Why silos do work in organizations



Setting up an organization in a structured and effective way is not the easiest task. It is not without reason that there are so many organizational consultancy firms. When a company grows (or shrinks), challenges arise. A frequently heard challenge is working in silos. Many organizations indicate that they do not like this way of working, because they lose overview. We are happy to explain why silos do work in organizations.

More focus

In fact, it is almost impossible to organize a large company without some silos. The trick is to have the silos where they should be. Activities that require focus benefit from being protected from distractions. However, interaction must remain possible between the people who need interaction to get things done. This example is common among developers and project managers. The developer needs focus, while the project manager prefers to be aware of the current status at all times. Everyone has different needs within the organization.


Unjustified statements

How does this apply in your organization? Are certain dependencies within departments particularly sensitive to conflicting situations? Are opportunities being missed due to the silos within the organization? Problems can be debunked using insight into the statuses of the various silos. Consider “Those people in marketing live in their own world!” versus the data showing that most transfer failures occur between design and manufacturing. By looking at the facts, it can be discovered what really is the cause of the friction.

Insight into the bottlenecks

Data can help generate insights and test hunches. This data can be shown in a KPI dashboard. For example, the data on your dashboard may show that silos are particularly harmful when they coincide with geographic or time zone boundaries, but work particularly well when projects have a short lead time. Simply put, looking at data can help ensure you’re tackling the right problem. Isn’t it logical to use a thermometer or a blood test to diagnose a disease? It would be something if a medical doctor diagnosed a disease by looking at the patient or giving a thumbs up on their forehead.

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Complete overview leads to accurate work

With the help of an online dashboard you can not only get an overview of the entire organization, as we did with the client view from DAK, but also predict what will happen in the future. By spotting patterns (“The Legal department routinely withholds approval for proposals our engineering team makes, and as a result we lose revenue”) you can make judgments about future events (“Tom’s proposal that came within must be with the customer for 15 days, will be held in the legal cell with a 69% risk of not meeting the deadline!”). Making accurate predictions can be very powerful, because ultimately all decisions rely on predictions: accurate predictions lead to better decisions.

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Increase efficiency

People are determined to try to understand why things happen. People are much more likely to accept and support decisions when they understand the reasoning behind them. You can increase the efficiency of your organization by improving internal collaboration. This does not necessarily mean that the silos have to be abolished, as this takes away a lot of focus. Departments must speak the same language, or at least work with the same management information. It is important that all employees have their noses pointing in the same direction. The purpose of the organization should be the top priority for everyone. When the objectives and results of all departments are transparent, mutual understanding will be increased and internal cooperation will improve. Regardless of the silos…

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