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Why We Must Transcend Silos

Survival - For a service provider to survive in today’s fast-paced delivery environment they will likely need to move away from old ways of doing things. We hear things like; "Terms matter", "Shift your thinking!" or "Shift the focus!" and "CHANGE the CULTURE!".  It is becoming more evident than ever that our organizational structure including silos could be an impediment.

Structure – An organization’s structure impacts how work gets done. Structure influences the actual product and service architecture. Some organizational structures even have siloed within silos. 

Structure matters. Silos can fracture the velocity of delivery and the quality of what is delivered. We can transcend silos! ITIL 4 Foundation or the new DevOps Leader certification classes are a good place to start learning new and better ways for the conversion of demand to value for service providers.

Considerations for Transcending Silos

  • Measurement – High performing IT organizations have an outside-in perspective where the User Experience (UX) is paramount. This infers that the way we measure needs to change. In the past, I have seen functional teams celebrate their own very siloed service or operational targets, while the market share was decreasing due to poor satisfaction. Siloed metrics not tied to the Customer/User Experience (CX/UX) can bring your organization to its knees. Today when you hear the word “VALUE” get out of IT. Value can only be determined and measured from a customer’s perspective.
  • Shared Goals – Cross-functional teams with shared goals and a high level of “trust and transparency”, are replacing siloed teams that have myopic goals that are subjective to their function or silo. Little fiefdoms are giving way to a holistic collaborative approach.
  • Culture – “Culture Eats Strategy”  It is dangerous to continue to do things because “That is the way we have always done it.”, and yet we still hear that coming from staff and managers alike. Peter Drucker often argued that a culture would trump any attempt to create a strategy that was incompatible with its culture. Culture is a DevOps value, but it is often misunderstood. ITSM Academy offers a great whitepaper titled “What is DevOps”. There is a section here talking about a DevOps culture and you can download it for free. Organizations – particularly those undergoing a transformation - fail to recognize its importance. The social and psychological aspects relate to how people interact and feel about their workplace environment. This affects the quality of work, commitment, and loyalty. For teams to be nimble, the old way of thinking (our beliefs), has to change. You may not be able to change a culture, but you can change behavior. Behavior shapes culture and IT BEGINS WITH YOU!

To learn more, please consider the following ITSM Academy certification courses:


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