organization with better communication across functions to meet these demands to accelerate product development. The old-school silo structure is not an option. New approaches are necessary for better product organization structure. Every company has different needs, but all need to create more of a cross-functional collaboration process. How can we do this? Here are some strategies.
Establish clear goals and objectives for product management levels:
Product management, strategy, and marketing are all essential functions of a product organization. Working to create new product ideas, defining and launching new products, and managing existing ones are all critical aspects of organizational decision-making. Yet they can often remain isolated, creating silos that are difficult to bridge.
Set clear goals, objectives, and a timeline fo
r integrating cross-functional collaboration by showing the level at which each function will be integrated into your existing product management processes.
Foster a culture of communication and collaboration for tool agnostic:
Different tools are available to support cross-functional collaboration. Creating a sense of belonging and trust among the various teams is essential. Don’t reinvent the wheel – work with what you have (and what you need). Don’t bring too many of your company’s specific tools, technology, and products into the process. You may find that the organizational politics of your company get in the way of your desire for change.
Create talented teams with diverse skills and expertise:
It’s essential to create a team of people who
can work across functions and increase the frequency of face-to-face communication. There are numerous approaches to doing this. One strategy is introducing more communication channels, such as phones, emails, and video conferencing, and investing in cross-training for every function, whether in a physical or digital setting.
For example, product management and engineering often work together technically to create a product. To reach this goal, these professionals may need to work closely together on a given project from conception through implementation. To build trust and foster collaboration across functions, some companies assign “buddies” to help new hires learn their jobs more quickly.
Provides opportunities for cross-functional training and development:
Understanding the interdependencies between product management’s several roles is crucial. Cohesion and cooperation can flourish while individual roles are clearly defined in this way. When defining a new product or service, having a wide range of specialists is beneficial. Building a culture of cooperation and togetherness requires the participation of all team members.
Take the time to get to learn about your coworkers and their roles, and see if you can’t work together on some fun initiatives that will strengthen bonds inside the office. Professions may only advance with the support of training and other forms of personal growth.
Use a centralized repository for information gathering and sharing:
Having a central repository or data library is essential when a company has numerous individuals working on many projects, product lines, and other efforts. This ensures that everyone in the company is informed regardless of function. Hiring managers must be prepared with product management interview questions to find the top candidates!
Implement effective communication and information-sharing processes:
Companies can overcome the obstacles to an improved organization by instituting a more robust cross-functional collaboration approach. To succeed, they must maintain constant and honest communication across their teams. All parties engaged, whether internal or external, must have the requisite technical and business acumen to close the deal successfully.
Learn transparency, open governance, and clearly defined roles:
Open communication is key for any organization to thrive in today’s world of rapid innovation and global connectivity. Setting up a cross-functional collaboration process is challenging, but the benefits are worth it. Companies that embrace this change will reap the rewards of better decision-making and heightened productivity.
Businesses, with their different products and services, all need to create more of a cross-functional collaboration process. Governance, trust, and new skills are key to improving these communication processes in your business today! There have been literally millions of dollars spent on research around silo issues in companies over the past few years.
A cross-functional product management team is not a new concept. We are accustomed to seeing team meetings, face-to-face communication and collaboration, and common goals throughout the company. However, more is needed to plan for such a team; we also need to prioritize our initiatives and ensure that each has a clear purpose and plan for success. When asked what they want, they often mention something that is better than the status quo and might need to be made aware of all the impacts their ideas would have.
One cannot generalize about any group’s organizational structure or culture. A product management team charter can help you structure your company’s products, but there are other ways to form multi-departmental teams as well.