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Aligning with the Rest of the Organization: A Few Tips for Tech Leaders

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Nikki Porter

Technology leaders share the challenges of many other business leaders who struggle to demonstrate the alignment of their function with the rest of the organization. In a November 9 webinar on The New Face of CTO/CIO: More Than the Gatekeeper of Technology hosted by Big Nerd Ranch, 100% of survey respondents admitted they could do a better job in this area. So how do we fix this?

Results are hard to measure

Sales metrics and goals have come a long way. Sure IT, Software, and Technology teams can track uptime, but that’s a lagging indicator, not a leading one. How do technology teams delivering value know that their next month (or quarter, or year) are going to be great? And, further, that they are building software and technology that enables companies to excel?

Try a Modified NPS score just for your team

One Tech Leader we interviewed uses the Net Promoter Score (NPS) question (and a slight variation) quarterly across the company to measure how well their organization is doing and thus aligning with the company’s stated goals.

This leader customized the question to their organization’s function. In the case of IT, one tech leader modified the question to say:

On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this company’s software delivery method (our use of tools, trackers, and tickets) to a friend or a colleague?

This plus some open-ended feedback led to some fundamental changes on how they build apps for their company.

Tip: In the webinar we share a way to do this simply using Google Forms.

Align using a system like OKRs

More and more companies are adopting Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) to align and for good reasons: these systems allow organizations to align around big goals, focuses effort, communicates strategy accurately, and much more.

One technology leader interviewed set key results for “nudging” employees to engage in informal professional learning like watching screencasts/webinars, participating in the internal company learning management system in addition to the traditional corporate training, to align up towards an objective of the organization to encourage life-long learning.

For more tips from leaders of technology teams on aligning, be sure to check out The New Face of CTO/CIO: More Than the Gatekeeper of Technology webinar replay. Interested in discovery, design, or app development? Reach out to Big Nerd Ranch today to talk about how we can work with your team.

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Nikki Porter

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