Strategic Alignment: What It Is & How to Achieve It

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Bruna Vasconcelos
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Bruna Vasconcelos
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This article explains strategic alignment and how it helps teams work better to achieve company goals. It covers methods to create and keep this alignment for success across different departments.
Published on
May 15, 2024
Updated on
May 15, 2024

Strategic alignment ensures that every element of a company, from its action plans to its day-to-day operations, is geared toward the company’s goals. It drives efficiency across all departments by harmonizing their work.

A lack of strategic alignment leads to disjointed efforts, wasted resources, and missed opportunities as different parts of the organization pursue conflicting goals without a unified direction. It hampers the execution of important work and leads to breakdowns in communication and morale among team members.

Ongoing issues with alignment tend to cause ripples across entire organizations, with effects eventually being felt in company culture, tech recruiting efforts, and retention rates. To gain strategic alignment, individuals, teams, and departments must maintain open communication and a drive toward organizational goals set by company leadership.

What Is Strategic Alignment?

Strategic alignment is the process of ensuring an organization’s structure, workflow, and resource allocation are all systematically organized and directed toward achieving its overarching business goals. It involves aligning the objectives and activities of all departments—like HR, IT, marketing, sales, and operations—to support each other.

Implementing strategic alignment requires clear communication of the organization’s goals across all levels, ongoing monitoring and adjustment of strategies, and integrating feedback loops to refine processes and objectives.

Strategic alignment helps minimize internal conflicts and inefficiencies while maximizing effective resource use. It isn’t just for select departments but for the entire organization. Every team’s efforts should contribute directly to the company’s main objectives.

The Importance of Strategy Alignment

Aligning strategy between departments like IT and HR is essential for improving how well an organization operates. When IT and HR strategies work together, each department enhances its processes to better support the company's overall goals.

For HR, this means creating recruitment plans that match the tech skills the IT department needs as IT team growth continues. For IT, it could mean updating their systems and providing the right tech support to help HR hire and manage employees more effectively.

This kind of teamwork helps keep all parts of the business working smoothly together.

5 Tips to Gain Strategy Alignment in Your Organization

Businesses use different methods to keep everything in line, ensure a strategy works well, and support their growth. Although you’ll need to customize these for your company’s needs, the main principles are usually the same for most organizations—from bringing leaders together to make unified decisions to holding regular strategy reviews. It’s also essential to design with scalability in mind, ensuring these methods adapt and expand as your company grows and evolves.

1. Unite Leadership

When a company’s leadership team—including the executive team, senior tech leaders, engineering managers, and HR leaders—is aligned, decision-making becomes more coherent and effectively supports the company’s strategic goals.

One effective way to unite stakeholders is through regular strategy alignment sessions where all leaders discuss and align their long-term goals and approaches. For example, during an agile transformation, all leaders must understand why agile principles are important, how to implement them, and that they’re not just a handful of quick tactics.

The impact of a united leadership team on strategy alignment often causes a profound difference in company culture. When leaders are on the same page, their unified approach filters down the ranks, leading to a more aligned company. This unity helps ensure that all departments are working towards a common goal.

2. Take a Systems Perspective

A systems perspective is essential for achieving strategic alignment, especially in tech organizations where digital acceleration is a priority. This approach involves looking at the organization as a whole rather than focusing on individual parts. It helps every department’s actions contribute positively towards overarching business alignment and organizational goals.

For example, if a company is taking on a major digital transformation, tech recruiters and HR leaders must understand the broad scope of this change. They’ll need to know what new digital skills the organization will need to succeed through processes such as competency mapping.

Adopting a systems perspective leads to more cohesive and effective operations across the company. It helps prevent silos and makes sure different departments work together towards common objectives.

3. Establish KPIs

Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) is critical to ensuring IT alignment with business strategy, especially within tech-focused companies. While they differ depending on the type of developer being targeted, KPIs provide measurable values that tech recruiters and HR leaders use to evaluate the success of their hiring practices in supporting the organization’s overall goals.

Let’s take software project resource planning as an example. Establishing KPIs for strategic alignment might involve:

  • Setting a KPI to maintain at least 95% utilization of development resources across all projects to ensure efficient staff allocation without overworking
  • Keeping all IT budgets within 5% of their forecasted amounts to promote financial discipline and foresight in resource allocation
  • Aiming for a 90% on-time delivery rate for software releases to align the pacing of resource deployment with project timelines

The impact of well-defined KPIs extends beyond just the HR department. When tech recruiters align their efforts with business units through clear, quantifiable goals, the entire organization works more cohesively towards the bottom line.

4. Develop Cross-Functional Teams

Developing cross-functional teams is a powerful method for achieving strategic alignment within a tech organization, especially during the strategic planning process. These teams bring together diverse professionals from different disciplines within the IT and business sectors—such as developers, project managers, QA specialists, and UX designers—to tackle complex projects that require a broad range of skills.

For example, when a tech company plans to launch a new product, a cross-functional team ensures that all aspects of strategy execution are covered. Developers focus on building the product, UX designers enhance user experience, QA specialists handle testing, and project managers oversee the project’s progress, ensuring it aligns with the company’s strategic initiatives. This collaboration speeds up the development process and enhances the quality of the final product, providing a significant competitive advantage.

For HR leaders and tech recruiters, assembling these teams means looking beyond individual technical skills and known skill gaps to consider how potential hires fit into a team dynamic that supports holistic business-IT alignment.

