When you facilitate alignment, you help groups identify gaps, omissions, overkill, and to confirm the appropriateness and balance of their action plan.
Rationale to Facilitate Alignment
Method to Facilitate Alignment
First of all, create a matrix with your options (eg, actions) and the targets (eg, goals). Common items that may be aligned include the comparison of strategies to objectives. To facilitate alignment, consider these three steps:
- First complete the matrix with a linear approach, but be careful to always ask the open-ended question, “To what extent does ‘x’ (ie, option, action, or strategy) support ‘y’ (ie, target, goal, or objective) ?”
- Having defined the PowerBalls (preferably with a legend that is visible throughout the activity for your participants to reference), label each cell with either a high, low, or moderate PowerBall symbol, indicating the extent to which the option supports the target.
- While completing the matrix, ask the group to confirm completeness. Add anything missing or modify as required (i.e., Create a new option or calibrate an existing option).
Note: Since the solid balls indicate high and the empty circles indicate low, the half-filled balls indicate moderate. We like to define High as mandatory, “must have at any price.” We define Low as “would like to have but not willing to pay extra.” The stuff in between is Moderate, the stuff for which we would be willing to “pay a reasonable amount.” The equivalent to the MoSCoW tool would be: Must have, Should have, Could have, and Won’t have (null).
For seasoned professionals and alumni, consider using the Book-end method to equal dispersion after you complete your initial baseline analysis.
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- How to Facilitate Simple Prioritization (mgrush.com/blog)
- How to Facilitate Brainstorming (mgrush.com/blog)
- Facilitate Meaning, Not Words (mgrush.com/blog)