Alignment, colloquially referred to as “getting everyone on the same page,” is often the root cause of what holds teams back.
How does misalignment manifest?
Misalignment is rooted in different goals with different focuses and competing priorities.
Misalignment comes in many forms. Here are a few ways that misalignment commonly surfaces:
- Regularly slipping timetables
- Nobody has time to help others
- Your team feels adrift and doesn’t know what to work on
- You don’t understand the value or impact of your work
Organizations often incentivize different teams to care about different things. For example, one team may be focused on maintaining compliance, another is focused on retention, and you’re focused on new product development.
You want to have people who represent different interests, because having those different perspectives all work together will help your company achieve its goals more consistently.
How do you solve for alignment?
Attaining alignment can be a time-consuming recipe to execute. Thankfully, it calls for a simple ingredient list:
- Understand each stakeholder’s goals and needs.
- Compare those goals and understand where they sit within the company’s priorities.
- Establish precedence among the goals and needs, and have each person at the table commit to making that shared prioritization happen.
- Set a clear measurement schema to help everyone understand when the goals are met.
How can you achieve alignment?
Any tools that help people or teams share their context will help you achieve alignment.
At Stride, we use a tool called OMV. It’s a framework that helps teams have prioritization conversations in a lightweight manner. It works for us, as we often need to establish alignment quickly and early. If you want to learn about how we use the OMV framework, read our OMV Guidebook and see if it’s a fit for you!
Here are a few other frameworks, methodologies, and tools that can help you achieve alignment:
- Stakeholder Mapping and the Planning Onion
- Better understand whom you need to establish alignment with.
- OKRs and Product Vision
- Elicit what each team is focused on and why.
- Retrospectives and Planning Cycles
- Make strategic decisions where everyone commits to a path.
- KPIs and SMART goals
- Create metrics that align activities and goals.
Interested in using the OMV Framework to help your team align on your next big priority? Try our OMV template!