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November 4, 2021
By Nathan C Bowser

Customer Success

Align Your Cross-functional Project Team to Meet Stakeholders’ Expectations

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The next step in this CX workbook helps you break-down departmental silos by bringing your cross-functional project team together to identify the opportunities that will make the biggest impact on leadership’s goals and then define the tactics that you’ll take to deliver results.

By bringing these key players together early to document how your proposal supports executive management’s vision for success, you allow stakeholders who once competed for resources and support to set aside their differences for a program that benefits the whole company. 

Use this workbook to guide your project discovery and to quickly align your project with a supportive executive sponsor and budget.

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How does cross-functional team collaboration ensure that CX programs can succeed?

Innovations to improve the customers’ journey only stick when the hard work of change also supports a more efficient, enthusiastic, and engaged workforce. Teams must know how they fit into this new challenge, how their work contributes to the vision, and how they will be supported before, during, and after the process.

  1. Cross functional teams help you avoid siloed or duplicated work.
  2. Early team alignment to executive expectations ensures lasting support.
  3. High-performing project teams use this clarity of vision to focus on agile, iterative improvements to the customer experience, rather than living with broken process

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Assemble your project team.
Be thorough.

In part one of this series, Secure a Sponsor & Budget for Customer Experience Innovation, we introduced our CX project workbook and showed you how to use it to identify your core group of collaborators and stakeholders. 

We encourage you to include all relevant teams and departments in your discovery to uncover any dependencies or opportunities before you get started. 

By engaging these collaborators early you ensure that you have multiple advocates who are invested in the process and results. You cannot be too thorough with the research and discovery phases for enterprise change. 

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Avoid silos by aligning cross-functional collaboration around the leadership vision. 

Most players in your new project “fellowship” will likely have pet-projects or specific goals and initiatives they favor. And just like that fateful scene from The Lord of the Ring in Lothlórien, the first kick-off meeting is the time to get all of these ideas and proposals out on the table—few will agree at first. 

This first list of everyone’s siloed pains, goals, and priorities is a fantastic starting point. From here, re-introduce your executive management team’s key high-level vision and initiatives into the mix and begin the hard conversations about which items ladder up to deliver the most business value. 

In this “blue ocean” stage, it’s ok to call out constraints and dependencies, but don’t limit your possibilities. Your job here is to break out of traditional boundaries and find new opportunities with this cross-functional alliance.

When they can see the value of your aligned, targeted proposal, an effective leadership team will clear any roadblock from your way including funding new staff, tools, and training—that’s their job. 

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Meet executive team expectations with a concise proposal.

Time and attention from C-suite leaders will always be one of your biggest challenges for work at this scale. The step in our workbook is where you make it easy for executive management to say “yes.” 

By doing the work to clearly present your alliance’s cross-functional work and strategy in a succinct and memorable way, you not only show your leaders that you value their time, but you make it easier for them to accept and support your next steps. 

A project lead must always hammer home the “what” and “why” of their initiatives. The final summary page in this workbook helps you pitch your managers on your newly aligned proposal. The clear documentation of your program’s goals and tactics will help you fend off scope creep and shifting expectations. 

This workbook and sample one-page proposal will help you get your cross-functional team in-line and then give your management team the full view of what’s to come. 

We can’t promise your C-suite won’t have hard questions or pushback, but doing the work to hone and focus your proposal will help give leaders the confidence they need to buy-in with money and a mandate to make a difference.

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Our team of experts can review your goals and share the tactics and digital workflows that could make a difference for your team—with no downloads or IT support needed to start. 

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