Posted by John Reed on Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 08:00
The days of the IT department working in a silo are in the rearview mirror, particularly for progressive organizations. Collaboration is essential for tech team success today.
As companies chart their growth strategy, technology initiatives are widely recognized as the key to gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace: Speed and efficiency gains as well as access to more customer information are undeniable benefits of technology adoption.
Essential to any project's success is a strong understanding of the business problem the IT department is trying to solve, and that relies on cross-divisional collaboration. In our recent survey, 51 percent of chief financial officers said they are collaborating more frequently with their company’s chief information officer today versus three years ago. Only 7 percent of respondents reported less collaboration.
Find out what the top barriers to collaboration are for tech and creative teams.
That means that everyone on your staff, and everyone you hire, needs to know how to work and communicate with non-techies to help create the best solutions for the organization. Here are six tips for business leaders to improve interdepartmental collaboration:
- Encourage a companywide view. Create onboarding processes that include employees from all areas of the business. Provide opportunities, such as meetings with guest speakers from other functional areas or mentoring programs that match colleagues from various departments, to help new and tenured staff alike stay current on issues affecting different business units.
- Communicate business priorities. Use consistent messaging throughout the organization about the company’s opportunities, challenges and goals to ensure everyone is aligned on key business objectives.
- Speak a common language. When detailing objectives and challenges, use common terms. Skip the acronyms and industry jargon that only some individuals will understand.
- Conduct off-site events. Include other departments in group outings. Team-building activities in more casual environments help people build rapport.
- Seek an outside view. Consider working with a consultant who can provide an objective view of your firm’s strengths and weaknesses and offer best practices for improving collaboration.
- Celebrate as a group. When a project goes well, reward the entire team. Praise the individuals involved, and call out specific collaborative actions that led to the success.
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