Cross-functional teams are found to deliver unexpectedly innovative results that benefit the entire organization. Collaborative team design is often associated with a tremendous rise in revenue, overall business growth and client satisfaction. In this article, we evaluate some ways in which an agency’s web design process can gain from cross-team collaboration.
We also discuss some tips on how to put a cross-functional team into action and achieve desired goals:
1. Automation in the workflow: Workflow automation is the first step in creating a cross-functional environment. As a web design professional, it is imperative to have a clear picture of the functioning of every department to be able to make informed decisions for the design department. When implemented and monitored properly, cross-team collaboration enables team members to speed up projects by understanding and identifying processes that can be automated through the use of technology.
As an example, when the design department hands a prototype to the developers, the process further should be quick and streamlined so there are less confusion and faster results. When the lead designer needs to hand over a prototype to the development team, a traditional approach would involve multiple assets, creating walkthroughs for the developers, redlining, and much more.
But with the right set of tools, one can automate the entire design handoff process and synchronize design and development. UX Pin is a handy tool that allows web design professionals to systemize, centralize, and automate various design and development processes and facilitate an integrated work approach.
2. Scalable Design: A big challenge faced by web design agencies is scaling their business. A large proportion of senior executives and educators blame a lack of collaboration for workplace failures. Cross-team collaboration encourages people from different departments to team up and share their knowledge and assets. As a result, designers and developers are able to identify various design processes that can be scaled up. By laying the groundwork for scalable design in the initial stages, you will be in a better position to grow your business at a healthy pace.
There are several ways to achieve a scalable design for your business. For example, you could use a website development platform that allows easy creation, storage, and sharing of templates, widgets, and layouts. This eliminates the need to recreate everything from scratch for every new web design project. You could also have designers team up with development to devise reusable custom CSS/HTML, modular sections and API integrations.
3. Staying Organized: One of the biggest challenges of running a successful web design agency is building clear and consistent systems that your team members will use in their design process. For instance, your designers may need a tool to keep track of updated design files or notify them of upcoming client deadlines. Or your agency might be struggling to meet client deadlines because file sharing is too slow or because the developers are unable to understand the prototypes they have been provided. In such scenarios, you could certainly reap the fruit of bringing some streamlining to your design process through cross-team association.
Effective cross-team collaboration enables different departments in any web design agency to work together to develop practical solutions to problems. There are specific tools available especially designed to bring structure to project workflows. Such tools serve to eliminate confusion without forcing the entire team to adhere to a standardized file naming convention.
4. Improve Communication: Cross-functional team leaders encourage members from different teams to work together on projects and think in innovative ways. Although it might be difficult at first for one team to connect with people who don’t use the same industry terminology, they eventually learn to rephrase their ideas in a mutually understandable language. This improves internal communication within the organization and helps your business communicate better with clients. A large number of professionals prefer collaborative workspaces and support social tools for workplace collaboration. Through cross-team collaboration, designers and developers are able to develop new ways of discussing their ideas in a more successful manner.
Forming a social intranet for your team members and clients using a collaboration platform like Basecamp also helps improve communication with clients. Such platforms bring tacit knowledge to your web agency’s workforce and collate design systems together onto a central repository. Additionally, collaboration tools enable designers and developers to remain aligned on design projects through a single platform in a timely manner. This minimizes the unresponsiveness that email brings to your workflow. Leaving quick comments on prototypes is a lot simpler and faster than writing out a formal, lengthy email.
Conclusion: Cross-team collaboration works to reduce department divisions within an organization and improves the workflow process. Following the tips above, one can create a successful cross-functional team and promote a collaborative culture in an organization.