Can Team Alignment Mapping Lead Your Company to New Heights?

Can Team Alignment Mapping Lead Your Company to New Heights?

According to Right Management’s September 2012 report, The Struggle Over Talent Management Strategy, only 12% of surveyed companies reported having a fully implemented talent management strategy. The report also found that 44% of respondents had a series of separate HR initiatives-but none of them were connected or aligned. 

This study proves that most organizations can benefit from team alignment exercises. It also illustrates how trying to isolate and solve individual problems one-by-one can lead to small wins-but they never get at the root of what’s causing those problems in the first place. 

That’s where team alignment mapping comes in.

Diverse team of professionals engaged in strategic planning over a glass table.

What Is Team Alignment Mapping?

Team alignment mapping is a process used by many organizations. The ultimate goal is to ensure that your team is aligned around a shared vision-be that a quarterly KPI, a one-time business objective, a core component of your organization’s mission statement, or something else unique to your team. 

The process of alignment mapping aims to help you take control and translate your organization’s goal or desire into a concrete set of steps and processes that will lead to changes needed to make your dream a reality. The clarity gained from this process can eliminate misunderstandings around your business’s purpose and make it easier to rally your team around a common vision for success.

The specific team alignment activities needed to reach your goals will largely depend on your business’s goals, resources, and willingness to put in the work to better align your organization. Here is one team alignment map example from Total Alignment authors Riaz Khadem and Linda Khadem that you can use as a starting point, or simply as inspiration.

The Benefits of the Team Alignment Map Strategy

Improved communication

Communication is one of the best skills for illustrating the importance of team alignment. Unorganized communication strategies can create confusion in your ranks, especially if one or more groups of employees have roles that keep them in information silos separated from regular contact with others. Meanwhile, transparent communication can keep everyone on the same page.

Simply going through a team alignment exercise across your organization is a step in the right direction regarding communication. However, we recommend taking the opportunity to double down and make transparent communication a core part of your organizational values.

Redistribute talent where it is needed

One positive opportunity of realigning your team is the chance to redistribute your people talent into different roles. This could be used to meet a business objective (such as plugging a hole in your org chart without having to do an external hire) or to move an employee into a position that will make the most of their strengths or allow them to advance their career.

Better team chemistry, morale, and buy-in

People come to work for more than just earning a paycheck. Beyond that primary motivation, humans are wired to work as a part of a team and gain real satisfaction from being a part of a group. Improved team alignment can create a sense of camaraderie that has many secondary benefits on team chemistry, individual morale, and buy-in. 

These things can be difficult to quantify, but their benefits should not be ignored.

Challenges of Team Alignment Mapping

This kind of planning can be challenging in a number of ways.

Team alignment mapping can be time-consuming and require a concerted effort. 

Not every organization has the time and resources needed to develop a team alignment map. It can be a lengthy process when done correctly, and poses special constraints on larger teams and those scattered throughout several cities, states, or countries.

Before embarking on a team alignment exercise, seriously consider whether your organization has both the willingness and resources to commit to it fully.

Some employees might be resistant to change. 

The simple fact is that the best team alignment plans aren’t guaranteed to work. Some of your employees may be resistant to change for a number of different reasons. For example, someone may not feel that their perspective is being fully considered by the larger organization.

There may be a lack of follow through. 

Lasting change takes time. Your team may not view team alignment as a serious priority if it is only given lip service by your organization’s leadership and then never fully explored.

You’ll get the best results if your organization is willing to make team alignment a priority and see any changes through to the end.

Where and When to Use Team Alignment Mapping

Let’s discuss instances where team alignment mapping can be most beneficial.

When creating a new team. 

A “team” in this context could be as small as bringing a few people together or as large as launching an entirely new enterprise. Since you’re creating your new team from scratch, you have the opportunity to create a solid foundation that fosters team alignment from day one. 

Try modeling your new team after another successful team within your organization or external group that you want to emulate.

When planning large-scale projects. 

One-off cases are another good example. An alignment exercise can be crucial on one-time projects where you’re bringing together multiple stakeholders from your organization who don’t regularly interact. 

Figuring out how each group should coordinate with one another, which tasks will be completed by when, etc. at the beginning of the project can save you a lot of headaches down the line.

As a part of mid-year or annual reviews. 

Review season is a good time for a team alignment exercise because there is a natural dialogue taking place related to introspection and performance improvement. 

While it can be easy to focus on individual performance during these reviews, widening the scope to examine your entire organization will show your employees that the success of your organization does not rest on them alone.

This may be a particularly attractive option for organizations that are serious about team alignment, but don’t have the time or resources needed to launch an entirely different initiative at a different time of year. 

During acquisitions or other organizational changes. 

Team alignment looks a little different in these scenarios, but it is no less important. For example, creating direct lines of communication and translating short-term business objectives may be crucial tasks during an acquisition, but may not be as useful in an organization that is simply trying to streamline their processes.

For any period of large-scale organizational change, a well thought out alignment plan can help your transition proceed as smoothly as possible.

Your Next Steps With KnowledgeCity

Are you interested in implementing team alignment mapping in your organization? 

KnowledgeCity’s detailed and easily accessible Team Alignment Mapping course explains how to improve project organization and team culture in your organization. It can act as an excellent launching point to creating greater clarity, focus, and motivation among your teams.

Request a free demo today to learn more!

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