• Paul Gravina

Business Analysis Interaction among Functional Areas

While traditional frameworks like waterfall use functional areas and become the staple of organizational structure, companies especially technology companies have come to realize that cross-functional teams (agile, XP, Scrum, frameworks) maximize their performance especially global organizations wishing to maintain a competitive edge while retaining top talent and reducing the cost of doing business. The frameworks take out the rigid concentration of decision-making in functional managers and seek collaborative partnerships throughout teams in the enterprise. These teams (scrum, agile) cannot be formed simply by pulling individuals from departments and grouping them in any manner. High-functioning Agile framework teams need to be formed with careful planning, adequate resources, and a number of crisis management techniques at hand.

Cross-functional teams face a number of practical challenges:

• Teams are much more than simple groups. Teams not only share goals and a vision for their work, they must agree on the fine details (sprint reviews) and the approach (sprint backlogs). Teams must streamline their visions and approach to problem-solving may find that project failure is an inevitable consequence.

• While a cross-functional, multidisciplinary team has greater expertise and skills to develop project deliverables, team members may clash as they face differences in learned departmental behaviors such as communication styles and supervision preferences. A ScrumMaster/Project Manager will recognize these differences in departmental cultures and ensure that they do not cause major conflicts that interfere with project timeline, delivery, budget.

• Cross-functional teams may also face leadership crises that could threaten the success of their projects. When a ScrumMaster/Project Manager assigned by senior management has a markedly different training in organizational development or is unaware of the intricate technical work (teams skill sets) done by some members of his/her team, conflict of leadership may arise. Team members may resist the Project Manager's authority altogether and start to present obstacles. The challenge for senior management is to provide support to cross-functional teams by providing adequate resources so team members are able to contribute to the overall organizational goal.

#businessanalysis #scrumframework #agiledevelopment #XPprogramming

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