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August 14, 2023

Tony Macias

4 Ways to Avoid Organizational Cross Functional Chaos

Have you been in a meeting and a colleague raises their hand, proposes an idea and suddenly you and your team have a new massive project that you have to execute on? 💡

You are a Department Leader/Director, and you are in a meeting with all your other counterparts who report into the C-Suite.  Everyone has their own agendas, product announcements, or product updates they are pursuing.  There is always that one person, that everytime they stand up to speak, you know it means more work for you and your team.  You are already working the team to the max, your feedback isn’t being heard and there is no changelog or a roadmap to reference.

How many times have you waited for a key inputs of a change that never came?  Or how many times have you been running with a project, ready to implement, and a colleague brings up new information that absolutely derails the momentum of the project?  That's poor change management.  And it happens all the time.  

Here at butterflye customer trust and transparency is our NUMBER ONE prerogative.  With an externally facing company updates and news changelog,  our internal teams have a voice directly to our customers to keep them properly informed our customers are always informed of product announcements and product updates.  We want our customers and cross functional partners to be part of our development team.  Butterflye gives a single customer engagement platform that allows all voices to be heard.

Over and over, the keys to success have always been Collaboration and Communication.  I’m going to say even more bluntly, over-collaboration and over-communication.      

You have to build a process and motion for everyone to feel comfortable providing inputs.  Make sure key information doesn’t get lost in a slack channel where key stakeholders may not be included.   

Do these 4 activities to make sure that each change is a success for your project teams and your customers.  Every company needs to have a process and platform to capture these actions.  

1. Evangelize the Why?

If you were to buy a project management software, you would have to sell the “Why is this important?” and “Why do we have to do this now?” to your executive leader.  The same goes for developing cross functional initiatives.  Everyone in the organization has to have a clear understanding of the core problem, the action that will be taken and the end goals of the initiative.  You have to sell why this is good for your cross functional orgs, while benefiting the customer.  Make one of your solutions, be the answer to one of your colleagues problems.  

2. Modify for Risk

Did you take in consideration the negative impacts that your project may have on cross functional partners?  Does this change impact how our customers interact with our products and services? Make sure your initiative allows room for unforeseen hurdles, and inputs from other teams that may take longer than anticipated.  Make sure to assess for key milestones needed from resources outside your immediate team.

3. Collaborate
This is key.  Any change to an organization needs a high level of collaboration.  That is all the right voices in the right arena, all interacting with each other so everyone understands the project and the challenges along the way.  Chat groups and meetings may not get all the right stakeholders to identify the keys to success of the change management project.  As a department leader, your main job is to collaborate with cross functional leaders, so the company is aligned to one goal.    

4. Communicate until they ask you to stop 

There is no such thing as over communication.  I’d rather be abundantly clear to all my counterparts and be a bit annoying, than for an item to go unchecked, resulting in chaos.  Change communication is key from the C-level down to the goals of the individual contributor.  The failure I see happen too often is communication stops at the internal department head level.  Customers will always be our number 1 priority, so our communication levels must go all the way to the end customer level.  Customers will never be upset that you “over-communicated” with them.  Instead have a steady stream of disclosures about product announcements, releases notes, and future roadmaps which only enhance customer engagement and ultimately customer trust. 

At your next cross functional department meeting, make sure your voice and your projects are heard.  Sell the why.  Let others come into the planning process, give feedback, collaborate together, assess risk and finally communicate to more than just the people in that meeting.  Build a coalition of change management to avoid that cross functional chaos.  Have a publicly facing changelog.

In order to do this properly and at scale, let butterflye help build the process, the platform and the voice to get everyone on the same page.  Want to find out more about how to do this at scale across the organization? Hit the “Book a Demo button”  and get a tailored approach on how to solve your change communication challenges.  You owe it to your team and your customers will appreciate you more for it.         

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