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How to Foster Collaboration between Departments?

“When working with other departments, people try to get to me through multiple platforms, be it Hangout, Messengers, Whatsapp, Telegram and so on. It is difficult, even frustrated, to get a clear idea on who-is-responsible-for-what and whether something is done, delayed or cancel.”

It is a typical response we get when working with partners on delivering big projects that affects different divisions. To break out of the departmental silos, here are some simple practices that get results.

Be clear on goals, sub-goals, and who is leading what

Working hard on unimportant tasks and leaving out big ones is the norm when goals are not specified. To avoid this, leaders must bring everyone to the onset of the project, state the ultimate goals and how the sub-goals contribute to that.

Explain the leader(s) that are responsible for each and define the measurement beforehand.

Encourage participants to ask questions to clarify any inquiries that they might have, and ask questions along the project.

Systemize the used platform

Set an agreement on what platform should be used, not just in communication. For example, for an IT project, the coding language should be the same across different functions. For data analysis, should it be processed using Excel or Tableau?

By formulating consistency across your organization, workers could avoid the time to gather and “translate” different work batches into something they could work on.

Go beyond work

Working with human requires more than technical expertise. Research shows that effective management of social capital within organizations facilitates learning and knowledge sharing, increases employee retention and engagement, reduces burnout, sparks innovation, and improves employee and organizational performance.

Managers can facilitate these relationships by encouraging employees to join lunchbreak or outing trips with other departments.


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