In today’s fast-paced and competitive business environment, cross-functional teams are becoming increasingly common as companies seek to innovate and stay ahead. However, with multiple teams working on various projects, dependencies between them can be a significant challenge, resulting in delays, miscommunication, and even project failures. Technical Program Managers (TPMs) can play a crucial role in resolving dependencies between cross-functional teams. This blog post will explore how TPMs can help facilitate effective communication, collaboration, and coordination between teams to ensure that programs are delivered on time and achieve organizational goals.
Facilitating communication: TPMs coordinate communication between teams, identify gaps, and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Regular meetings or stand-ups can be set up where teams provide dependency updates, identify roadblocks or dependencies, and prioritize tasks. These sessions can be used to share progress reports, discuss risks and mitigation strategies, and align on timelines and deliverables.
Identifying dependencies: TPMs often have a high-level view of all the programs executed within the organization. Thus, they can identify dependencies between teams and track their status to ensure they are being addressed in a timely manner before they become a blocker for achieving the company’s objectives.
Prioritizing and tracking dependencies: TPMs have a deep understanding of intra-team and inter-team dynamics, given the cross-functional nature of their role. Thus, TPMs can manage inter and intra team dependencies to ensure that one team’s work is not blocked by the lack of progress on the part of another team. They can prioritize the work of different teams based on their impact on dependencies and the company’s objectives, and identify and mitigate risks associated with dependencies across different teams.
Building relationships and trust: TPMs can help build relationships and trust between cross-functional teams to ensure they can work effectively, particularly when dealing with dependencies. This can be achieved by sharing information, being transparent, conducting joint brainstorming sessions, breaking down silos, defining ownership, setting clear expectations, and strengthening personal relationships by driving offsite events.
Improving transparency: TPMs can provide the necessary transparency to the team to drive efficiency in resolving dependencies. They can communicate deadlines to the right stakeholders to adjust plans accordingly and use tools like JIRA, Asana, Microsoft Project, Wiki, and collaboration platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams to facilitate communication through shared dashboards and/or weekly reports.
In summary, TPMs play a vital role in managing dependencies between teams by facilitating effective communication, tracking and prioritizing work, building relationships, and improving transparency. They ensure that teams work together effectively and that all dependencies are identified and addressed in a timely manner to ensure program success.