Alignment of Tactics with Long-term Strategic Goals

02/08/2021 1 By indiafreenotes

The alignment of strategies in a business is important to ensure that everybody is pulling in the same direction. Strategies are the offshoot of business goals and direction and are designed to give an indication to all members of the business of how the business will achieve its goals. Strategies must work together to be most effective. If people are pulling in different directions, resources will be wasted.

Strategic organizational alignment occurs when all the major components of an organization including people, marketing, operations, and systems are interconnected and directly linked to the mission, vision, and values of an organization.

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.

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.

Horizontal Alignment

Horizontal alignment of strategies ensures that all strategies work together and are not in competition. A health care organization with one strategy to “decrease length of hospital stays” and another to “reduce the number of hospital re-admissions” might have strategies that are in competition with each other. When establishing business strategies, companies need to look at the big picture to ensure that strategies in one part of the organization are not inadvertently and inappropriately impacting the ability to achieve strategies in another part of the organization.

Vertical Alignment

A company’s goals and objectives will drive its strategies. Vertical alignment of strategies will ensure that strategies are related directly to goals which are related directly to the organization’s mission, vision and values. Strategies are developed to indicate “how” a company will achieve its goals and objectives. Companies generally have several strategies that they put in place to meet multiple goals and objectives. Importantly, these strategies must be aligned to ensure that resources are used effectively and that success can be achieved.

Operational Alignment

Operational alignment of strategies ensures that the work will actually be done. While strategies indicate how goals and objectives will be accomplished, tactics indicate specifically what needs to be done to accomplish them. Many companies have scarce resources and, because of this, it is important that strategies are carefully designed and aligned to ensure the effective use of those resources. Operational alignment is the point at which the planning team will determine who will do the work, when, how and with what required resources.