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Com Dev Island Part 2

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

How organizational islands are formed

See first: Com Dev Island Part 1

Organizational islands aren't unique to Community Development, of course. They can occur in any type of organization and can be split off across divisions, teams, functional areas within teams, or even team members themselves.

In regard to Community Development specifically, and municipalities more generally, here are some of the ways I have seen islands form.

1. Physical Distance

When teams are not easily accessible to one another, they naturally move further apart. While the tools that remote teams use have improved over the years, they still place a barrier on communication and connection among team members.

Communities we have seen struggle the most in inter-departmental workflow and communication are those where the departments are located in separate buildings. Co-locating within the same building makes it possible to resolve issues face-to-face, encouraging quicker resolution to challenges. Meetings and discussions can also be performed more often and more rapidly as less planning is involved and others are able to stop by another department quickly to work things out.