IT / business silos: Bridging the gap

Communication gaps are probably responsible for more failed projects than any other reason; it's a tough problem to solve.

Many problems and difficulties in the business world arise from poor communication across groups and teams. These information silos are often opaque and difficult to understand from the outside their own borders.

These communication gaps are probably responsible for more failed projects than any other reason. However, even understanding the problem does not make it easy to solve. "Poor communication" is often a management buzzword that translates into "I'm right; you're wrong. But, since I'm the boss you better do what I want. Are we communicating now?"

At a high level, the obvious solution is connecting the silos. This involves building bridges across the organization through the ranks of middle management, all the way from top to bottom. Of course, organizational transformation is far easier said than done.

It's a difficult, but essential, task for any company that wants to run better IT projects. More broadly, connecting groups, through collaboration and other means, is foundational for all aspects of running a successful organization in 2010.

This photo shows a bridge connecting the silos:

Ironically, older organizations, which presumably have enjoyed long-term historical success, often find these issues more difficult to manage than do younger companies. Bureaucratic tendencies tend to grow over time as an organization tries to standardize processes for growth.

Breaking through information silos is among the most difficult challenges facing any organization. Please share your experience and practical advice on this topic.

[Photo by Michael Krigsman]

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