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3 Ways Stanley Black & Decker Breaks Down Team Silos With Low Code

hands holding mock-ups of apps on mobile screens: break down team silos low code
Cocreating processes to automate work can help tear down team silos, leading to innovation. [RossHelen/Getty Images]

When you want to automate processes and break down silos at the same time, low-code app development is the solution.

It’s business 101: silos are bad. So how do you integrate teams and technology to deliver more value? This is the central question that leaders at Stanley Black & Decker tackled over a year ago when they launched a strategic initiative to create more unified experiences for employees. Our Simply Put how-to series explores how they succeed by using our low-code Platform to cocreate automations and tear down silos between teams. Here are a few strategies to get you started on the same road to success:

1. Put people first

Equipping teams with the tech they need to collaborate is the key to achieving ambitious goals, like eliminating silos. “You can really come together and innovate,” said Steve Driggs, Stanley Black & Decker IT director, “using common language that HR understands, that I understand, and even my 12-year-old daughter can understand.” He’s talking about low-code application platforms that put people back in the driver’s seat of digital transformation.

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With 88% of IT leaders noting an increase in workloads over the past year, teams are turning to low-code platforms to rapidly create workflows and automations to keep pace. “We can actually innovate on the spot,” said Driggs. This goes against the grain of two-thirds of IT leaders who say increased workloads will inhibit innovation. Low-code platforms empower your team – regardless of coding know-how – to become digital creators and cocreate app solutions to address their challenges.

2. Automate, automate, automate

Every seamless experience has people and processes behind it. And, many of those processes can be made more efficient or innovative with automation. But how do you decide what processes to automate? Often it’s a matter of focusing more on the problem first to arrive at the solution. Start with questions like:

  • How can we scale?
  • How can we eliminate friction in our processes?
  • What’s causing bottlenecks in how we currently do things?

Before we were always following a waterfall approach and it wasn’t agile. 

Laxmi Chawla, Principal Architect, Stanley Black & Decker

Questions like these can expose redundancies or inefficiencies in existing processes. In general, more steps mean more chances for errors, bottlenecks, and delays. So after identifying the problem and analyzing the solution, set a goal your whole team can get behind. And most importantly, give them the tools they need to be successful. Low-code platforms level the playing field – empowering everyone to innovate. Teams can see their vision come to life in a matter of clicks, drags, and drops.

Leaders like Stanley Black & Decker’s Laxmi Chawla, a self-described “flow-natic,” knows the transformative impact of automating with low-code apps firsthand. “Before we were always following a waterfall approach and it wasn’t agile.” There were a lot of frustrations from the business side, she said. “And we thought, how can we address that? We can address it by harnessing the power of the platform for agility and scalability. I think that truly brought everybody together.”

3. Choose a partner, not just a solution

There’s one key caveat to the guidance above: breaking down silos is both a team and technology effort that takes time and should be approached strategically. This way you can avoid problems with systems integration, security, and overall management. And that’s where a platform that acts like a true business partner, versus a solution, can make all the difference. An industry-leading solution should:

  • Promote collaboration between departments and vendor platforms
  • Enable your teams to develop a unified integrated approach to empowering digital creators across your business
  • Bring all your customer data into one unified platform, creating a single view of each customer across all of your touchpoints
  • Ship new features securely and at scale 
  • Prevent data loss with backup and restore functionality
  • Integrate seamlessly with collaboration tools, like Slack, for faster and easier cocreation
  • Provide an environment, such as a sandbox, where teams can securely test and release solutions together
  • Create rich mobile and custom digital experiences that can scale to the unique needs of every customer

The biggest outcome of the collaboration between HR and IT is that we no longer create people solutions in a silo, and we no longer create siloed technology solutions.

Minh Hua, chief talent officer, Stanley Black & Decker

Eighty-three percent of IT leaders plan to increase their use of low-code app development tools, according to a recent Salesforce survey. But while technology is great, a solution that can act as a true partner to your business is even better. The right low-code platform can be a bridge that brings your teams together.

As Minh Hua, chief talent officer for Stanley Black & Decker notes: “The biggest outcome of the collaboration between HR and IT is that we no longer create people solutions in a silo, and we no longer create siloed technology solutions. Now we’re all at the same table, creating the best solution from both an IT technology standpoint and a people standpoint to solve these business problems. And that’s a win.”

For more great tips about how your business can win with low code, watch all four episodes of the Stanley Black & Decker Simply Put series now.

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Ryan Schellack Senior Manager, Product Marketing

Ryan Schellack is an experienced product marketer focused on enterprise software and cloud computing. He’s passionate about tools, technologies, and platforms that empower developers.

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