Common challenges companies struggle with when it comes to alignment:
Ideally, an aligned OKR system accurately depicts the value creation of the company as it surfaces dependencies, detects bottlenecks, prevents double work and synchronizes workstreams. Oftentimes, this is not the case, though. Generally, organizations struggle with one or both of the following:
- Horizontal alignment: dependencies between teams are not identified and taken into consideration
Not recognizing how the goals of different teams relate to each other – if there are similarities, overlaps or other forms of dependencies – can result in different issues. Usually, they fall in one of three categories
- Potential synergies are lost
- You have multiple teams working on the same thing resulting in double work
- Bottlenecks, resulting from teams depending on each others contribution are not detected
- Vertical alignment: you don't take care of the fact that goals on different hierarchy levels should support each other
If teams on different levels don‘t think about how they (can) support higher level goals, the organization is not pulling in the same direction. At least not as effectively as they could. This can cause that
- The actual company strategy is not achieved/executed
- Resources are wasted (or not allocated in the most effective way)
- Teams feel disconnected from the company vision and mission
How OKRs and Workpath can help with regards to alignment
- OKRs and Workpath can help engage teams in the process of alignment. Having alignment as a fixed step in the OKR Cycle can help create awareness of the topic. It will also make teams work together more closely on how they can achieve their and overarching goals in cooperation.
Workpath offers the functionality of aligning goals proactively. You can select the goal(s) your team contributes to and those that (should) support you. The search functionality for goals lets you explore if other teams are working on similar topics.
- Engaging in alignment creates clarity and transparency about dependencies and relationships between goals. When teams talk to each other about how they jointly can achieve their goals, they create clarity about dependencies and other relationships between goals.
With Workpath‘s collaborator functionality you can always see which goals support you and which Goals you support. You also see other goals that support the same goals as yours to identify and prevent double work.
With the Graph you can visualize all dependencies in your organization on one page. This can help you
- Identify your impact on company goals and see why and how your work matters
- Identify relationships to other goals
- Identify goals not contributing to other (higher-level) goals
Moreover, the Cycle Steering Report in Workpath Analytics ease creating transparency about how aligned your organization is. Amongst others it shows
- Which goals get contribution from other goals and which not
- Which teams are working in silos and which teams are collaborating
- If the teams in your organization are working cross-functionally
- Create awareness of the impact your actions and changes to your plans can have on other teams. Having in mind dependencies with other teams, can help you judge better how course-correcting or not achieving your goals will impact other teams. And of course, act on it.
With Workpath, dependencies between teams are made present throughout each goal cycle through i.a. the collaborator section or the graph. You can even decide to calculate goal progress based on supporting goals.
- Learn for the future. By identifying which teams you collaborate with frequently, you can derive various learnings e.g. for the overall team structure and collaboration mode in your company.
The alignment reports of the Workpath Analytics suite make such learnings manifest in data instead of staying a gut feeling. They clearly show, amongst others,
- Which teams frequently collaborate
- Cross-functional collaboration, potentially indicating the need for newly arranged teams
- Teams not well integrated in the overall goal system of the company
- How much work is actually focused on common, organizational goals