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29 April 2009

Alignment

Alignment problems are usually thought to be horizontal: The infrastructure team aren't in line with the applications team, or the requirements team don't properly undestand the business, or the developer team have misinterpreted the design...

Does this sound like a problem you have encountered?  Was it the biggest problem on the team at the time? I suspect it wasn't.

I suspenct that the biggest gaps in alignment are vertical.  And that means senior management don't understand the complexities and detail of frontline operatives, and frontline staff aren't clear on the competing priorities of cost and quality.  As a result they are in conflict over project requirements and success criteria.

What can we do about this?  Do we take a position aligning with one side or another, or do we broker understanding.

What should we do?  What are you doing?

Picture by Mamzel*D,cc @ Flickr