Effective way to culminate inter department silos

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  myton 1 week, 4 days ago.

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  • #5497

    smitshah
    Participant

    There were three types of organisation we discussed in the lecture
    Functional
    project based
    matrix
    Functional and project based both faced inter department silos there was less inter department silos in Matrix structure but than more frequent bargain between Project manager and functional head of other department. This silos show competition and I agree competition can be healthy and harmful both so what are the way we can think off to culminate this negative competition which can affect the project and the company as a whole.

  • #5512

    srg36
    Participant

    The organizational structure of the company that I work for is most similar to the matrix organizational structure that was discussed in the lecture this week. I have definitely seen the silo effect in my organization, where sometimes in our projects it feels like we spend more time arguing between departments than moving the project forward. One way to help this is to have interdepartmental team building events, where you can actually connect with each other without discussing anything project related and get to know each other on a more personal level. Another way to help this is to have “lunch and learns” or some other learning seminars where different departments get together and share with each other what their department is all about and why they do certain things, so that each department has a better understanding of the work that is done by the other departments.

  • #5535

    ec52
    Participant

    I believe that teams should be empowered to make decisions and this is critical for product development to be effective and efficient. I agree with the previous post from srg36 that interdepartmental team building events can help. From my experience, I have seen monthly meetings where teams provide updates on projects and their issues and/or share lessons learned so other teams that are experiencing the same issues can benefit from it. One other approach I have seen is where a committee is formed for project review at a higher level where other team project managers and management attend. These meetings have basically two purposes: update management on status of programs and request decisions when teams could not reach consensus. Both examples have been proven to work towards taking negativity out of system in terms of competition and silos.

  • #5586

    gingeranderson
    Participant

    I think the best way to get rid of the negative competition is to develop a rapport within the company between employees. This is done through company events. At a nuclear plant I use to work at, every year they had a huge clam bake. At other companies, they have a family day at six flags. These strategies save the company money because it have been well documented that when employees are reluctant to speak to each other and work together, then work doesn’t get done. When work doesn’t get done on time, the company looses money. Its better to spend thousands renting out six flags then loose millions when you employees demonize one another when competing instead of having friendly competition.

  • #5596

    hm243
    Participant

    It is healthy to have a little competition within a company, especially when it is friendly competition. However, if it becomes more than that, it can result in hurting the company’s work and its success. When there is negative competition within a company, it slows down production within the company and end up in failure of the company. It is important to have team meetings and making sure that projects are running smoothly between team members. As people previously have mentioned, having events when the employees comes together outside of the company will help to create better relations between them. This will help to clear up any issues that employees may have with each other. In addition, it is important that departments get together and learn what each other does so they can have a better understanding of why they do certain things a certain way. This can help to resolve misunderstandings. Friendly competition is good in determining the most effective product because different perspectives are given. However, it is important for companies to make sure that the competition remains at a minimum.

    • #5627

      Scott
      Participant

      Agree with this. Competition is always good to keep people motivated to bring their best each and everyday. However, if its taken to the point where one is stepping on someone else to move up or get a promotion, then that type of action can kill the company culture.

      Having a good communication between departments is key. Passing knowledge between departments for projects and events also helps drive good culture and helps build better relationships within the company. At the end of the day, everyone should ideally have the same goal in mind, in which they want the company and everyone to succeed.

  • #5617

    alexandrabuga
    Participant

    I agree with @hm243 that its healthy to have a some competition, but if becomes negative competition that could be detrimental to the company. I work in a functional organization structure in the licensing group. Our particular group is competitive because we want to see who can get the most/best (lucrative) license deals done in a year. I think this is healthy competition because it keeps us on our game and motivates us to get the deals done. However, unlike some for-profits we are not compensated based on the number of deals done so it doesn’t create a culture of negative competition. You don’t get an extra bonus or commission based on deals executed so it keeps the group in a state of friendly competition where we can support each other’s successes.

  • #5641

    bb254
    Participant

    I work as a product engineer at a company which has a matrix organization and the one constant is disagreements between departments. Whenever we have a major project we have meetings with the lead of each department to discuss the changes being implemented within the project. Everyone states their views and we settle any conflicts within that meeting. However, a month will go by and different department leads suddenly change their mind. They ignore the decisions made in the initial meeting and hold the project back due to their stance against a certain change. This has happened to me numerous times and at times it can be frustrating. To remove this type of silo, its best if people communicate face to face throughout the entirety of the project, not just once. Each department should respect their boundaries and not get involved in other department decisions. The only way this can be done is if everyone meets up and discusses the changes and write down a final agreement and then progress with the project.

  • #5653

    kak33
    Participant

    I think my company operates with a functional organization structure where most of the decisions are made by the managers. There is also little communication between silos within my own department. We work on 2 different models of the medical device so the challenges we face and jobs we have to do are similar yet extremely different. There isn’t much competition because the products are so different (one is an on market device and the other is a new product launch). However, we have increased communication across the silos by having bi-weekly meetings with the teams to discuss challenges we face, stream line processes, and ultimately uncover what we have in common to help each other.

  • #5668

    puneet
    Participant

    I think completion between teams can often be beneficial as long as that completion is healthy and friendly. The key I believe in staying away from negative completion is strong communication and collaboration between departments. A closer knit work environment is less likely to develop unhealthy negative completion than when departments have little to no contact with members of other departments. Effective collaboration between functional managers can also help keep strong communication between teams and periodic meetings to discuss each departments status can be very beneficial for all members of each department.

  • #5688

    akshayakirithy
    Participant

    I agree with srg36. Interdepartmental team building events have really gelled other department, connected various individual and has made many people as team players. rather than considering inter-department silos as a result of competition, I believe that ego is the factor. Sometimes, meetings are just arguments rather than solution since department cannot put their requirements clearly.

  • #5690

    su65
    Participant

    I agree with akshayakirithy and srg36. Making departments understand and work together, it is very important to bridge the gap or clear the differences between them. interdepartmental team building events can really have productive results in connecting others. Also, to have a strong and motivating project manager generally solves all of these problems.

  • #5709

    anhtong
    Participant

    Silo mentality refers to a mindset present when sectors or departments are not willing to freely share information with other members in the same organization. It is not a coincidence that most organizations are constantly faced with interdepartmental turf wars. More often than not, silos come about because of a conflicted leadership team. The best way of getting rid of the negative competition within the members of an organization is through creating a unified vision and encouraging the employees to work towards achieving a common goal. This would, however, necessitate that the team identifies the underlying root problems, which may be causing the ripple effect of the silos.

  • #5898

    myton
    Participant

    I think that the problem with this question is that there is already a set difference between the different departments. This creates a separation between the employees and researchers which can cause problems. I believe that there is importance in stating that collaboration between companies is important. No matter what the structure of the company is, I believe that they can still work together as long as their is an open line of communication between sectors. One solution for this problem could be the creation of a position at which one member of the team works for both or multiple sides in order to be the bridge between the different departments so that they, the different sectors, can have a representative on their behalf.

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