What is Strategic Alignment?

Strategic Alignment ensures that the goals and plans of each operational and support function are aligned to the corporate strategic plans. This requires cascading the strategic agenda throughout the organization, and establishing accountability and reporting through a results forum to ensure execution takes place.

How to Survey The Strategic Alignment of Your Executive Team

This happens at two levels: upfront annual planning and monitoring results throughout the year. The strategic planning process is a set process that is enacted and requires responses through each level of the organization. The monitoring and reviews need to be done at the executive level on a quarterly basis and more frequently when needed. The performance systems need to include goals, performance contracts, and rewards that are aligned to the strategic plan.

Strategic Alignment Models

Strategic Alignment Models are visual depictions of how priorities are linked and aligned vertically and horizontally through the organization. An alignment model is a tool that helps determine the degree to which the organization is aligning its longer-term plans with its resources and capabilities, and with opportunities, vulnerabilities, and risks that have to be managed. It will also help an organization understand how to measure strategic alignment progress. It is important to ensure that each activity in the business is equipped with the resources and capabilities needed to execute on their part of the enterprise strategy.

Strategic Alignment Process

A strategic alignment process begins with clear long-term goals, objectives and the big things that must be accomplished to ensure a secure future for the enterprise. Then each division, profit center, or business unit identifies which parts of the enterprise strategy they can contribute to directly. The divisions and business units then formulate their own supporting strategy and key priorities. Once the enterprise strategy and division strategy has been formulated, each function or department identifies critical connection points and formulates their own initiatives and plans that fit and align with division strategies. Finally, each leader, team, or work unit creates their own strategies that link with their division. This process is often referred to as strategic fit or establishing line of sight through the organization.

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