Why Killing Silos is Crucial in Digital Transformation

 "We're operating in silos."

"The left side isn't talking to the right side."

"We need a meeting to decide who to attend to the next meeting so we can review what we didn't cover in the last one."

"Why are we working on this initiative?"

"What problem are you trying to solve?"

"Let's meet to get on the same page."

"We're agile, sort of fragile, and unfortunately hungover from waterfall."

Silos Kill Digital Transformation - Isaac Sacolick

Somewhere, sometime in your career, I am betting you had one of these feelings or asked yourself one of these questions. Some of these are problems, others are symptoms, but all suggest the need to improve communication and collaboration in the organization. 

Operating and Communication Silos Kill Digital Transformations

Siloed organizations aren't anything new, and operating that way may not have been a crisis ten years ago. But for CIOs and digital leaders driving digital transformations, siloed operations and communications are more than just an obstacle; they can undermine the entire program.

To understand why, please watch my 24th episode of 5 Minutes with @NYIke, where I share three signs IT is operating in silos.

If you enjoyed the episode, please consider subscribing to the 5 Minutes with @NYIke channel.

Why Silos Kill Digital Transformations

Digital transformations require a force multiplier. Teams do more than individuals. Teams of teams collaborate and avoid complex dependencies. Organizations must deliver innovations while ensuring that operations are reliable and performing well. 

This doesn't happen when employees lose sight of who the customers are, circle each other on how best to adopt agile practices, or waste too much precious time hashing and rehashing information in meetings. 

Add just these three signs up, and instead of driving digital at 70mph, teams have to accelerate and decelerate to "get on the same page." Worse, without a definition of customer and value proposition, all that driving may be in the wrong direction!

Here's the link to my post on writing vision statements. That's really the first step to addressing silos because a simple, one-page artifact can align people on customers and strategies. If you want to have a look at StarCIO's vision statement, please reach out to us, and we'll share it with you.

Now once you have vision statements, silo-breaking doesn't end there. There's still a lot of work getting teams, teams of teams, and organizations to have the right balance between standards and self-organizing principles. 

Tell me you want to hear more about breaking IT silos by signing up for the free monthly Driving Digital Newsletter.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog Isaac!- too often we focus on tech requirements and tools versus the cultural and communication issues that are arguably higher hurdles to surmount.


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About Isaac Sacolick

Isaac Sacolick is President of StarCIO, a technology leadership company that guides organizations on building digital transformation core competencies. He is the author of Digital Trailblazer and the Amazon bestseller Driving Digital and speaks about agile planning, devops, data science, product management, and other digital transformation best practices. Sacolick is a recognized top social CIO, a digital transformation influencer, and has over 900 articles published at InfoWorld, CIO.com, his blog Social, Agile, and Transformation, and other sites. You can find him sharing new insights @NYIke on Twitter, his Driving Digital Standup YouTube channel, or during the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers.