LET'S TALK STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION: +1 (949) 670-9224 LET'S TALK: +1 (949) 670-9224
Skip to content
Sign Up
uk-flag uk-flag

Team Alignment: How to do 15% more with the same people

Team Alignment

I recently met with a small-business owner wƒho’s had a particularly troublesome year. An important project was running significantly behind schedule and considerably over budget. His team was tapped out, grumpy and tired, openly complaining about the extra hours they were logging. With no budget to hire, he was overwhelmed and unsure of how to get things back on track.

It’s a problem I’ve seen far too often. It seems there’s always too much work to be done, and not enough resources. The stress that can result from this mismatch often hits hardest when the extra work is strategically critical.

However, such problems can be easily fixed. Just as the average human uses only 10% of their available brain capacity, the average team uses 85% of its people capacity. That leaves 15% just waiting to be discovered and deployed. In fact, when our team has applied this thinking to our many client projects, we’ve almost always found even more in reserve.

The secret lies in team alignment. Getting everyone aligned to the most important initiatives is the key to success. While this sounds simple, you’d be amazed at how often misalignment occurs. Overlaps (two people doing the same work) are common, as are underlaps—important work doesn’t get done. By finding and eliminating redundant work, resources are freed to tackle underlaps, and the project moves forward exponentially. 

Here’s how to find that extra 15% capacity for your project with team alignment.

Align with senior project leaders

Engage them in a frank, team-based conversation, facilitated by a professional. Review the project strategies to date, agree to move forward only on the activities that matter most to the project’s success, and discard any failed strategies. Ensure the retained strategies are still relevant in today’s business environment. Team alignment relies on aligning all teams, including leadership.

Align with the project team

Engage the larger team in a series of open, transparent discussions, both strategic and tactical. Ensure that everyone understands what matters most, and why they’re critical to the project’s success. Most importantly, ensure that each individual is crystal-clear on the specific activities he or she needs to do to support the project. 

Redeploy resources with team alignment in mind

If you’ve done your job and eliminated redundant activities, you will most certainly find new capacity for your team. Redeploy these resources to support the activities that matter most.

I’ve seen this capacity-finding approach work time and again. And, as I explained to my weary business-owner friend, the results always far exceed the alignment effort itself.

One of my clients, a manufacturer of floor-care products, found that extra 15% capacity when he applied this approach to his front-office staff (Sales, Marketing, Finance, and Operations Management). He then redirected these newly liberated human resources to kick-start a major product innovation, resulting in an 8% gain in market share within a year.

Align your team 1

Looking for new people capacity to get that special project done?

Try aligning your teams to the initiatives that really matter. You may soon find yourself announcing to everyone that work ends at noon on Friday of the next long weekend. If you’d like help getting started in team alignment, our strategy experts can help you.

Let's have a talk

You might also like

How to align your team for strategy execution

Turning a group of employees into a high-performing strategy execution team is profitable more than just monetarily. It’s a win for the team members themselves; aligned, high-performing teams turn ordinary people to into local heroes. And it forges...

What is a KPI and Should You Use Them?

As a leader, most likely you have come across the term Key Performance Indicator, or KPI. However, it might not be clear what a KPI really is, why it is important and how it could be crafted to provide the right insight. As with other well-known...