Working Closely as a Cross-Functional Team
At Pluralsight, we understand that in order to build better products, there is a process of refinement necessary that consists of a healthy amount of critical thinking, debating of ideas, asking questions, exploring alternatives and alignment that all take place between people of different roles. We intentionally include people of different roles on a single team so that this process can be done quickly and efficiently.
Every member of a cross functional team is responsible for the success of the team, regardless of their role. If a bug is found, or if part of the user experience is sub optimal, or if a given feature is not delivering the intended value, whatever your role is in these types of scenarios you should ask yourself, “what can I do to help improve the situation?” You may be the one that needs to address the issue directly or you may be in a position to support the other person on your team to solve it, or take part in brainstorming around how things can be improved.
Often there are competing things that need to get done. A team prioritizes their work together and agrees on what the most important thing is to accomplish at any given time. Every role has a set of inherit priorities to focus on. For example, engineers might focus heavily on maintainability of the system, designers on what the end user is experiencing and product managers on identifying value delivering features. All of these focal points are important,and all roles should have equal voices at the table, especially when it comes to prioritization of work.
The Human Element
In order to increase a team’s chances of success and high performance, we need to consider how we interact with each other. We strive to maintain a high degree of psychological safety, where everyone on a team feels comfortable expressing ideas and opinions even when they might be unpopular, or being vulnerable with the rest of the team and opening up about how you are experiencing things. In our attempt to find the best solutions we put egos aside as we challenge ideas instead of people. We find value in building up empathy for our fellow team members and for our customers. We work on taking steps to improve how we communicate and give feedback to each other via radical candor.
It takes a lot of effort and intentionality to maintain a high performing and positive experience on our teams. The more we can build each other up and support one another, the more impact we can make while also having an enjoyable experience doing it together. At the core of working on any team is the human experience and how we can help each other do our best work. Keep this in mind as you go about working with people and see if it makes a difference for you!
Related Engineering at Pluralsight Statements
“We work closely as a cross-functional team.”
“We prioritize work as a team and co-create commitments with other teams as needed.”
“We create and maintain psychological safety.”
“We give and receive feedback willingly and respectfully.”
Checkout our Engineering at Pluralsight document to see all of the statements that shape our engineering culture.