team Definition, Importance, Advantages, Disadvantages, Example & Overview

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Definition: Cross Functional Team

Cross functional team can be defined as a team where people from different domains or functions form or join a team to achieve a common outcome or solving a problem. Cross functional team is better for an organization as employees with different set of knowledge, skills and capabilities become a part of the team and hence problem solving becomes easier.


Importance of a Cross Functional Team in Business

In relation to organisational structure cross functional team can be found in matrix type structure where people are expected to report to both domain head and project leader. In the modern world with the advent of internet we have seen professional across various geographies converging and coming together to achieve a common goal. Companies have to decide the type of team which is required for business and have a team management process in place. Depending upon the type of business requirements, there are other team types like self directed work teams, special purpose team, shamrock team etc. Deciding on the type of team required, the team building activities are undertaken by companies.


Advantages of Cross Functional Team

Some advantages of a cross functional team are:

1. A cross functional team helps to leverage the knowledge of various professional fields to arrive at a common solution

2. It helps to breakdown complex task which otherwise can be cumbersome and time taking

3. A cross functional team helps in pooling of resources and sharing of technical knowhow so that the objective is achieved

4. It helps to leverage the knowledge of the professionals so as to impart the knowledge to newcomers and the people working on a project

5. It helps to create a knowledge sharing platform which can also lead to knowledge management.


Disadvantages of Cross Functional Team

Certain disadvantages of a cross functional team in business are:

1. Presence of a large no professional from various domain can lead to friction between the team members and hence decrease productivity

2. Many a times the presence of a large no of team members hampers sharing of resources which can hamper the functioning of the team.

3. A large no professional in the team can have ego issues and hence it can be difficult to arrive at common solution

4. Many a times in a cross functional team a person can have dual reporting one to the project head and one to his respective domain manager which can lead to confusion among the employees.


Example of a Cross Functional Team

A cross functional team can consist of professional from marketing, finance, operation and human resources when the organisation is looking for a greenfield operation in a particular location.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Cross Functional Team along with its overview.

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