The silo effect can be a common feature of many modern businesses, including software and testing companies, but while it can cause issues, how can you make the most of the challenges and opportunities it presents?

An insightful article by Jon Hagar reveals the pros and cons of the silo effect, which are often linked to each other. For example, while the silo effect can foster a sense of community, it can also stoke feelings of tribalism. Also, the support networks which blossom within a silo can turn into something less fruitful if ‘tunnel vision’ sets in.

So what impact can silos have on software businesses?

Hagar observes that the rise of ‘agile’ helps to mitigate the silo effect, but many development teams still have specialised QA or test groups that operate separately. This is a very real and practical example of a business silo, which can hinder the development and testing process potentially through miscommunication, delays in actions, and an unhelpful ‘us versus them’ mentality.

How to turn silos to your advantage

If your team or department is siloed, it’s not the end of the world. Hagar’s main point seems to be that remaining open-minded can help you make the most of your silo as well as mitigating any negative effects. His suggestions include:

  • Try doing jobs from other silos
  • Don’t be afraid to try new approaches
  • Collaborate across silos

Read the full article here.