Six Tips for Preventing Project Fragmentation
There has been an all-out mission in workplace culture to address the problem of project fragmentation
and silos. With the introduction of new project management tools that promote collaboration and physical
workplace changes—like open workspaces—there is a concerted effort to prevent data and workflow
Nevertheless, project teams are still struggling to get out of the silo mindset.
According to PMI,
poor communication is a contributing factor in 56 percent of projects that failed. This situation is
likely due in part to the issue of project silos—and the division of information. Like most things,
you have to create a plan and strategy to prevent this situation in your company.
However, with so many moving parts, how can you intentionally create a process to avoid the issues
associated with data and workflow gaps? Below are some tips you can use to keep your team from
becoming a victim of project fragmentation.
Determine Where the Fragmentations Are Happening
It's hard to fix the problem of fragmentation if you don't know where silos are happening.
Therefore, it’s essential to start looking at where the breakdowns are occurring. You may
discover that a lapse in data collection or the absence of sound collaboration practices is
responsible for fragmentation. Whatever the situation, you need to make a point to find it
before you can create a plan to tackle it.
Additionally, it helps to always talk with your team about the fragmentation issues they are noticing.
Whether through surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one meetings, it will help to get a broad overview
of your fragmentation issues so that you can address them thoroughly.
Keep a Log of Fragmentation Issues
So, you've determined where the problems are. Great! Now, it's time to do some data collection.
The next step is to create a "fragmentation database." You want to keep track of all past and
current instances of project fragmentation.
The data could be kept in a sophisticated database or something as simple as a spreadsheet.
You want to log what the situation is, how it occurred, when it happened, and those who were
involved. This log of fragmentation incidents enables you to begin to see patterns and where
these problems are happening the most. The more you can see what is happening in data or workflow
fragmentation, the easier it will be to create strategies to prevent these issues.
Get Rid of the "This Is The Way We've Always Done It" Mentality
To overcome the issues of silos and fragmentation, you have to be open to change. For example,
let's say that you have been using an internal work portal to distribute information about your
company to employees. You may have found that some team members miss out on valuable project
updates through your research because there is no way for these individuals to receive
notifications about new updates during the workday.
These updates are timely and require their action. As a result, you need to begin to think about
installing a mechanism for individuals to receive notifications or changing to a system that
already includes this feature. The takeaway is that you need to be nimble enough to switch up
processes if they are keeping your entire team from getting the information they need.
Change isn't easy, and the data backs this up. It is estimated that
of change programs fail due to employee resistance. Nevertheless, if you make it a point to
communicate why proposed changes are important and how they can optimize the workday of your
team members, then you have a better chance of getting their buy-in.
Have a Hub for Information
You want to ensure that you make everything related to project information, including updates, meetings,
and organizational changes, easily accessible for your teams. First, you need to create a process that
promotes the consistent notification of project updates and information. This can be having a system
that sends email notifications about a project update or having daily or weekly check-in meetings that
update team members on project information.
Second, pick a tool that can be used in a variety of instances. Now, you may not need something that
can be accessed offsite, but it helps to have tools that allow for the use of features remotely if
necessary. Ultimately, it will benefit you and the company to pick a tool that enables your team to
securely access project data wherever they are.
Cultivate a Company Culture That Promotes Collaboration
How does your company culture prevent silos and fragmentation? It's time to take a look at your
company's principles and beliefs to see how it impacts the prevention of silos.
of employees believe strong company culture is key to business success. So, this aspect of your
company is critical and can influence things like silos. For example, the right company ideals can
promote effective collaboration.
Actively working with them to embrace collaboration should be a daily activity. You can help by
setting aside time for them to work with one another or brainstorm. If your team's culture is to
go their separate ways, you have to encourage them to come back together.
In addition to helping them set aside time for brainstorming, ask your teams how collaboration
sessions went during meetings, or add questions or notes about collaboration during performance
reviews. The more you promote this principle, the more your team members will likely come to embrace it.
Encourage Team Building
It may sound hokey, but team building can be successful in bringing your team members together.
Whether you want to take your team through an escape room or engage everyone in interactive virtual
training, the goal is to involve them in activities they can do together.
Situations like these can boost their attraction to working together while helping them realize how
much they need each other to work through their projects. Moreover, see how you can promote social
activities so your team members can get to know one another on a deeper level. These social ties
can boost productivity and likely help to prevent silos.
Preventing Project Fragmentation Should be a Top Priority
If everyone is doing their own thing, then it will be a challenge to ensure you can produce project
deliverables. Your clients, senior leadership, and other stakeholders benefit when everyone is working
on the same page. Therefore, you need to make the act of rooting out data and workflow fragmentation
a top priority. Doing so will increase your team's effectiveness and deepen the connections between
your team members.
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