Getting multiple departments to work together towards a common goal can be difficult. As there are breakdowns in communication, each department tends to focus on their own immediate needs. However, companies are more successful when different departments join together to work towards a common goal. It often falls on leads or project managers to facilitate this cross-department unification. Therefore, it’s essential for your senior developers to have both technical and soft skills so that your project runs smoothly.
Communicate. Then Do It Some More.
Communication is crucial to the success of any company. Yet, one study shows that only 5.9% of companies communicate workplace goals on a daily basis. Poor communication means no one will be on the same page. If you want your departments to work together, you or your project manager will have to direct them. One way to effectively do this is to hold meetings with every department head. Go over, in detail, the expectations and goals for the company. Then, go over them again. You will always need to communicate more you think you should have to. However, by making sure each department head understands the company goals, they can adjust department goals to meet those needs. Meetings to get everyone on the same page and communicate pertinent information is just one of many ways to accomplish department unification.
Aside from communication, you can work towards department unification by thinking in terms of a win-win. Stephen Covey, in his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, writes down several points that can also benefit businesses. The 4th point that he writes is. To always think in terms of a win-win. One of the biggest problems within a company is when different departments begin to butt heads. This is often done to ensure individual success but can create more problems company-wide.
For example, let’s say you have a company with two goals.
- Increase sales by 20% over the next 6 months
- Simultaneously cut down company costs by 8%.
If each department focuses on themself, then it might look like this.
- Marketing: spends more money on advertisements to bring in more clients.
-Accomplished goal 1
- Accounting: reduces marketing’s budget to help cut down company costs.
-Accomplished goal 2
- HR: stops hiring and fires 2 employees out of marketing and accounting.
-Accomplished goal 2
While each department hit one of the goals, they were limited because they were operating on their own. This does not aid in department unification. However, if a skilled project manager steps in and helps department heads think in terms of win-win, where everyone can come out ahead, it might look like this.
- Marketing: Keeps the current budget but focuses marketing efforts on a specific target market to bring in more sales. –
– Accomplished goal 1 & 2
- Accounting: redirects company funds to allow for one specialized hire rather than multiple entry-level hires.
–Accomplished goal 1 & 2
- HR: Hires 1 marketing consultant to help optimize marketing campaigns based on current consumer data.
-Accomplished goal 1 & 2
In this scenario, the project lead has helped the department heads work together in a way that ensures both department, and company success. Helping find a solution where each department “wins” will help both productivity and efficiency.
Ask For Feedback
When working with multiple departments it’s important to make sure you ask for feedback. It is common to have blind spots, and asking department heads for feedback will keep you clued into what areas need work. Ask which implemented procedures have been effective for department unification. Ask which procedures don’t work and how they could be better. Always be open to feedback as those in each department will probably know best what will help them do their job in a way that helps the company move forwards as a whole. While you might manage people, those people do the same job every day and will know better than anyone what barriers they face and what solutions you could implement to help improve procedures.
Adjust When Necessary
While these steps will serve as a great start helping your company become unified towards a common goal, you will continue to run into issues over time. This is natural and to be expected when it comes to department unification. So don’t become married to any specific procedure. Be flexible enough to adjust when necessary and don’t be afraid to try new things. Listen to your team, trust their judgment, and take what works and make it better.
How Can TechBridge Help?
Our goal is to bridge the gap between business and employee, matching qualified workers with the companies who need them. If you have any further questions or you’re ready to start the recruiting process, contact us today.