Is Your Business’ Compartmentalization Hurting More Than Helping?


Each of the departments in your company has assigned tasks and generally works without much interaction with other teams. This compartmentalization can help a company become more efficient. However, if it goes too far or isn’t managed properly, it can actually hurt your business more than it helps.

Compartmentalization is Important

Compartmentalization, when done correctly, can benefit your company in both the short- and long-term. It offers your employees the chance to become experts in their fields. Instead of worrying about what the rest of the company is doing, employees can focus on their work and learn as much as possible. In the world of sales, compartmentalization gives employees the chance to focus on one group of clients or one type of product.

Execution of tasks also benefits from compartmentalization. When one group is responsible for a set of given tasks, there is no dependence on other groups’ efforts. This makes business execution more efficient and usually more timely.

Communication Can Fail

One of the potential problems with compartmentalization is a breakdown in communications both inside and outside the company. That can be disastrous in certain situations. Internal and external communications need to be in sync to preserve brand identity and manage situations effectively.

Common communications fails can occur in any department. When a company becomes too compartmentalized, it can isolate employees from information in other areas. This sets up situations in which external sources are controlling the message. It can also lead to department priorities overriding what is best for the company. Problems that could be easily solved with information from multiple departments can stagnate.

Communications with those who work in other locations can also be damaged. A remote employee or team may be missing out on vital information that is critical for completing work. This can cause execution and productivity issues.

Collaboration Can Suffer

While compartmentalizing can help your business, it is crucial that cross-team collaboration still occurs. For example, your company wants to put out a new product. To get that product to market, several of your teams are going to participate, such as research, development, design, marketing, sales, and legal.

Those teams need to collaborate closely to get the work done quickly and efficiently. If teams are too tightly compartmentalized, collaboration can suffer. It’s important to find the right balance.

Giving your business the ability to compartmentalize can help you run more efficiently. However, make sure that you don’t accidentally hinder essential communication and collaboration in the process.


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