In-Team and Cross-Team Collaboration
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This course provides the foundational knowledge that is required to effectively design and implement an agile work management approach in Azure DevOps. You will learn about project metrics and key performance indicators, or KPIs, and how they relate to DevOps projects. The course then moves on to how to mentor team members on Agile practices, as well as in-team and cross-team collaboration. You’ll learn how to achieve effective collaboration through cultural changes, cross-functional team collaboration, and tooling. The course comes to an end by looking at the steps and requirements required for creating organizational structures for Agile practices.

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Learning Objectives

  • Understand the metrics and KPIs used in Azure DevOps, and the benefits they bring
  • Learn how Agile methods can be applied to teams through the use of mentoring and in-team and cross-team collaboration
  • Understand the tools and processes necessary for Agile practices
  • Understand the difference between horizontal and vertical teams

Intended Audience

This course is intended for:

  • Students preparing for Microsoft's AZ-400 exam
  • Anyone wanting to increase their understanding of Agile work practices in an Azure DevOps context


To get the most from this course, you should have a basic understanding of Microsoft Azure and DevOps concepts.



Hello and welcome to In-Team and Cross-Team Collaboration. In this lesson, we will take a look at the ways that collaboration can be enabled in an organization.

To function well, Agile teams must be able to support effective collaboration. Effective collaboration will often require changes to an organization's culture and to the ways that cross-functional teams collaborate. New collaboration tools may also need to be implemented.

In an effort to facilitate collaboration, many organizations, over recent years, have moved to open floor plans with very few walls. Although the intention is noble, open floor plans can, however, actually inhibit collaboration. Additionally, distractions can also often reduce productivity. It turns out that most people get more done when they are working in a quiet private environment.

While asynchronous communications should be encouraged, it should be understood that not all such communications are going to be treated with urgency. An organization's employees should be able to focus on their jobs without feeling like decisions are being made without their input. Meetings that get scheduled should be scheduled with strictly enforced time frames and should follow clearly defined agendas. This means that if there is no specific agenda to discuss, there is no meeting.

Because of the shift to remote working and work from home, it's also important that collaboration via communication become an accepted practice. As a matter of fact, the ability to collaborate with remote teammates should be an expected skillset. And whether or not communication is handled in person or remotely, all staff should feel comfortable communicating openly and frankly. Because there will always be disagreements and conflict within any team. It's also important that team members enroll in some sort of mediation skills training.

It goes without saying that the members of a specific team need to be able to collaborate effectively. However, it's also just as critical that team members be able to collaborate with people outside of the immediate team. This is necessary because there will often be a need for people with different expertise to work together to achieve a specific goal. These people will often be from different departments or different teams within the organization.

Effective collaboration of cross-functional teams often results in innovation and improved results because it allows people with different areas of expertise to bring different perspectives to the same problem. This often results in alternate solutions that may not have otherwise been thought of.

Organizations with cross-functional teams that can collaborate well will often see fewer turf wars develop, because each team views itself as part of the solution. By recognizing and rewarding this type of team mentality, organizations can cement this feeling of team cohesion across many different cross-functional teams.

An important part of effective collaboration, whether it's in-team or cross-team collaboration is tooling. To facilitate collaboration, organizations should consider tools and solutions that enable streamlined communications. Some tools that can help foster collaboration include Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Google Hangouts.

Microsoft Teams is the flagship chat and communications application from Microsoft. It offers various communication options, including chat, notes, and even meetings. It also facilitates the sharing of documents. I should also mention that Microsoft Teams makes it easy for internal communications as well as communications with external users.

Slack is another common collaboration tool that Agile teams often use. It offers multiple communication channels that can be organized by team, topic, or even project. The conversations that take place on Slack can be retained and can be searched. Like Microsoft Teams, Slack allows users to communicate with both internal and external teammates.

Google Hangouts is a tool that organizations use to facilitate collaboration and communication. It offers messaging, video, and chat. It also supports voice over IP features. Like the two other previous solutions mentioned, Google hangouts facilitates conversations among multiple users and can save chat histories online.

While these aren't the only tools that can be used to facilitate in-team and cross-team collaboration, they are some of the more common ones. The most important thing to remember, however, is that to facilitate in-team and cross-team collaboration, you should implement tools that make it easier and not harder for your team members to communicate.




About the Author
Learning Paths

Tom is a 25+ year veteran of the IT industry, having worked in environments as large as 40k seats and as small as 50 seats. Throughout the course of a long an interesting career, he has built an in-depth skillset that spans numerous IT disciplines. Tom has designed and architected small, large, and global IT solutions.

In addition to the Cloud Platform and Infrastructure MCSE certification, Tom also carries several other Microsoft certifications. His ability to see things from a strategic perspective allows Tom to architect solutions that closely align with business needs.

In his spare time, Tom enjoys camping, fishing, and playing poker.