In the world of remote working, there are common challenges across almost every industry and in every job role. Looking more closely, many of these issues stem from siloed working. But, it doesn't need to be a side-effect of virtual teams – it's an opportunity to work differently and improve processes to drive productivity.
Often, teams work towards the same objectives but need to communicate more with their closest colleagues, never mind cross team-collaboration. So, what's the impact, and how can we break down those barriers?
When people don't share their objectives, progress or information with others, it creates challenges everywhere. We've heard them all – lack of transparency, too much context-switching and time wasted searching for information buried in a folder in the depths of a shared drive or on someone's desktop while they're away on three weeks' holiday. These issues are frustrating and have knock-on effects that ripple across organisations.
People working individually can feel isolated, so there is an impact on morale. Silos create an unhealthy culture that impedes communication, perpetuates a lack of clarity, and causes people to miss feeling part of a shared purpose. When teams are less likely to collaborate, they miss deadlines and duplicate work, leading to decreased business performance.
To fix some of these challenges, companies have responded by implementing technology or extending the use of their existing tools. They're called solutions for a reason, right? But, we're exacerbating the issue by adding even more tools without structure or ways of bringing our favourite tools together.
A recent Gartner report, "How Can the Digital Workplace Drive More Visibility Into How Work Gets Done?" explains:
"Digital workplace leaders can enable business teams to add structure, context and process alongside the already popular conversational and information sharing channels they use.""Many business activities follow common work patterns, pipelines or value streams (such as intake, triage, planning, execution and reporting). The opportunity here is to provide common work management tools for business teams to model, manage or automate the repeatable and reportable business activities for which they are responsible."
Collaborative work management enables efficient communication, fast and easy access to resources, and seamless collaboration – all while your teams work from any location. Gartner shares:
"Irrespective of which route is taken to get there, the aim should be to provide different teams with flexible spaces that capture and make visible the content, structure, process and conversations around their work activity."
Here are five ways work management tools can bridge the gaps between teams:
- Empower teams with low-code tools, which enables technical and business teams to work more effectively together.
- Tools improve visibility – it's likely that the information that you're looking for exists somewhere but hasn't been actively shared with you or is on a different platform. For example, a marketing manager looking for the latest technical product roadmaps or a sales pipeline forecast can view everything in one place. Improved transparency also assists collaboration, so people can see what team members are working on.
- Reduce tool-switching – Gartner calls this "digital friction, " which happens when you're continually working between different tools or going outside your focus. Work management platforms allow you to connect your critical tools – email, chat, social media platforms and files in one place.
- Automate – not only will it save you time by reducing manual tasks, but automation can also trigger other events, such as notifications or kick off a next step. So, everyone is up-to-date about the status and more transparent about their responsibilities within a project. Automation also reduces mistakes from human error.
- Cross-team communications – work management software provides your team with a platform to collaborate successfully, regardless of where individuals are located. By driving visibility, everyone can be seen and heard, supporting teams in building trust and furthering transparency.
Learn more about how work management can help close the silos in your organisation and talk to our expert team about how to get started.
Gartner, Quick Answer: How Can the Digital Workplace Drive More Visibility Into How Work Gets Done?, Nikos Drakos, Joe Mariano, 6 October 2022.
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