5. Regular Strategy Reviews and Adjustments

Regular strategy reviews and adjustments align a company’s strategic goals and development team’s activities, especially when managing remote developers and other workers. This process involves periodically assessing whether the strategies in place still serve the company’s long-term success or need refinement based on changes in the market.

For instance, a tech company might schedule quarterly strategy review meetings, during which team leaders and HR managers discuss the challenges they are facing and the achievements they’ve made. This could lead to adjustments such as reallocating resources to areas with higher return on investment (ROI) or implementing new communication tools to enhance collaboration among remote teams.

Benefits of Strategic Alignment

Strategic alignment brings many benefits, especially for HR and IT departments. For HR, aligning strategies across the company means they better plan recruitment to meet current and future needs. For IT, strategic alignment helps streamline operations and ensures that the technology strategies support broader business goals efficiently.

When HR and IT strategies are in sync, decision-making improves significantly—HR leaders and tech recruiters make smarter hiring choices that support the company’s direction.

Enhanced Efficiency

Enhanced efficiency is a key benefit of strategic alignment, especially in the tech industry, where development teams must adapt quickly. When strategic priorities and roadmaps are well communicated and understood across all levels, team members work more effectively toward common objectives.

Improved Decision-Making

Strategic alignment tends to create improved decision-making. When an organization’s overall strategy is clearly defined, tech recruiters and HR leaders make more informed decisions that align with business goals, leading to better organizational performance.

For example, if a tech company’s strategy includes expanding into new markets, HR uses this direction to guide recruitment efforts. This goal-setting ensures that every hiring decision supports the broader business objectives, reducing the likelihood of misalignment that could detract from company goals.

Increased Employee Engagement

Increased employee engagement comes partly from strategic alignment, especially in fast-paced business environments like tech, which demands high motivation and commitment from every team member. When employees understand the importance of business strategy and see how their roles directly contribute to the organization’s goals, they’re more likely to feel valued and invested in their work.

For instance, tech recruiters and HR leaders may foster this engagement by clearly communicating the company’s mission statement during the hiring process and reinforcing it through regular training and development programs. And when strategic alignment includes clear career pathways that align with the company’s goals, it improves profitability.

Better Customer Satisfaction

Better customer satisfaction is a natural outcome of strategic alignment, especially when IT business alignment and organizational alignment are priorities. In tech companies, where product performance directly impacts user satisfaction, aligning every team’s efforts with the overall business strategy helps the end products meet customer needs.

When the development teams align with the company’s customer satisfaction goals, they’re more likely to generate digital innovation solutions that solve real-world problems and enhance user experiences. This focus on customer needs helps foster loyalty and positive feedback, which are crucial for the company’s reputation and growth.

Competitive Advantage

Strategic alignment often gives companies a competitive advantage. If every aspect of the organization’s strategy is cohesively directed toward innovation and efficiency, the company is more likely to outpace its competitors.

Tech recruiters and HR leaders play a crucial role in this process by hiring individuals who fit the job’s technical requirements and align with the organization’s strategic vision. These professionals use a strategic alignment model to develop recruitment practices that target high-performing talent whose skills will advance the company’s goals.

Common Issues in Strategy Alignment

One challenge companies face in achieving alignment between HR and IT departments revolves around the differing priorities and languages each group speaks. HR’s focus on people and a strong engineering culture doesn’t always seamlessly integrate with IT’s emphasis on technology and systems efficiency.

Additionally, the pace at which IT evolves sometimes outstrips HR’s ability to adapt its policies and practices, leading to gaps in understanding and expectations. For example, rapid technology changes require quick shifts in skills requirements that HR may not immediately align with. This misalignment often causes delays in filling critical tech positions.

Some of the specific issues that often come up and their solutions include:

  • Miscommunication between departments: Establish regular inter-departmental meetings where teams update each other on current projects and goals. A centralized project management software helps by providing a single source of truth that all departments refer to, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
  • Rapid technological changes: Stay ahead of rapid technological changes by investing in continuous training and development for team members. Implement a strategy that includes regular reviews of the team’s software development tools and technologies.
  • Resistance to change: Involve employees in the change process early and often. Communicate the reasons behind changes clearly and establish feedback channels where employees express concerns and contribute ideas. This includes giving feedback to a software engineer in a way that highlights the benefits of adopting new technologies or processes.
  • Inadequate resource allocation: Use tools that track resource usage and project progress in real-time. Develop action plans that clearly outline resource needs for each project phase so teams can make adjustments proactively instead of reactively.
  • Lack of clear goals and KPIs: Work collaboratively with all stakeholders to define success for each project or initiative. Regularly review these goals and KPIs in team meetings and adjust them as needed so they continue to align with the overall business objectives.

Hire Developers Who Align With Company Goals

As you work to improve strategic alignment in your company, remember that finding the right talent is crucial. This is where Revelo helps—we connect businesses with top developers who match the needed technical skills and align well with your team’s time zone. We thoroughly vet each developer for their technical abilities, soft skills, and English proficiency so they can immediately engage in your projects.

Revelo also assists with onboarding, including payroll, benefits administration, taxes, and local compliance. Additionally, we support the developer throughout their tenure with your company to maintain high engagement and retention rates. This comprehensive approach helps you keep your focus on driving strategic goals forward without the added stress of managing recruitment details.

Contact us today to hire developers who align with your team and company mission while maintaining a focus on strong product delivery.

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