Collaboration across silos is difficult
Anyone who has ever worked in a large Enterprise can tell you that collaboration across silos is difficult.
Many organizations struggle when collaborating across silos and are faced with process inefficiencies as well as disgruntled experts involved in the process, yet sometimes cross the silos is mandatory and even mission critical.
As an example of what it takes to cross silos, let’s take a look at how enterprise IT teams are coping with disruptions in their Production environments (also referred to as Incidents):
An alert pops up in youbuywesell.com’s IT Operation Center: customers are experiencing low performance of the site. As this is a critical issue, Jim starts an Incident War-Room drill by inviting various experts into a phone bridge.
Jim (Ops): Hey folks, the site is sluggish… does anyone know why?
[Phone line cracks and crickets chirping are heard but no answer]
Jim: Anna, how does the server look?
Anna (Infra): The server’s doing great. CPU & Mem are low. It’s not the server. Maybe it’s a DB query issue?
Li (DBA): DB is just fine. No one has changed any DB query in the last month. It’s probably the network. Jose?
[Phone line cracks are heard again for the while, but no answer]
Jim: Hey, does anyone know where Jose is? He was supposed to be on-call for network issues…
[Meanwhile Jose was spotted dodging the call and pretending to be immersed in a webinar]
Jose (Network): C’mon guys, this is the third time you are blaming network today! Our network is top-notch. Have you asked the app team?
The above is just one example of mission critical collaborations in cross-silos settings. If your answer to solving these challenges is “DevOps”, well… it might not be so simple in an enterprise setting. And there are other examples. Consider collaboration between the Security team and Ops team when handling an attack or tracing vulnerability. How do they work together? How does collaboration work between the Customer Success Manager, Customer Support and Developers when working on a customer escalation? Is there a weak link that needs to be strengthened?
What is not working here?
- The medium isn’t efficient – Solving a major production issue in an enterprise often requires collaboration between 20+ people over a single bridge, which is challenging.
- Visibility is impaired – It is difficult for the different experts that participate in the collaboration to see the same picture and the same data as their peers. Not only are they siloed in their role and team, but also in the information they see.
- No shared context – With visibility impaired the experts do not share the same context of the problem at hand. When they do not share the same context they do not share the same sense of urgency towards the mission.
- Not much remains for retrospection – When the issue is resolved and the call is over, many times nothing really remains behind for future retrospection and being able to learn and improve from the case. At best a coordinator took some notes and attaches them back to the ticket, but this often misses many details as well as the data itself.
- Limited recognition – The process and medium don’t allow for the hard work that experts are putting into resolving the issue to be recognized by their peers nor by management.
The medium and the tooling that are currently in place do not allow for an efficient collaboration, and furthermore they do not entice the participants to be engaged in resolving the matter at hand.
Could the introduction of bots help resolve some of these issues?
Join us next time as we discuss this matter further.