Why Silos Can Be Good For Enterprises - InformationWeek

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Why Silos Can Be Good For Enterprises
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tzubair
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tzubair,
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6/28/2015 | 3:37:49 PM
Re: Silos
@jries921: I agree with you that communication is essential at all levels and that even for technical people, cross-functional communication is absolutely necessary to increase coordination and add more value to the output. But, a structure is essential for that communication to take place and not always can that happen without the involvement from the organization. You can't expect informal communication that takes place over the water cooler to produce results. You need to give them a platform or a structure so that the communication can take place.
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
6/28/2015 | 3:28:17 PM
Balance
I think you always have to strike a balance when it comes to every aspect and that includes structure as well. Too flat an organization can lead to efficiency issues and unnecessary tasks as you mentioned, on the other side, too much silos will restrict communication and lead to redundancy and inefficiency again. ONe has to find the right structure which is a balance between the two extremes.
jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
6/27/2015 | 8:25:53 PM
Re: Silos
While I've never been a fan of rigid hierarchies or of the notion that all communications between persons not reporting to the same supervisor go through the chain of command (one of the reasons why I like working in a small company), I do think there should be clear deliniation of responsibility between individuals and groups.  Anybody can have a good idea about how to improve the company's computer systems, but you still need people whose specific job is to administer them.  Anybody can have a good idea as to how to better sell the company's products, but the company still needs people whose specific job is to promote them.

It is also vital for computer professionals to be fully acquainted with the wants and needs of their users so as to maximize the probability of giving them what they can actually use.  If it's the job of an IT employee to support the sales staff, he should be communicating with them directly; likewise if his job is to support the accounting department, the legal staff or any other part of the company (fraternization should be actively encouraged).  Likewise, those who develop software should be well acquainted with the people who are supposed to be using what they produce.  Those developing  word processing software should be communicating regularly with secretaries, newpaper reporters, and other professional writers.  Those who develop data analysis software should likewise be communicating with statisticians and analysts,  Accordingly, I think every professional programmer should be required to provide part time tech suppport to the people who use what he writes; not so much that he doesn't have time to do his primary job, but enough that he understands the needs of his users and the problems associated with the software as it is; it's called "accountability"; and experience suggests that quality of service is inversely proportional to the distance between the person providing the service and the one receiving it.

 
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Ninja
6/27/2015 | 5:29:32 AM
What a nonconventional piece!
Till now I assumed that flatter was better. After reading this I've realized that the right degree of flatter is good. And that degree varies from organization to organization.
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