Research has shown that up to 95% of employees don’t understand company strategy, leading to misalignment, disengagement and a lack of purpose in their work. As the leader of an organization, you’re responsible for making sure your organization stays aligned.
OKR and alignment work hand-in-hand. But, what is alignment? And how can OKR and Perdoo help you achieve that?
What is alignment?
The word alignment has its roots in Old French: àlignier. Lignier is derived from the Latin word lineare, which means consisting of a straight line. Simply put, alignment describes a state where everything is positioned on a straight line.
For organizations, alignment is about ensuring that everyone is working toward the same end goal. Alignment requires transparency and clear communication of strategy.
As an OKR software, Perdoo brings the greatest alignment to your organization by not only fostering transparency, but also enabling you to easily and clearly communicate strategy (and make sure all your goals are aligned with it). Here’s how.
Strategy: the foundation for alignment
Alignment typically begins with your strategy. Your strategy is made up of two components: your Ultimate Goal (mission & vision) and Strategic Pillars, providing a clear direction for your goals (OKRs & KPIs) that will help execute your strategy.
What can an OKR align to?
An OKR can serve different purposes. It can:
- Improve a KPI
- Support another OKR
- Support your strategy
When setting an Objective in Perdoo, you can select what its purpose is:
Improving a KPI
Let’s say one of your KPIs, tracking a particular area of your business is struggling on their “business as usual” work? For example a Sales’ KPI tracking Average deal size has turned unhealthy. They might therefore want to create an OKR to get that KPI back on track. Perdoo gives you the flexibility to communicate this alignment with ease.
Support another OKR
An OKR can support another OKR on the same level (eg. company, department, team), which is often called horizontal alignment. An OKR can also support another OKR on a different level (eg. a team OKR supporting a company OKR), which is usually called vertical alignment.
When we mention vertical alignment, it’s usually in relation to individual and team/department OKRs aligning to your Company-level OKRs. Company OKRs set the direction for a specific timeframe (often a year), while directly supporting the organization’s strategy.
Where vertical alignment happens between OKRs on different “levels” (eg, company, department, teams), horizontal alignment happens between OKRs on the same level.
For example our Customer Success team set two separate Objectives around the customer onboarding experience that supported each other. The parent Objective was Onboarding is a seamless and efficient experience, while the aligned (child-)Objective was, Our product tours engage and make our customers feel confident.
In Perdoo, the Aligned Objectives tab provides a complete overview of all the OKRs aligned to a specific OKR or KPI, helping identify progress and what needs greater focus.
Support a Strategic Pillar
You can visualize the vertical links between company or team goals and strategy by selecting which Strategic Pillar each Company or Group Objective supports. If you’ll be working on an OKR (team or company) that directly supports a Strategic Pillar, simply select the specific Strategic Pillar in question within the dropdown menu in Perdoo (see image above: “Add Objective”).
By instilling such vertical alignment, the entire organization will now have a clear overview of how an OKR contributes to company strategy, and whether the OKR program is helping achieve its mission & vision.
Roadmap: the place where it all comes together
As mentioned at the beginning, alignment is the result of transparency and strategic clarity. And, all these elements come together on the Perdoo Roadmap.
It provides all the tools needed to visualize and communicate alignment throughout your organization. It communicates your strategy (Ultimate Goal and Strategic Pillars) in a way that’s understood by your people.
Teams can then align OKRs to the strategy in seconds, spotting opportunities for horizontal alignment. Roadmap helps each employee understand how they can contribute to company growth, so you can move faster, together.