Business Alignment

What is Business Alignment?

Business alignment refers to the process of aligning a company’s strategy, operations, and goals across all departments and levels. It ensures that every part of the organization is working towards the same objectives, with each department’s activities and strategies supporting the overall direction and goals of the company.

There are 7 main types of business alignment:

  • Strategic alignment ensures your business strategies across all departments and organizational levels are in sync with the company’s overall objectives and vision.
  • Operational alignment coordinates cross-departmental operations, processes, and workflows to ensure they complement and support each other.
  • IT alignment ensures all your business units are moving in the same direction as the IT organization.
  • Sales and marketing alignment creates consistent communication and data flow between sales and marketing teams, so each can connect with customers more effectively.
  • Cultural alignment establishes a company culture that supports shared values, beliefs, and behaviors that reinforce the organization’s strategic priorities.
  • Technology alignment involves investing in new technologies to optimize workflows and minimize data silos and adapting existing systems to better serve the company’s needs.
  • Financial alignment requires you to allocate resources to different departments and initiatives in a way that enables each individual team to contribute to the bigger picture.

Achieving business alignment is crucial for long-term success because it reduces (or, in some cases, eliminates) inefficiencies, improves communication, and strengthens your business’s data quality. To accomplish this, however, requires a mix of software, top-down leadership, and employee engagement.


  • Business process alignment
  • Organizational alignment
  • Strategic alignment

10 Benefits of Business Organizational Alignment

1. Increased Efficiency

Organizations that are well-aligned are more efficient in just about every way possible. Since everyone is working towards the same goals, there are fewer conflicts and misunderstandings that can slow down progress.

Aligned businesses also reduce waste by getting rid of business components that no longer support the company’s long-term purpose. By eliminating unnecessary projects, they’re able to focus on the most critical initiatives that drive success.

2. Improved Collaboration

Aligned companies have communication mechanisms in place for sharing and tracking information, which allows team members to work together more effectively. This is especially crucial when it comes to rendering professional services, developing a new product, or launching a go-to-market strategy.

Alignment enables sales collaboration, too. Today, the typical B2B sale requires 6-10 decision-makers on the buyer’s side. On the seller’s side, you’ll have at least one sales rep, plus leaders and members of the deal desk for pricing, approvals, and contracting. Aligned companies use digital sales room technology to collaborate on deals between departments.

3. Higher Profitability

According to research of 410 comapnies from LSA Global, companies that are well-aligned enjoy 58% faster revenue growth and 72% higher profitability compared to their unaligned counterparts. Furthermore, they excel comparatively in customer retention, with a ratio of 2.23-to-1.

4. Simplified Decision-Making

Alignment clarifies who should be working on specific tasks within an organization and who’s responsible for high-level decisions. When you’re able to see the big picture and understand where each piece fits into the common goal, you can make decisions that steer the company in the right direction without having to consult multiple layers of management.

Employees of aligned businesses also have more autonomy when it comes to making decisions. It’s a lot easier for them to make decisions according to business objectives when there isn’t any grey area.

5. Higher Employee Morale

According to Justworks, the #1 reason for low morale within an organization is a “lack of communication and clear instruction.” By aligning your individual teams with each other, giving them the tools that enable them to share information and ideas, and reaching a consensus on business goals, you’re creating an overall more positive work environment.

It’s also worth mentioning organizational alignment improves efficiency and, by extension, overall company performance. Everyone feels more excited about their work when they’re more successful at it, and it goes without saying that people want to work for a company that’s doing well.

6. Increased Business Agility

According to 2023 research from PwC, the average organization experienced ~4 significant disruptions over the last two years. Of those included in the study, 76% said their most serious one had a medium-to-high impact on critical business processes and caused downstream financial and reputational problems.

The companies suffering the most from major disruptions (which are practically guaranteed) are those with siloed departments. If everyone understands the strategic plan and there are no communication gaps, they can adapt their own business functions in alignment with the bigger picture. So, they’re better equipped to overcome a crisis.

7. Streamlined Processes

When your business systems are streamlined, each one performs its specific tasks without interrupting or bogging down others. Each one can share information with the others, but their functions don’t overlap or create unnecessary friction. Your company can operate at full capacity when the manual and software-driven processes work together as part of a well-oiled machine.

8. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

Teams that are aligned deliver better customer experiences. Handoffs between sales, marketing, and customer success are simple (and, in some ways, automatic) with an integrated CRM system. And teams that communicate additional customer information make it easier for the other departments to personalize their interactions.

71% of customers say they want companies they buy from or subscribe to to offer them personalized experiences. So, you’ll win at satisfaction, retention, and advocacy metrics by achieving business alignment.

9. Improved Emloyee Engagement

According to the abovementioned LSA Global study, aligned companies outperform their non-aligned counterparts on employee engagement by a ratio of 16.8-to-1. Having the right communication tools in place and building a culture around collaboration makes it easier for individual team members to connect with one another.

This creates a positive feedback loop. When employees are happier to show up at work, they perform better and form closer relationships. This, in turn, leads to even better performance and higher team morale.

10. A Clear Company Vision

When someone asks your employees, “What does your company do?” you want them to have a clear answer. A unified team understands the company’s vision and how their contributions support that.

