As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, organizational work silos are no longer viable. A growing hybrid and remote workforce has shown the need for clear communication and collaboration across teams. The dismantling of silos is especially crucial in companies that produce physical products involving cross-functional teams that need more efficient ways of sharing and visualizing their work across the organization.
Cross-functional transparency is necessary for three reasons:
- Helping guide product investment
- Efficient resource allocation
- Speeding products to market
For example, IoT disruptions and the demand for connected-smart innovations have added a whole new layer of complexity to successfully bring most physical products to market. Whether it is as simple as the packaging of a candy bar or as highly technical as a microprocessor, both products require engineering, development, and manufacturing teams to work seamlessly.
In addition, a survey from Deloitte shows that “73% of digitally maturing companies create an environment where cross-functional teams can succeed, compared with only 48% of developing companies and 29% of early-stage companies.”
In the following case studies, we will see how four organizations overcame resource and informational silos challenges by enhancing their ability to connect cross-functional teams.
Improved Efficiencies Help Conagra Brands Speed Global Product Transfer
New competitors, the growth of nontraditional retail outlets, and tech advancements in the industry made it imperative to transform how Conagra Brands, home to the world’s longest-standing food processing companies, did business. The organization needed a way to enable its global team to efficiently guide product development through an intense commercialization process.
To meet that need, Conagra brought new ideas to market faster and more efficiently by consolidating product data and insights into a single product portfolio management hub.
“Operating in such a siloed environment led to a lack of visibility, excessive meetings that reduced productivity, and disjointed conversations happening outside the context of specific projects.”– Mark Evans, VP of R&D Product Readiness
Conagra used Planview’s Product Portfolio Management solution to connect and engage its global workforce, creating a single source of truth that close to 1,400 users can rely on for the cross-functional product development information they need. Conagra can also tailor the Planview solution to the characteristics of its core teams, supporting wider spread organic adoption and allowing the company to gain real-time visibility into the commercialization process in one place.
Read the full cross-functional product development case study: Conagra Brands Improve Efficiency to Speed Global Product Delivery.
NuVasive Improves Predictability, Consistency, and Collaboration Across R&D
Medical device manufacturing company NuVasive needed more consistency in new product development R&D, which was limited in its ability to plan for demand and resource capacity.
NuVasive integrated Planview Product Portfolio Management with Microsoft Power BI to establish a central hub for project planning, assignments, resources, management, and road mapping. The product portfolio management solution united 110 people with 30 unique roles. Task cards and templates allowed NuVasive to assign work to appropriate cross-functional team members and visualize all information relevant to a project.
“We can do so much with our integrated solution. For example, through the application of labels and tags, we are able to better understand the cross-functional demand placed on our projects over time, overlaying trend lines to see if we need to hire more staff.”– Travis Dickerson, Project Manager
Consolidating project information with real-time data into one space created a collaborative hub that drives better decision-making. A Power BI integration pulls data into the platform and creates custom reports and dashboards that reduce manual reporting.
Read the full cross-functional product development case study: NuVasive Improves Predictability, Consistency, and Collaboration Across R&D with an Integrated Solution.
Siemens Energy Strengthens Operational Community
Siemens Energy, a leader in the transition to sustainable energy, required a shift of its own. The widespread global team needed a centralized, reliable hub to act as a platform for sharing, managing, and collaborating on work. It was also necessary to provide a single source of truth for operational standards to eliminate inefficiencies and profit loss.
Planview helped Siemens Energy consolidate its work visually and collaboratively, kickstarting a transformation that further united the team around its critical mission to “empower customers to meet the growing global demand for energy while transitioning to a more sustainable world.”
Planview AdaptiveWork™ also provided Siemens Energy with an enterprise-wide solution for breaking down silos and unifying the global team. The organization then had one centralized tool to streamline communication for the entire operational community.
“When we looked at our operations landscape, and found that everybody had different databases, spreadsheets & tools for project management. A customer would ask us for updates, and providing an answer quickly was quite difficult. That’s one of the gaps we closed by obtaining a single platform across the business.”– Andy Watson, Director Of Digital Operations
Consolidated tools and processes enhanced visibility into the entire product portfolio, allowing teams to drill down at a granular level, creating greater visibility for a wider audience. Team members spent less time on administrative tasks and more on project planning and delivery.
Read the full cross-functional product development case study: Siemens Energy Strengthens Operational Community with a Centralized Portfolio Platform.
Xtrac Empowers Hybrid Workforce with Real-Time Accessibility
With a global remote workforce, motorsports product manufacturer Xtrac’s employees and leadership couldn’t easily access or share up-to-date product information. The lack of cohesion caused issues in Xtrac’s product portfolio and was a point of frustration for employees.
Xtrac partnered with Planview to devise a solution that enabled leadership and remote workers with cloud-based access to the real-time data they needed, so they could quickly identify ways to pivot and provide customers with the most value.
Employees could also pull data from the platform to mobile devices for real-time solution management, which helped identify areas for improvement and opportunities for strategic shifts. Xtrac also reduced gaps in product and project knowledge by providing a single source to record, edit, and share critical information, which improved access and visibility for all divisions and levels of the organization.
Read the full cross-functional product development case study: Xtrac Empowers Remote Workforce with Real-time Portfolio Accessibility.
The concept of work worldwide has shifted. Connected work is driving the future of product development; silos are becoming relics of the past. And this is only the beginning.
As consumer demand pushes technological product innovation further and faster, the need for improved cross-functional collaboration becomes more apparent. These four real-life case studies demonstrate that connected work is vital to optimizing investments, empowering teamwork efficiency, and gaining a competitive edge.
More About Connected Work
Initiate a shift in your own perspectives on disruptions and start viewing them as opportunities to improve and become more adaptable. Our recent webinar on How to Overcome Disruptions to Effective Product Development is a perfect place to start.
In addition to providing plenty of evidence supporting a new view of the disruptions paradigm, this discussion also touches on how improving cross-functional teamwork is one of the best practices for evolving your approach to product development.