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Real Cross-functional Teams for Creating Real and Better Products

June 17, 2021

TL; DR: Real Cross-functional Teams for Creating Real and Better Products — ACB21

In this highly engaging speaker session from the Agile Camp Berlin 2021, Jutta Eckstein and Maryse Meinen point out the advantages of creating diverse, cross-functional teams to benefit your customers and your organization.

Real Cross-functional Teams for Creating Real and Better Products—Agile Camp Berlin 2021

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The Benefits of Creating Real Cross-functional Teams

At the core of agile development are self-organizing cross-functional teams. Yet, this is often understood as, e.g., backend & front-end developers working together. If an organization is aiming for company-wide agility, to fully benefit from agility, it has to enable teams as value centers that are truly cross-functional by bringing in different perspectives from business, markets, cultures, beliefs, etc. This way, cross-functional teams overcome not only the limitations of organizational silos but also of a singular view on the market.

Too many products have been developed that serve one kind of client only. The reason is that the composition of the teams leads (subconsciously) to the development of products that serve only people that resemble the people in the team. One “famous” example is the soap dispenser that only works if your hands are white.

If teams are really cross-functional and are resembling the diversity of the market, the products they’re creating are also better. Thus, if the whole team has the full business expertise, knows the market, reflects the full diversity of the clients, then it can even disrupt the market and isn’t waiting for some person (e.g., the Product Owner) to decide on priorities. With this real cross-functionality, the team can fully understand the company’s business and has a holistic view of it, knowing its contribution to the company’s value stream.

Real cross-functional teams are an essential building block for implementing company-wide agility, and the organization benefits by creating better and in a way more real products and by having more options when entering the war of talent.

Learn more about Jutta Eckstein

Jutta Eckstein works as an independent coach, consultant, and trainer. She has helped many teams and organizations worldwide to make an Agile transition. She has unique experience in applying Agile processes within medium-sized to large distributed mission-critical projects. Jutta has recently pair-written with John Buck a book entitled Company-wide Agility with Beyond Budgeting, Open Space & Sociocracy (dubbed BOSSA nova). Besides that, she has published her experience in her books Agile Software Development in the Large, Agile Software Development with Distributed Teams, Retrospectives for Organizational Change, and together with Johanna Rothman Diving for Hidden Treasures: Uncovering the Cost of Delay in your Project Portfolio.

Jutta is a member of the Agile Alliance (having served the board of directors from 2003-2007) and a member of the program committee of many different American, Asian, and European conferences, where she has also presented her work. She holds an M.A. in Business Coaching & Change Management, a Dipl.Eng. in Product-Engineering, and a B.A. in Education. In the last nominations, Jutta has been elected into the Top 100 most important persons of the German IT.

Meet Jutta Eckstein




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Learn more about Maryse Meinen

Maryse works as a Scrum master, agile coach, trainer and facilitator. Obsessed with engagement at work, empiricism and building a culture of learning. Very experienced in running highly interactive sessions using Liberating Structures.

Meet Maryse Meinen




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Speaker sessions of the Agile Camp Berlin 2021.

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