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Project Portfolio Management

Breaking Down Silos and Gaining Control of IT Projects

Published By Tim Szrejter
Breaking Down Silos and Gaining Control of IT Projects

In enterprises today, it is all too common for departments outside the IT organization to implement new systems, which we all have been convinced are amazing because of x, y, and z and absolutely critical for them to get their job done. Okay great. Well what happens when that system that IT didn’t even know about breaks down and suddenly they who shall remain nameless can’t do their job (ahem, marketing) until it gets fixed? Oh right, IT is called to save the day.

Now we know this rarely happens and isn’t a real problem in organizations today, right? Yeah. So let’s get ahead of it this time so those marketing cowboys don’t freak out when their emails all bounce or their website crashes.

Siloed working teams and entire departments develop all the time. It’s natural to converse with the people on your team and get tunnel vision for the rest – it happens to the best of us. But from an organizational standpoint, it’s not ideal at best, and at worst it can be detrimental. So many invested applications become redundant because each silo has their own (which could easily be consolidated), there becomes a hodge-podge of applications supporting quite frankly very important business functions, and in too many cases the entire system infrastructure is in a single person’s head. Of course this is not always the case, but you get the idea. Silos create a multitude of challenges and downright inefficiencies; it pains me.

Some of the challenges I see all the time are:

  • Limited visibility – information gets stuck in different systems and no one really knows what is going on
  • Resource management flaws – capacity and demand is impossible to manage when you have people being pulled in at the last minute to put out fires they started
  • Misalignment with business goals – yes, a lofty goal as is, but doesn’t stand a chance when you have silos running down rabbit holes
  • Redundancy of work – possibly the most common effect of silos and in my professional opinion the most easily avoidable

Now let’s get on to the good stuff – the value of integrated systems. We’ve established silos happen, and those in denial have stopped reading by now. So those still with me, let’s talk about integration. And don’t act like it’s some holy grail you’ll never reach – it can be done, I’ve seen it. I can’t tell you the number of companies that come to me with fragmented systems and frazzled hair. Integrating financial systems, agile systems AND service desk. What just happened? Yes, that and more. By integrating your systems, you can solve so many traps those pesky silos set. Misalignment – check, governance for planning – check, better forecasting – check, holistic view of resources – double check.

Bottom line is you’re not sentenced to a lifetime of chasing your tail supporting and upgrading systems that anyone with a pen, including Mr. CMO himself, signed up for. By getting a sound solution, you can integrate the systems that matter, get a little bit of control over the information floating around, and have some real data to work with that decision makers will actually care about.
For more information about how Innotas integrations can help your organization, take a look at our Integration video (marketing paid me to say that).

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Written by Tim Szrejter