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How to Ace Cross-Team Collaboration in Distributed Teams

Cross-team collaboration isn’t easy under normal conditions. In distributed teams, it can be even harder. But it’s not impossible.

How to Ace Cross-Team Collaboration in Distributed Teams

One company. A lot of teams. All collaborating, working towards the same goal. That sounds like the perfect scenario, right? 

But we all know things rarely go that way.

Nearly 40% of teams report a lack of collaboration in the workplace as the main reason for lack of success.

Of course, finding the people with the skills you need is challenging. But let's say that you managed to build your dream team. 

What now? How can you retain them? What can you do to help them work together? How can you do your best work?

To help you with that, we've put together a list of things you can do to improve cross-team collaboration in distributed teams.

Keep reading to discover:

  • Why it’s so crucial to master cross-team collaboration.
  • The reasons most startups fail at doing just that.
  • How you can avoid those mistakes and ace collaboration.

Ready to jump right into it?

The 5 Reasons You Need to Ace Cross-Team Collaboration

Cross-team collaboration sounds great in theory, but is it really THAT useful? We think so, and here's why.

1. Better Idea Generation

When you have different people with different perspectives working on a project, it's only natural that they will come up with better ideas.

Each team member brings their own experiences and knowledge to the table, which can help improve the project's quality.

2. Improved Workflows

Cross-team collaboration can also help to improve workflows. By working together, team members can identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the process and find ways to overcome them.

3. Faster Project Progress

Another benefit of cross-team collaboration is that it can help to speed up project progress. When teams are working together, they can provide feedback and input more quickly, which can help to move the project along at a faster pace.

4. Increased Engagement

Did you know that 9 out of 10 disengaged team members mute video during calls? When team members are not engaged in their work, it can harm the quality of the project. 

Cross-team collaboration can help to increase engagement by giving team members a sense of ownership over the project and a feeling that they are part of something larger.

5. Better Team Spirit

Last but not least, cross-team collaboration can help to improve team spirit. When team members work together towards a common goal, it can help create a sense of camaraderie and esprit de corps.

Why Most Startups Fail at Cross-Team Collaboration

Cross-team collaboration is not without its challenges. Here are some of the most common challenges that distributed teams in startups face when trying to collaborate.

1. Different Time Zones

One of the most common challenges distributed teams face is different time zones. It cannot be easy to find a time that works for everyone to meet and discuss the project. That, in turn, can often lead to frustration and even conflict among team members.

2. Lack of Accountability

Another challenge that distributed teams face is a lack of accountability. When team members are not in the same physical location, it can be difficult to hold them accountable for their work.

3. Social Loafing

Social loafing is a phenomenon that occurs when people are less likely to contribute to a project when they are part of a group. It's often seen in distributed teams, as team members may feel that their contribution is not as important.

5 Ways to Improve Cross-Team Collaboration Right Now

Sure, cross-team collaboration can be challenging. However, it's not impossible. Here are five ways to improve cross-team collaboration in your distributed team:

1. Centralize Communication in One Place

You don't need to make collaboration any harder than it needs to be. That's why you need to do everything to eliminate overly-long email threads and unnecessary conference calls.

One of the best ways is to centralize communication in one place. By using a single platform, you can keep all of your team's communication in one place

That’ll make it easier for team members to stay up-to-date on a project, removing any uncertainty about where to communicate and making it easier for everyone to coordinate.

2. Use Project Management Tools

Project management tools are essential for any team, but they are especially important for distributed teams. Apps for team collaboration can help keep track of deadlines, assigned tasks, and progress reports. 

They can also be used to communicate with team members and provide feedback. A platform like Kosy can help to improve cross-team collaboration by providing a central place for team members to communicate and collaborate on projects.

3. Make Clear Who Will Lead Each Project

When you're working on a project with multiple teams, it often means several leaders fighting for the top spot. If you want to have a smooth operation, you can't allow this to happen.

Each team leader needs to know what decisions they can and can't make. Having a central decision-maker make the final call on things would be best. That will help to avoid any confusion or conflict among team members.

4. Face-to-Face Interactions

In a distributed team, face-to-face interactions are often few and far between. However, that doesn't mean they aren't necessary. 

On the contrary, research has shown that face-to-face interactions are essential for building trust and rapport.

If you want to improve cross-team collaboration, you need to make an effort to have more face-to-face interactions. That can be done by hosting regular video calls or even in-person meetings.

5. Host a Kick-Off Meeting

A kick-off meeting is a great way to get everyone on the same page. It's an opportunity for team leaders to lay out the goals and objectives of the project. It's also a time for team members to ask questions and voice concerns.

By hosting a kick-off meeting, you can ensure everyone is on the same page. That way, you'll avoid any confusion or misunderstandings down the line.

Supercharge Your Distributed Team Today

Cross-team collaboration can be challenging, but it's not impossible. By following these tips, you can improve collaboration in your distributed team.

If you want your distributed teams to work like a well-oiled machine, you need a mix of capable personnel, strong leadership, and effective software. The latter might be more important than you realize.

An online workspace like Kosy can help to improve communication and collaboration among distributed teams. Kosy has everything you need to take your company to the next level with features like video conferencing, task management, and file sharing.

If you want to give Kosy a chance, sign up for free today

Trust us, you won't regret it!

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