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How can enterprises drive agility and communications in the workplace?

In Software & Cloud Economics, Thought Leadership

Breaking down silos is essential to building cross team collaboration

One of the biggest problems in any organisation is the dreaded silo effect. This happens when different departments or teams within an enterprise fail to communicate effectively with each other, severely impacting productivity levels. 

According to research from Queens University of Charlotte, 39 per cent of employees believe people in their own organisation don’t collaborate enough. In a worldwide survey of over 1,200 business leaders, 61 per cent said greater collaboration across functions was the key to reaching their strategic goals, despite the fact that more than half of them (55 per cent) worked in silos.


Breaking out of the silos

Some barriers that cause silos can manifest themselves as physical spaces, managerial differences and geographical distances, among other things.

So, just how do enterprises break down these silos and get everyone working more effectively with each other?

The issue can come from the top. While individuals in different departments may not work together on a day-to-day basis, the managers of teams should. Here’s why: according to the University of Ottawa, more than a third of projects fail because of a lack of involvement on the part of senior management.

By having those regular gatherings, managers can keep staff up to date with what is happening elsewhere in the organisation. The broader company goals can be discussed at such meetings and this can help management decide how projects get shared among employees – thus providing a prime opportunity for people to collaborate.

While goals are determined from the top and communicated from management downwards, this can often dent morale and collaboration. To counteract this, staging kick-off sessions where company visions can be understood, alongside the key goals to be achieved by a team, can boost engagement within an organisation. Team members get to see the bigger picture and understand where they fit in. And there is good reason for this. In the US, almost 60 per cent of workers admit to communication having been the biggest obstacle to their team’s success according to figures from Atlassian.


Bring together different skill sets

Every one of us has a unique set of skills and having meaningful collaboration between people with diverse skill sets can boost long-term communications and profitability. By discovering the strengths of different teammates within an enterprise, it becomes easier to find where colleagues can work together to mitigate each other’s deficiencies. This helps build a sense that people are working together to create something special.


Getting feedback

One of the most important areas for business leaders to think about centres around the review of processes as new jobs, such as systems migration, are undertaken. While many choose to give feedback at the end of a project or at a review stage, such systems can be ineffective and often flawed, as they fail to fix any problems that surface during the early stages.

This is a dangerous game, with figures from the Harvard Business Review pointing towards cost overruns of more than 200 per cent for one in six IT projects, as schedule overruns hit 70 per cent. After all, the last thing any business wants to report is restated quarterly and annual results to compensate for the botched delivery of IT projects.

That’s why an on-going feedback process for managers and employees can certainly improve things, taking into account any problems within a current project that would otherwise be missed.

This creates a culture of accountability and collaboration in a team, with regular feedback sessions with staff working on a project helping to give transparency and fix any issues that develop along the way.


Where the cloud comes in

Nowadays, it seems inconceivable, and almost bad form, that co-workers would send hundreds of versions of the same word document to and fro across an organisation via email. Instead, using a chat platform can help colleagues stay connected wherever they are, but everyone has to be on the same page.

Collaboration platforms, such Teamwork360, which blends Microsoft Teams and Workplace by Facebook help to streamline operations. For many enterprises, Office 365 provides the recognised software solutions to achieve these goals, allowing many users to edit a single document at the same time, in real time via Word.

However, many enterprises still use on-premise Microsoft Office, and while that is a great tool, Office 365 takes agile collaboration to the next level. The Cloud Easy service from Crayon helps organisations migrate to Office 365 to achieve that next level.

Enhancing your enterprise’s collaboration efforts can be stymied if you lack the appropriate skilled resources. To overcome such issues, it really pays to lean on expert partners such as Crayon to help break down the silos that could hinder your organisation’s digital transformation journey to the cloud.