How to find the unrecognized management potential in your software company
Most of these issues are associated with initiatives that the company has already taken in which the expected results haven’t materialized. Thus the cost or investment is right on or has exceeded the budget, but the outcome (revenue) fails. Project Proft and Loss (P&L) is blinking red.We – the management consultants – are normally called in after the management team has already tried several attempts at finding a remedy and fixing the issues. When these attempts fail, the CEO comes to the conclusion that external assistance may be required.
The generic misalignment issue
As we dig for insight and analyse the data (typically by interviewing management, staff, customers and competitors) a side issue always pops up; there is generic misalignment in the management team and in the company.
Misalignment means that there are fundamentally different perceptions of the company’s strategy and critical management priorities in the management team and thus also in the organization.
When things don’t work as expected management consultants dig for the root causes. What were the premises for the initiatives? What Key performance Indicators (KPIs) were in place to measure progress? Who was responsible for which parts of the initiative? How were the various areas of the initiative coordinated? How did it get implemented? How did the market react? How did management monitor progress? How were potential corrective measures identified? What corrective actions were actually taken? Etc. Etc.
Misalignment is not the same as disagreement
When digging deeply you will always find that people in any organization will disagree on numerous issues. Different company roles and responsibilities, prejudices, experience, seniority and other variations will make people look at issues from different perspectives and come to different conclusions about the cause-effect relationship on issues.
That’s not a problem. That’s strength! By having disagreement you can test the validity of positions and strategies and come to better decisions.
However there are fundamental issues where you cannot afford to disagree all the time and forever. There are times where certain disagreements must be aligned.
The issues where you must secure synchronization and alignment at regular intervals are:
- The company’s customer value proposition
- The company’s Business Model
- The market situation
- The sources for growth
- The objectives (how much and by when)
- The strategy (the general approach to achieve your objectives)
- The importance of the management areas dictated by your customer value proposition, your objectives and your strategy.
- The plans and the KPIs
What happens when management is misaligned?
When misaligned, management will be pulling the company in different directions. Objectives will not be met on time and constant requirements for corrective actions will absorb management attention and time and consume organizational resources.
Why does misalignment happen?
Misalignment happens because very few CEO’s have a tool to test alignment. The management disciplines of gaining insight, mapping the premises, setting the objectives, defining the strategy, developing the plans (and budgets), executing the plan and monitoring progress are still applied individually.
We have developed a questionnaire with 60 questions that will show the current degree of alignment in any management team. The questionnaire takes less than 10 minutes to fill out. Compiling the questionnaires from a management team and producing the Alignment Report takes us less than 30 minutes.
Is it that simple?
To test the degree of alignment – yes.
To fix it obviously takes additional effort. This effort will depend on the degree and type of misalignment.
Please drop an email to Emma Crabtree (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to test the degree of alignment in your management team.