The Importance of Aligning Your IT and Executive Teams
There are many departments within an organization dedicated to specific tasks, prioritizing certain initiatives, and specializing in specific areas. It is not an easy task to have all of your teams on the same page all the time. However, there is an incredible power in company-wide goal alignment.
The message from the top of the org chart can mutate as it cascades down through various layers of management, losing cohesion at each level. Your team needs to be aware of how their projects fit into the overall organizational framework and how their specific contributions impact company strategy.
Aligning your departments to your overall business strategy results in a smarter, more productive, and cohesive organization.
The problem: It's rare to have everyone on the same page.
It is especially important that your organization’s Executive and IT teams understand each other’s needs, strategies, and goals. This isn’t always the case. Conflict in budgeting perspectives or differences in priorities can lead to a staggering disconnect.
Today, IT teams are involved in almost every aspect of the business. From digital marketing and customer support, to systematic management and more. As IT solutions continue to increase the productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of business operations and communication, businesses will continue to rely on IT for success.
However, more often, the IT team does not make final buying and directional decisions. In most organizations it is the Executive team that gives the final stamp of approval on projects. With two teams who are crucial to business outcomes, it is imperative they are working toward the same goals.
There are some key elements for building a successful organizational-goal alignment strategy:
Clearly define and communicate each team’s goals and strategies to one another. This gives everyone an opportunity to contribute and collaborate cross-departmentally; bringing together minds that normally don’t work together. Remember to always explain what you are doing and why you are doing it.
This might sound obvious, but explaining lends the opportunity for your team to ask questions they may have hesitated to otherwise. Especially when it comes to more complex ideas, communicate simply enough so that everyone will understand, no matter what team they belong to. Perhaps more importantly, this also shows more directly how your team will help to achieve business success.
Confirm Value of Each Team and Team Member
Very few people, left on their own, can figure out how their individual job descriptions relate to the overall strategy. While it’s great to have “two top goals as a company”, what does that mean to your operations manager? How about to your accounting department? And your sales team? You’ve got to make sure that you bring your goals and priorities into context for each of your team members and departments.
Not only affirm each team’s responsibilities within your organization, make certain each team member is aware of their purpose and value to both their team and company as a whole. When a team member reaches his or her goal, it is important to acknowledge the accomplishment. This will motivate others to reach their own goals as well.
Establish specific checkpoints for each team to report to not only management, but other teams as well, so that the entire company is aware of what projects are being worked on and goals worked towards. This could be in the form of monthly or bi-weekly management team reviews of the company and department behavior to make sure it is in alignment with company goals and priorities.
For all you techies out there, checkpoints work like a progress bar on a big file download, allowing everyone to see that you’re getting there!
Alignment doesn’t always come easily. It’s not easy to translate large, wide-reaching organizational goals into smaller, everyday tasks while not losing sight of the big picture. But it’s not impossible, either. Plow can help your organization find smarter ways to do business. Contact us today.
Headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, Plow is a Total Service Provider (TSP) with several distinct business practices that, when consumed together, offer our clients a unique, best-in-class experience that give them peace of mind, valuable time back and the economies of scale that come with having one partner that is focused on exceeding their expectations with every engagement.