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All About Business Alignment

Everyone likes to have a fair idea of what they are investing in or subscribing to before getting involved in any venture. In businesses, business alignment comes into play while giving a sense of clarity to all stakeholders involved- be it the owner, the employees, the investors or the customers.

Business alignment basically means aligning all levels of customers and team members involved according to the organization's purpose, i.e., all decisions and changes are made to the product/strategies as per the organization's purpose and to not stray away from it.

For a business to be aligned, it is essential to have a clearly defined purpose. Now, one may ask what the meaning of purpose is and whether it is the same as a set goal? The answer to that is no.

A goal is the target one sets to achieve and usually has a deadline, and is influenced by the purpose, which doesn't change with time. They have a visible result, but purpose revolves around morals and beliefs, which are more subdued and aren't prominent.

Business alignment affects a business/organization as a whole, but to narrow it down, a few areas that one could say are greatly affected by proper business alignment by increasing or decreasing the value of the project are-

1. The image of the project.

Having business-aligned projects helps to earn respect from the executives and enhances the image of those who organize, control, implement, and own the project.

In short- a business-aligned project with a clear connection to the purpose has a greater chance to gain a more positive image than a project that isn't clearly related to business.

2. Investing in a project

Investment/funding decisions are usually made in all stages of a project- before its commencement, during the project and even after the finishing of the project. In today's economy, lack of investment is usually the result of a project that lacks business alignment.

3. Supporting the project

Aligned projects hold more value and hence more importance. This helps gain support from managers and administrators by deeming it more important in their eyes. This help can be in the form of providing resources and time to the project for growth and success.

4. Project approval

Some organizations are extremely strict with approved projects, and the main acceptance criteria revolve around clearly defining the alignment of the project to the business before its implementation.

A business-aligned project usually achieves an overall balance in the following subcategories of alignment-

(I). Resources and their alignment.

A company's purpose should act as the base to determine what receives funding in the company and what doesn't. Anything that falls outside the purpose and stage of growth must not be considered for the financing; because what one funds is what grows potentially.

(II). Alignment strategies

Even though the purpose of a company remains the same and doesn't change with time, how it is achieved (strategies) might change as per the changing circumstances.

(III). Management System and alignment

The management system includes all measures an organization takes to get things done like team meetings, webinars, customer service guidelines etc. Having the management system operate in alignment with the purpose allows all management, staff, and employees to be on the same page and results in a smoother operation in.

(IV). Organizational capabilities and alignment

These are the things that make a business stand out in the market from its competitors, and having a clear focus that the project stays aligned with, helps gain a more positive image and build a better reputation for the company.

There are many benefits one can reap from strategically aligning projects to a business, such as:

a. Ease of decision making.

b. Solidified reputation.

c. Increased organizational capabilities and enhanced teamwork.

d. Decreased demand on budget.

e. Flexibility in strategies as the company grows.

f. Clear purpose and identity.

g. Increased productivity.

One needs to keep in mind that communication and transparency are the keys that help a business stay aligned and grow in the long run. Implementing alignment strategies differs depending on the company's size, history in the marketplace, competitions, etc.


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