7 Ways to Align Strategies Within your Organization

vision_and_alignment-325090-editedDo you run your company, or business unit, like items on a checklist?

This could mean that the organization is not aligned and that you are generating waste.

“Great Performance is 1% Vision 99% Alignment” Jim Collins, author of Good to Great

Every organization or institution, for profit or non-profit, is required to achieve results.  The method of getting those results can be structured, or unstructured.

In most cases organizations may have a vision, yet manage by using a strong silo structure.  Every department has its goals and do the best to achieve the stated objective but activities may conflict with the work of other departments.

There is a certain level of waste as groups within organizations work against each other.

Norma Simons, President of Performance Innovation LLC and AEC Solution Partner

Norma Simons, President of Performance Innovation LLC and AEC Solution Partner

Can you achieve results?  Most definitely!!  Most companies and institutions achieve success for years with this model.

However, the problem becomes difficult when changes have to be made over a short period of time.  Such changes may include:

  • Radical changes in the economy
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Quick changes in existing customer requirements
  • New markets with new demands
  • The company hires new employees
  • Radical changes in the use of technology, etc.

Question: So how can you ensure that you change and still achieve organizational alignment?

Answer: Develop a Structured Business Operating System.

How can this be achieved?

  1. Vision Mission Values–Begin with a clear understanding of the vision, mission and values.  If they do not exist, then the management team should spend time to document them in a way that is clear and concise.
  2. Strategic Objectives–Document the strategic objectives of the organization as a whole.  Once this is done then this should be in a strategy map (a one page document summarizing the strategic objectives) so that it can be clearly communicated throughout the organization.
  3. Performance Measures (KPIs)– Based on the vision and strategic objectives top management should identify the top 10 key performance indicators (KPIs) that should be used to track performance.
  4. Standard Documentation–Each measurement should be placed on a run chart that shows performance over time.  A Pareto chart can be used to document the top areas that impact performance.  Problem solving teams should then identify the root cause of the performance and solutions that need to be in place for improvement.
  5. Deployment–The key performance measures identified by top management must be deployed in all areas of the organization.  This allows all employees to keep track of activities in each area and to be a part of problem solving activities.
  6. Review–The entire organization needs to have a systematic review process that focuses on key performance measures created in each area.  During the review process, teams evaluate the performance metric and the results of problem solving activity.
  7. Visual Management–The visual management system contains information on the key performance drivers in each area, and results of problem solving activity.  The system serves to communicate the progress of the company as it relates to key areas.

Every organization performs all these and more – so this is not new.  However it is the use of a structured process that will ensure that the organization can achieved expected results in a short time as well as promoting employee engagement.

At a recent luncheon for The Ohio State University Alber Enterprise Center (AEC), I was asked to deliver the following presentation.  Flip through the SlideShare “Aligning Strategies with Operations” to get a few ideas on how to achieve alignment.  

For more information about aligning your processes, contact us at 740-725-6325. 

Norma Simons is Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, president of Performance Innovation LLC, and an AEC Solution Partner.  Norma heads a team of qualified professionals in the areas of Lean and Six Sigma. Her success is attributed to her unique integration of performance improvement systems such as Lean, Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma, quality management systems, business operating systems, and balanced scorecards that have enabled the effective execution of organizational strategy and, ultimately, bottom-line results.

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