Silos only exists in the mind, not in any typical organizational structures. You also embed these silos in the roles and responsibilities in the organizational structure. For example, cost accounting is a trigger for silo mentality. One visible structures that would favor silo mentality and that could create a major dysfunction for an effective throughput are cost centers.
Whatever name you would give to the structures doesn’t matter. In addition, without functional expertise you will never be innovative and creative. This dilemma always exists to balance the functional expertise and to tame the flow of value. How would you attain a mastery in functional expertise and, at the same time, a mastery to tame the throughput in your organizational changing contexts? Designing right organizational structures could help to minimize silos and, unfortunately, all those structures are invisible.
None of the typical organizational structures, team of teams, Agile teams, Spotify or whatever name you would give to them would not help to remove the silos. Those may help to minimize the silos, but dysfunctions will continue and you will never attain a silo free world and you will continue to face challenges to maximize and optimize throughput, and, unfortunately, you will burn more of your money - a scare resource- than needed as most of those are borrowed ideas and are not connected to natural way of working in your environment, and to your organizational needs and changing contexts.
Who would invest their resources to chase a mirage? This was also one reason for this argument that the silos only exist in the minds. Let us explore further the above argument with the following: every manifestation in the real world starts with our thinking processes- what thinking processes could you adopt in your teams and organizations? Understanding and sharing mental models of each stakeholders in the given context is another element - do you have a method to think through different mental models? How do you understand financial flow- throughput accounting is another idea?
How do you design your systems and teams to tame the throughput of your organization? How do you ensure psychological flow as human nature is always unpredictable? How do you plan your activities around current state and future state and the tension between those two states, etc. The TameFlow approach has all the elements that are needed to design the flow of throughput within your organization; in addition, pattern thinking, flow metrics, mental models, and many more will help you put together all the elements to establish the right structures which could help your organization minimize silo thinking.
Learn more about the ‘Jeep, the Jungle, and the Journey’ metaphor and employ it in your organizational context and learn more on how to develop shared understanding of the flow of value, mental models, financial flow through throughput accounting, Thinking Processes of Theory of Constraints, etc. Just recollect the main argument: Silos exists in the mind, not in any typical organizational structures!
Where should be your focus to maximize the throughput in your teams and organizations, not in any of the frameworks and ceremonies?
I would like to express my deep and sincere gratitude and thanks to Mr. Daniel Doiron, Author of ‘Tame your flow’- Ultimate Agile/Kanban Book on Financial Throughput for Immediate Exponential Returns and VP of TameFlow Consulting Limited, for reviewing this article and for suggesting to add one other silo that comes through cost centers and cost accounting. This is probably a major factor that favors silo mentality and for dysfunctions in organizations. Thank you, Daniel!