Top 4 Benefits of Cross-Functional Software Product Development Teams
One of the reasons big tech companies, like Google, Facebook, and Netflix, can provide flawless and uninterrupted user experience is because they structure cross-functional software product development teams within their organizations. Now, what’s that? And, how do cross-functional teams build faster and better custom software? In the following sections, you will find answers to these questions.
What is a Cross-functional Team in the Software Industry?
Cross-functional teams are those where team members leverage the skills of one another to achieve a common goal — successful custom software product development and eliminating all hiccups in software support and maintenance and services.
Cross-functional teams bring different domains, their knowledge, expertise, and experience together. It is neither new nor exclusive to software development and IT companies.
Even a few decades ago, many startups would practice cross-functional collaboration among their employees. For instance, finance, sales, marketing, and account management would have multi-skilled employees. So if the account manager is not present for a day, then the finance guy or the sales guy with account knowledge can do work that the company cannot delay.
Initially, big tech companies didn’t adopt this approach. However, we now see more software and IT giants shape their teams with an emphasis on agility. Breaking all the siloes, the teams are working toward a common purpose. Developers, Testers, DevOps Engineers, UX Designers, and Product Owners are working together on projects with more synergy, communication, and a clearly defined shared goal.
Advantages of Cross-Functional Teams
The following are four of the top benefits of following a cross-functional teamfor building bespoke software products:
I. Boost Team Morale
Custom software development companies aren’t the only ones working on or with software. There is a widespread understanding that every company has evolved into a technology company irrespective of its business vertical. The enterprises in the 2020s are moving towards a software-first approach, adopting digital solutions in sales, inventory management, customer support, logistics and almost all business functions.
Unlike now, earlier, there was a disconnect between the non-tech businesses and IT solutions. That’s why many applications failed to meet business requirements and market goals. On the other hand, software developers haven’t grasped the business context of the projects on which they were working.
Companies are now deliberately moving their focus from projects to products. In the project model, teams assemble to complete a project, and on completion of all modules, they disband. While in product mode, the team is in charge of the whole life cycle of a software product. Software development, IT operations, and software testing teams working in silos is no longer an option.
Product development follows agile methodology, an iterative process. There is transparency and accountability equitably distributed among team members in real-time. Agile teams are cross-functional. A process in which the software teams receive continuous support and feedback to make their work better boosts their morale.
II. Attainment of Business Goals
Cross-functional software development teams help a business resolve challenges much efficiently. If the consumer or enterprise application you’re developing is having performance issues in the hands of users, it’s not just a technological challenge but also a business problem.
One of the most significant advantages of a cross-functional team is that they can cross-train one another without exerting additional effort.
Enterprises are starting to see the benefits of digital transformation. With the support of agile methodology, companies are transforming their legacy systems and business operations. They also require cross-functional teams to improve customer experience through iterative application development methods to gauge consumer expectations.
The first thing organizations should do is check if they have a culture conducive for cross-functional software product development teams. It could be a critical limiting factor if you don’t have suitable leaders who are willing to expand, evolve, learn, grow, and encourage others to accomplish the task.
You’ll find that your digital products get a better response from the end-user and your processes are faster if you have the proper individuals from the start of the product development.
III. Amplify Productivity
The redundant waterfall model of software development slows down value creation. In that model, even successfully delivered and tested software has a higher failure probability in the market. Teams in waterfall strategy work in silos and do short passes while never trying to look over the wall.
Companies can create value faster by shifting to leaner, cross-functional agile teams. The top tech companies are using agile methodologies in custom software development for enterprises and consumers alike.
IV. Increased Ability to Adapt
Organizations must adapt to change at a faster rate as the speed of business accelerates. Given its global and systemic nature, no force has been more catastrophic than the pandemic.
Cross-functional Agile teams benefit from regular communication and collaboration among team members. An iterative problem-solving methodology that allows groups and the company as a whole to shift directions more quickly.
Firms with the highest ability to adapt to change have fared better than their less flexible counterparts in weathering the pandemic’s wild swings impacts. It is evident by a recent McKinsey survey, where they found that 93% of businesses who adopted agile methodology performed better than the businesses that didn’t.
Teams that are cross-functional and agile are more engaged, passionate, and committed to their work. They have a strong sense of ownership over their work and get more invested in achieving positive results. We at Advantal technologies assemble a competent and productive cross-functional software product development team that gets things done effectively and innovatively.