By Tyler Jefford
On March 15th, 2023
I work at a large company with many teams, departments, and even sub-properties under the company umbrella. When working on large software projects, it's inevitable to hit roadblocks. The more you examine them, the more you realize you're hitting a "team castle".
When walls are built around teams, the culture of collaboration can quickly die. Sending a "knight" to fight a battle on behalf of another team, can create tension and a lack of trust. Often times, when things don't go as planned, it's easy to bring in higher-ups to try and get things moving in the right direction. However, this approach can be counterproductive for many reasons.
Instead, it is important to break down these walls and foster a culture of collaboration and teamwork. While many companies claim to value a cohesive team, my experience suggests that this is rarely the case. Managers are often allowed to build castles around their teams and moats around their domains. You may need to enter a ticket to talk to someone on the team, and the lead time can be up to 90 days. This can be frustrating and unproductive.
One way to break down organizational walls is to promote cross-functional teams. By bringing together individuals from different teams and departments, collaboration is encouraged and silos are broken down. This can help streamline processes and improve communication, ultimately resulting in better technology outcomes.
Another way to break down barriers is to focus on understanding the needs of your end-users. By prioritizing user feedback, collecting usage data, and finding a good product-market fit, you can ensure that your software development efforts are aligned with the goals of the company and its customers. This, in turn, leads to greater satisfaction among all teams involved.