Even small organizations assemble systems and sub-systems, and face the same system integration issues as large organizations. Remember, this is not an exercise to eliminate silos, but to integrate them together.
The first integration issue has to do with work as it travels sideways through the organization, from one function to the next – marketing – sales – project management (account management) – operations – quality assurance – research and development – accounting – human resources.
The first issue is to establish the quality standard of the work output as it travels from one function to the next. What does sales always say about the leads that marketing gives them?
“The contact person you gave me hasn’t worked at the company for three years.”
“The telephone number you gave me is a fax machine.”
“The email address you gave me is misspelled and bounces when I send to it.”
What’s the problem? Marketing is proud of the quantity of leads passed to sales, but, the leads miss the mark. The first step to integration is to establish and enforce the quality standard of work output.
In construction, there is a critical work hand-off between the estimating function and project management function. If there is a defect in that hand-off, the defect will be embedded in the project until it surfaces in either operations or quality inspection. The integration of those two functions (estimating and project management) demands the hand-off meeting has a hard agenda with detailed checklists. Problems identified in this hand-off meeting are easier to correct on paper than later, after steel and concrete.
The second issue related to integration has to do with capacity, subject of our next post.