The Role of Alignment in Navigating Uncertainty

Let's face it, we're living in the most uncertain times ever! With COVID, inflation, recession, the war in Europe, and AI taking over the world, it's essential that we use our resources wisely. But how do we make informed decisions in such a crazy market? Enter KPIs!

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of measuring success, let's make sure everyone in the organization is on the same page. After all, if we're not all rowing in the same direction, we will just go around in circles!

Step 1: CEO: Clarify the Company's Values, Vision, and Strategy

Before you dive into anything else, it's essential to make sure that everyone in the company is on the same page when it comes to the company's values, vision, and strategy. This is important because it affects every department in the organization. You could ask your colleagues what they think the company values, vision, and strategy are, or you could have a one-on-one chat with your manager. As a CEO, you can collaborate with HR to get more strategic, e.g. by survey or delegating this clarification to direct managers. Once everyone is on the same page, you'll see how much it helps everyone to work together. For example, the product team will understand whether we focus on sales or product-led growth while defining and prioritizing the features, the HR team will understand what we value in the company while talking with employees, and the sales team can use the company's vision in their pitches. If it changes for whatever reason, we need to ensure it's published in a light and accessible format so that everyone can easily refer to it.

Step 2: HR: Get Clear on Team Composition and Roles

To ensure everyone is on the same page, it's helpful to understand who is responsible for what on the team. You can start by having everyone define their role and then look for any misunderstandings or overlaps. This helps you create an action plan that takes the organization's strategy into account, and you can train each role separately to make sure everyone knows what they're responsible for. And once all is defined, let's ensure it's published, accessible, and always up to date.

Step 3: PM: Craft Product Goals that Drive Results

Having a clear understanding of the organization's vision and strategy is critical before defining product objectives. Once that's in place, it's essential to ensure that the team responsible for the product's vision is aware of and accountable for its objectives. It's not enough to just set objectives; we need to ensure that they are acknowledged, understood, and communicated effectively across the teams. In today's dynamic market, product objectives may need to be adjusted over time. Having a framework in place that allows for effective communication and feedback is vital to ensuring that everyone is aligned and working towards the same goals. One way to do this is by setting SMART objectives that are published in a light and accessible format so that everyone can easily refer to them and track progress, e.g. visualizing them in the tracking tool dashboard and using the dashboard as a reference on product syncs.

In summary, if you need to make any radical changes within an organization, consider whether the three things mentioned above are clear in your organization. Otherwise, you risk a possible and uninformed disaster on your hands. If you're not accountable for any decision-making, but nothing above is clear to you, pass this post to your direct manager with a note that it's worth a read and some thought. After all, we're all in this crazy market together, and with some teamwork, we can tackle anything that comes our way!

Good luck on your journey!