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Cross-departmental project management - making it work!

Cross-departmental project management – making it work!

“With us, the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.” 

or 

“I’m not responsible for that!”

Surely you have heard these sayings yourself in your company – classic phrases of silo thinking. In companies, classic silo thinking should be avoided. Nevertheless, there are always examples where processes cannot take place effectively due to the lack of cross-departmental thinking. 

Encouraging collaborative work is top of mind for companies, but the reality usually does not reflect the company’s desire.  

So how can we make projects work across departments without sacrificing efficiency? 

That’s what we’ll answer in this blog. We’ll give you tips that will help you with cross-departmental project work! Be curious!

Potential that falls by the wayside is difficult to measure

The big challenge for companies and especially for managers is to show the efficiency that falls by the wayside due to silo thinking in a measurable way at the end of a project or a fiscal year. The problem is that KPI’s cannot reflect what has fallen by the wayside due to a lack of collaboration between departments. Nevertheless, these unused potentials are reflected in the billing or profit of projects. 

Cross-departmental leadership is needed

It is the task of project managers or people in management positions to sensitize their project team or employees to cross-departmental working or to make them aware that departments work together and not separately. After all, once it comes to projects that are carried out across departments, a lack of openness and “out-of-the-box thinking” means that a lot of potential has to be lost. 

This is how you generate diversity power, because obviously there are different personality types in the IT department, for example, than in the sales or HR department. You can use these effects for yourself and your project to generate even more ideas and opinions.  

4 tips on how to make the most of cross-departmental working as a project manager

1. Bring people together across departments

Trust is an essential ingredient for good teamwork. To build those trusting relationships, cross-team members need to spend time getting to know each other.  

In the office, of course, different strategies are used than in more remote work. In both scenarios, however, activities can be implemented that build interpersonal connections to bring team members from a wide variety of departments together. 

Activities for the office: 

– Lunch together 
– Escape room
– Bowling
– High ropes course

Remote activities for building interpersonal relationships:

 – Virtual reality games 
– Online Escape Room
– Digital wine tasting

2. Plan for sufficient buffers

Even the best laid plans can cause changes and adjustments. Those are two factors, by the way, that you should always include in the form of additional buffer in the actual project planning. Anticipate delays. Unexpected sick leave or a task taking longer than planned can be reasons to extend project time. 

Adopting agile working methods can also help with realistic planning. By breaking projects into sprints, you’ll be better able to estimate how long certain tasks will take and adjust schedules accordingly. 

3. Empower your team to give their best

It may be difficult for some project managers to implement, but if you give your team members the freedom to decide how they want to approach their work, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the impact it has on the quality and speed of output. Part of this is also about supporting teams in their individual ways of working – from traditional project management to Lean-Agile working to a hybrid mix of both.

4. Use timeghost for an optimal overview of the working hours of your project members

With good time tracking, project members and especially project managers get an overview and transparent insights into the individual tasks of the project members involved in the project. In addition, meaningful evaluations can be made from which specific adjustments can be made. 

time tracking timeghost dashboard

Display cross-departmental projects transparently, clearly and meaningfully

For cross-departmental project work, timeghost is a great tool for not losing the overview. After all, communicating and regularly exchanging information about the progress and current status of the project across multiple departments is a big challenge. Especially if you, as a project manager, want to know which employees are currently working on which tasks in order to manage the project.  

For example, instead of asking each person individually, you can use the timghost Team Activity feature, which shows you the last 25 time entries of project members. Or you can go to the dashboard and use the filter bar to find exactly the information you want to get. 

timeghost team activity

Spend less time on time tracking and concentrate on your project

timeghost is a super easy to use project time tracking system that allows users to spend less time manually entering time. Instead, working times are automatically recorded for you. You simply assign them to a project and the task it contains. 

Test the advantages of timeghost completely free of charge and without obligation 

To see for yourself what other benefits our time tracking tool for Microsoft365 users has to offer, we recommend you to test timeghost 14 days for free, book a live demo and get in touch with us. Our great support team will be happy to help you with all your project time tracking needs! Just send us a short mail to support.timeghost.io. 

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