Within organisations, there are visions and goals which are set by the governing body and they define the purpose of the organisation. To achieve intended outcomes of these visions and goals, leaders have to align three key aspects: administrative efficiency, functional excellence, and strategic alignment.
The administrative efficiency deals with administrative tasks like payroll, office space, role clarity, and so forth. Functional excellence is about the standard process of working around people, maintaining employee performance, communication, and tasks that HR usually handles. How about strategic alignment? In this article, we will discuss further about strategic alignment as the key HR deliverables for a firm to be successful.
Jonathan Trevor and Barry Varcoe define strategic alignment as all elements of a business, including market strategy and the way the company itself is organised, are arranged in such a way as to best support the fulfilment of its long-term purpose. Meanwhile, ‘Father of modern HR’ Dave Ulrich said that strategic alignment is of every organisation strategy on where to play and how to win the battle in the market with competitors.
HR will play an important role in strategic alignment, enabling every organisation strategy through talent, leadership, and organisation. In talent, HR makes sure that the right people are in the right roles with the right skills at the right time. In organisations, HR makes sure their organisation has the right culture and work environment that enables capabilities required to win. In leadership, HR makes sure the current and future leaders think and act to deliver value. Likewise, HR is commonly consulted after decisions have been made in order to help implement any major changes, considering the invaluable perspective HR has on how decisions will impact human resources within an organisation.
Achieving strategic alignment in the absence of an effective strategy would be a tough row to hoe. While the development of a strategy is an exclusive responsibility of leaders, supported by their executives, HR managers need to be aware of how a strategy is developed and devolved in order to be able to best achieve strategic alignment.
According to Project Management Knowledge Index (MOSAIC), the starting point for strategic development is the creation of an organisation’s purpose expressed in its vision, mission statement, and values. The achievement of any strategies made, however, might be limited by organisations’ access to resources finance, available people process, and technologies within organisations. Even so, the strategic plan should be an integrated master plan for the achievement of strategic objectives within a designated time frame.
Once the organisation’s strategy is developed, alignment is required to ensure the achievement of success. Alignment at the project level requires a clear understanding of the organisation’s strategic intention. MOSAIC defines that purpose, vision, strategy, and objectives define how the strategic intention of an organisation is distilled into precise project objectives; whereas structure, culture, processes, and resources represent how the project will achieve strategic objectives.
At this point, the tactical aspects of this stage should be reviewed and measured regularly to ensure the project remains on track to achieve the defined objectives.
Strategic alignment can be said successful with effective execution if meets the following factors: