A cross-functional team is a group of people brought together from different functional areas to redesign a process or product or to make decisions or recommendations about a process or a product. A cross-functional team is different from a task force, because it adopts the principles of teamwork, and because its charge may be either short-term or long-term. Membership will come from a number of areas within the organization, but may also include suppliers or customers of the organization. Members may represent different levels of the organization and different functional areas, but while they are participating on the cross-functional team, they share responsibility and authority for the way the team works together and the accomplishments of the team.

Guide to Performance Management, UCSD

Cross-functional teams aim to improve internal communication, coordination, and collaboration by bringing together people from different departments and areas of expertise. This will, in theory, allow the team members to see beyond their own limited sphere of interest and focus on long-term goals as well. In practice, cross-functional team members tend to have problems transcending their own limited points of view and poorly designed or poorly led teams often degenerate into aimless squabbling over irrelevant issues. David Chaudron suggest ensuring the following preconditions are in place:

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References

http://www.hrfree.com/articles/cross_functional_tmwrk.htm

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