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Let’s bring this hated buzzword back to remote work

by Ana Lopez
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Breaking down department silos was the hottest business trend in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

It was so cliche that it regularly appeared on lists of the most annoying corporate buzzwords of the time, but there was a reason the business world fell in love with the concept. Previously, each department was considered a separate entity, with only a handful of people at the top who could see how each part fit together.

Over time, however, it became clear that breaking down the walls between departments was necessary to better share ideas, resources and tactics, inspire innovation, provide more consistent employee and customer experiences, promote a more unified approach to problem solving. and enable organizations to act quickly and unilaterally to solve emerging challenges. As the speed of business gained momentum, organizations could not afford to be burdened by cross-departmental misunderstandings and information gaps.

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When work moved from office to home in 2020, maintaining those interdisciplinary lines of communication fell off the priority list. In a rush to bring productivity to a new, digital space, there was the widespread adoption of collaboration tools that gave teams everything they needed to work effectively within their departments. Developers are now likely to spend most of their time in an app like GitHub, sales teams in software like Salesforce, engineers in Jira, designers in Figma, and so on.

As team members spent more time on the platforms built specifically for their specific role, they spent less time sharing and learning from other corners of the organization. Suddenly, all that progress toward breaking down silos took its first significant step backwards in decades.

Nowhere is this challenge greater than for those who, by definition of their role, must work across departments. For example, functions like marketing need to maintain clear lines of communication with everyone from customer service and sales to product specialists and developers to do their jobs effectively. Knowing the status of various moving pieces, aligning internal goals and objectives with external communications, and maintaining a deep understanding of changing consumer preferences are all necessary elements of the job.

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Sure, we have tools that can transfer messages between otherwise isolated departments, but seeing the real-time status of workflows and progress toward objectives isn’t the same as getting the occasional update via Slack or email. Plus, getting that information quickly from different teams requires more deliberate effort. All those requests and follow-ups can also serve to breed tension, especially in a remote environment.

This is what collaboration tools love Bubbles come into play. The organization-wide collaboration software creates a level playing field where team members from all departments can easily share content in different formats. It provides a metal layer on top of the applications they already use rather than being sandboxed within those applications. For example, designers can record their screen on Figma and share it on the Notion productivity application to discuss product requirements with a non-Figma product manager.

Engineers can do the same with ads in the Jira project management platform, where they can discuss requirements or clarifications with marketers who don’t know how to use Jira. The same goes for sales teams, who can now share content from customer relationship management platforms like Salesforce with product managers without requiring those product managers to use Salesforce.

Our goal is to flatten the digital collaboration landscape, enabling cross-departmental collaboration without each having to familiarize themselves with (not to mention credentials, onboarding, and training for) the platforms the other makes the most of. spend part of his time. their time.

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These days, most organizations rely on tools like Slack, Zoom, and Email to build some kind of bridge between different departments and their preferred technology platforms, even if it’s a bit shaky at times. However, Bubbles is designed as a permanent structure that can quickly and reliably transport information from one corner of the organization to another.

Breaking down silos between departments was vital to enabling agility and innovation at the turn of the millennia when most operated in the same physical space. Now the buzzword everyone loves to hate is making a comeback, with breaking down digital silos being the key to enabling the next wave of innovation in a more remote environment.

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