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Cross-functional project teams

This basically refers to the practice of assembling project teams using members of the organization from different functions. Typically, this would involve selecting a number of specialists under a generalist project manager.

The role of project manager can be particularly demanding when using cross-functional project teams. Apart from being an expert at project management, the project manager must also have enough general knowledge to understand what his specialists know and how it can be used. The project manager must also be skilled at conflict resolution, which is more likely to happen within a diverse group.

As with all projects but perhaps more so for cross-functional project teams, proper planning is required, which involves clear definitions of the roles and responsibilities of the project team, as well as a timeline and cost estimation (Zoerman 2008).

Cross-functional project teams have several key benefits related not only to knowledge management (KM) but also to innovation. These are:

Upon completion of a given project (whether carried out by a cross-functional team or otherwise), after-action reviews are used to enhance knowledge sharing and retention.

Alan Frost M.Sc., 2010 - Updated 2015
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