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Sarah wants to book a flight but grows frustrated confirming details with SkyRise Airlines. She is repeatedly transferred between departments, facing communication obstacles.

Despite the lengthy process, she receives the information needed but is exhausted, highlighting the missed opportunity for a seamless customer experience.

Would SkyRise Airlines benefit from utilizing cross-functional teams?

What is a cross-functional team?

A cross-functional team consists of groups of people from different areas of the company. Either a whole company can be set up this way, or the company can make use of employee working groups.

Why are they important?

  • Enhance collaboration throughout the organization

  • Foster creativity and new ideas

  • Decrease turnaround times for customers

Here are some ways to demonstrate problem-solving skills in a cross-functional team.

1. Identify Root Causes

Provide a detailed explanation of the problem, guaranteeing understanding among all team members.

A man explaining that it ' important to identify a problem first.

Encourage open discussion, and gather a variety of viewpoints, from customers, employees, managers, and stakeholders.

Ways to use effective problem-solving skills during identification:

  • Encourage exploration through open-ended questions

  • Listen attentively

  • Clarify objectives and anticipated outcomes

  • Recognize any conflicts or unresolved issues

2. Create Solutions

Think of different ways to solve the problem.

Be creative and think carefully to develop ideas that fix the main issues and satisfy stakeholders' objectives.

Chef Jose Andres  says to Jimmy Fallon,

Some brainstorming methods that will help your team use effective problem-solving skills:

Weigh the pros and cons, and choose the best option.

3. Implement the Plan

Put the chosen solution into action and monitor its results. Plan and carry out the actions needed to implement the solution, such as allocating resources, assigning tasks, setting deadlines, or communicating changes.

A person unrolls a battle plan map.

Involve and inform the relevant stakeholders, to get their buy-in and support.

How to demonstrate problem-solving skills for implementation:

  • Keep track of the progress and outcomes of the solution

  • Measure how much the solution is helping with the problem/project

  • Collect feedback and data to see if stakeholders are satisfied

4. Evaluate & Improve

Reflect on what worked and what didn't, and identify any lessons learned or best practices.

How to demonstrate problem-solving skills for evaluation and improvement:

  • Solicit feedback and suggestions from stakeholders

  • Acknowledge their contributions and achievements

  • Document and share the results and learnings of the solution

  • Make any adjustments or improvements.

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Take time to celebrate and reward the success and collaboration of your team.

SkyRise Airlines Issues

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SkyRise Airlines is receiving numerous complaints about its flight booking process. Customers report issues such as:

  • Difficulty navigating the booking website

  • Payment failures

  • Communication hardships

  • Unclear booking confirmations

  • Long wait times for customer support

During the team meeting, participants raised concerns regarding the challenges encountered by customers.

Flaticon Icon

  • Customer Service Manager: "Customers find the website confusing and get stuck during booking."

  • IT Generalist: "We've seen payment failures and error messages reported."

  • UX Designer: "Navigation issues might be causing these problems, so we should analyze the user journey."

  • Customer Service Representative: "Customers are frustrated by being transferred between departments multiple times without a resolution."

  • Project Manager: "Let's take a systematic approach."


What are the most effective first steps the cross functional team can take to identify the root cause of the flight booking problems? Select all that apply:

Take Action

By following these steps and collaborating with team members, you can effectively demonstrate problem-solving skills in a cross-functional team setting.

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