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The importance of communication skills at organizational interfaces

The importance of communication skills at organizational interfaces

Communication at organizational interfaces is crucial for success. From biotech to finance, see how effective interaction between departments enhances efficiency and supports strategic decisions. Our latest article offers practical strategies for breaking down silos and fostering collaboration.

30/06/2024 Back to all articles

What is interface communication?

The term “interface” is primarily used in technical, scientific, and organizational settings. It refers to a boundary where two systems, subjects, or organizations meet and interact. This could be components, departments or – as mentioned before - systems. In computing for example an interface is the point of interaction between hardware and software. An interface in a biotech company would be the point of interaction between research and development departments (R&D), and clinical trials team:

How interface communication is applied – use cases

The function of R&D is to discover and develop new drugs or biotechnical products. They conduct basic research, drug formulation, and preclinical studies which means laboratory experiments, data analysis, and preclinical trials.

The clinical trial teams take the potential drug or product developed by R&D and tests them in clinical settings to ensure they are safe and effective for human use. Clinical trial protocols are designed, participants are recruited, trials are monitored, and clinical data is analysed.

Continuous communication and collaboration are crucial between these two departments. The documentation transfer needs to be continuous, guaranteed, and structured in a valid and accepted operational process.

In a biotech company interface communication is crucial for the development and testing of new drugs. Cross-functional communication and collaboration are pillars of success. Effective interface communication in finance helps teams to support broader organizational goals and adapt to changing financial landscapes: Accuracy and consistency, efficiency, compliance, strategic decision-making, and risk-management.

In finance interface communication is important to ensure smooth operations, and strategy. Let us have a close look at the financial use case.

Interface communication in a financial context refers to communication between

  •  Finance and accounting departments

The purpose is to ensure accurate financial reporting and compliance with regulations. Communication consists of regular sharing of financial statements, budgets, and variance analyses. Coordination on closing processes and tax filings.

  • Finance and IT departments

The purpose is to implement and maintain financial systems and software. Collaborations on system upgrades, data security measures, and integration of new financial tools. Integrity and accuracy of financial data needs to be ensured.

  • Finance and operation departments

The purpose is to align financial planning with operational activities. Communication includes exchanging information on production costs, inventory levels, and sales forecasts. Budgeting and forecasting discussions to align operational plans with financial goals.

  • Finance and HR

Coordination of payroll processing, benefits administration, and financial aspects of hiring and compensation plans.

  • Finance and external audits and investors or stakeholders in general

Conducting audits and ensuring regulatory compliance. Communication means to provide auditors with financial records, explaining accounting practices, and addressing audit findings and recommendations.

Interface communication stands for :

  1. Accuracy and Consistency – which also means reducing risks
  2. Efficiency  - streamlining processes and enhancing efficiency through information sharing and collaboration
  3. Compliance – adhere to reporting standards and meet regulatory requirements
  4. Strategic Decision-Making -  providing comprehensive and timely information to support decisions and strategy
  5. Risk-Management – identify and mitigate financial risks through coordinated efforts and shared insights

Interface communication and agility

The world is changing and agility within a company has become a major factor of ongoing success and growth. Agility means movement, to rapidly adapt to external factors, being resilient, flexible, innovative, and proactive in decision-making and operations.  Interface communication is a basic requirement of an agile organization.

In many organizations, departments operate in silos, working in isolation from one other. The silo mentality can stifle innovation by limiting the flow of information and collaboration. Cross-silo communication breaks down these barriers and drawbacks.

How to implement cross silo communication

The first step to reach a goal is awareness, to see the non- or wrong communication and acknowledge the need to improve.

Strategies to implement cross silo communication:

  1. Establish Clear Goals and Objectives

Define clear objectives: ensure that all departments  understand and are aligned with the organisation’s overall goals. This creates a sense of purpose.

Communicate goals: explain how each department´s work contributes to the described goals.

  1. Create Cross-Functional Teams

Project-based teams: form teams with members from different departments to work on specific projects. This fosters direct communication and collaboration across silos.

Permanent teams: establish permanent cross-functional teams for ongoing topics and initiatives.

  1. Implement Collaborative Tools

Use communication platforms: Tools like Microsoft Teams facilitate real-time communication and collaboration. Documents can be stored in order to be accessible for all and the backlog structures projects and tasks along a timeline and responsible employees.

  1. Encourage Regular Interdepartmental Meetings

Scheduled meetings: Regularly schedules interdepartmental meetings help to stay informed and engaged.

  1. Leadership and Culture

Promote a collaborative culture: leaders should model and promote a culture of openness and collaboration.

  1. Training and Development

Cross-training programs: cross training helps employees understand the functions and challenges of other departments which is crucial.

Workshops and seminars: focus on communication and teamwork skills.

  1. Implement Feedback Mechanism

Surveys and feedback tools: understand barriers to cross-silo communication and address them.

Feedback loops: suggestions for improvement can be discussed and implemented.

  1. Physical Workplace Design

Open office layouts: space can encourage interaction and communication.

Collaborative spaces: create spaces for collaborative work and brainstorming sessions.

  1. Role Rotation

Job rotation programs: allow employees to experience different roles and departments, fostering understanding and empathy.

  1. Use Technology to Integrate Systems

IT systems across departments need to facilitate data sharing and communication.

Unified communication systems that integrate email, messaging, and video conferencing. (see above Teams)

The importance of cross silo communication today

With an ongoing process of digitalization, an ever changing and diverse world, challenged by political, geopolitical, and economical risks, the human mind becomes more important. Machines collect, recognize, and process data but they can hardly see the “bigger picture.” Creativity needs a diverse and holistic view considering parameters that may not be obvious from the very beginning.

Cross silo communication means:

  • Rapid adaption
  • Reduced redundancy
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Human centred problem solving
  • A holistic view
  • Engagement and satisfaction
  • A sense of purpose
  • Better customer service
  • Operational efficiency
  • Resilience and risk management


Individual communication can be learnt, cross silo communication can be implemented. Learn more about or Talent Consulting services here.


Morgan Philips – Making success stories happen!

Written by Gabriele Kamps


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