Ultimately, it’s employees who drive your business. So, from an executive standpoint, embodying a common goal also makes it easier to attract investors, who will for sure look at your company culture and employee engagement levels before sinking money into your business.

Having a clear company vision can also make it easier to hire top talent, who prioritize organized and community-driven companies.

Challenges Impacting Organizational Alignment

Depending on the nature of your business, implementing alignment strategies may come with some challenges.

Some of the most common include:

  • Resistance to change. People can get comfortable in their roles and may resist change, especially if they feel it will disrupt their current jobs. This is especially true at the enterprise level, where red tape regularly impedes progress.
  • Communication gaps. Even with the right tools in place, communication can break down. It’s important to have systems in place to identify and address these issues quickly.
  • Departmental silos. People may feel more loyal to their team or department than towards the organization as a whole. This mentality can create barriers between departments that hinder alignment efforts.
  • Generational shifts. Combined, Gen Z and Millennials now account for 74.9% of the workforce. This brings new considerations in managing a purpose-driven, technologically adept cohort. Leaders need to adapt to the shifting preferences across all generations, especially with the increasing trend of remote and hybrid work structures.
  • Lack of resources. Some organizations may not have the resources or budget to implement alignment strategies. This can be especially challenging for smaller businesses.

Importance of Horizontal and Vertical Alignment

Broadly speaking, there are two types of alignment: horizontal and vertical.

  • Horizontal alignment focuses on how individual departments’ goals relate to those of other departments, and whether there are overlaps.
  • Vertical alignment establishes how a department’s goals fit into the goals at the level of hierarchy above them.

Both contribute to improved accountability, engagement, and productivity in the workplace. They also help to foster a more cohesive company culture, give you better visibility into company resources, and strengthen your organization’s overall reputation.

Start with vertical alignment.

Vertical alignment is the logical first step, since it creates a clear top-down structure. High-level strategic priorities are passed down to each department and converted into lower-level activities and day-to-day processes.

This form of alignment promotes the breakdown, filtering, and distribution of goals to pertinent stakeholders. It guarantees business activities come together toward overarching priorities.

Effective vertical alignment entails:

  • Optimal resource allocation
  • Centralized decision-making processes
  • Performance tracking
  • Continuous awareness of organizational goals

That said, relying solely on vertical alignment will put you in a position where you have few adaptive capabilities and departments with minimal decision-making autonomy. Especially in a large, bureaucratic organization, strategic goals and business objectives could take months to execute on.

In general, employees also feel less compelled to deliver on business goals if they play no role in developing them. When everything comes from the top, a lack of true ownership tanks your employee engagement. With that comes ineffective collaboration and low morale.

Come full circle with horizontal alignment.

Horizontal alignment is about gaining exposure to all the moving parts within your company. It flattens communication structures, encourages cross-team collaboration, and drives transparency between departments.

Employees in horizontally aligned companies work together to develop processes that make sense for each other. And they do so with less rigidity from upper management and executive leadership. Sometimes, they even take the bottom-up approach, where they create strategic goals and communicate them to executives.

When executed effectively in conjunction with vertical alignment, this eliminates three critical issues of focusing on vertical alignment alone:

  • Power struggles between employees, managers, and executives
  • Inefficiencies caused by upper leadership’s disconnectedness from day-to-day operations
  • Lack of motivation from employees who don’t feel a sense of ownership

Since they’re the ones actually doing the work, employees often have a solid understanding of what needs to get done on a day-to-day level. Their insight can be invaluable in creating more efficient processes and improving overall company performance.

TL;DR: Businesses need horizontal and vertical alignment to be truly aligned.

How to Align Organizational Goals with Departmental Goals

Align Business and Departmental Goals

Alignment starts with your business’s overall vision and mission. These goals are what drive the organization forward, and they should guide all other departmental goals. Each department should have goals that align with the business’s overarching objectives.

Start by writing a value proposition and creating a mission statement. Then, work with each department to figure out how their particular roles and tasks contribute to the company’s overall vision.

Use Performance Metrics to Evaluate Processes

Performance metrics provide a concrete way to measure progress toward your goals. You can use them at both the business and department levels to track performance, identify areas for improvement, and make necessary adjustments to stay on track.

Plus, they underscore individual contributions to organizational objectives. By looking at each department’s performance, you can figure out where in the company you’re having issues with alignment.

Promote Cross-Departmental Communication

Regular communication between departments is key to maintaining alignment. Having the tools is one thing, but it’s also important to foster a culture of open communication and collaboration.

There are several ways you can do this:

  • Launch an employee rewards and recognition program
  • Encourage employee feedback and suggestions
  • Conduct regular teambuilding activities or company-wide events
  • Create spaces that nurture interaction
  • Use project management software to centralize communication during projects
  • Choose communication tools with an easy learning curve

Synchronize Resources

Without enough resources, even the best strategies and goals may fall flat. It’s important to ensure that each department has the necessary resources to carry out their objectives effectively. This could include budget, personnel, technology, or other resources needed to achieve success.

Focus on Customer Experiences

By sharing a focus on customer satisfaction, it’s easier for each department to understand how their work contributes to the overall experience. This can also help break down silos and foster collaboration between departments in other ways, such as shared resources and joint projects.

People Also Ask

What is business-IT alignment?

Business-IT alignment is the process of using IT systems to achieve broader business objectives, like boosting financial performance or improving customer satisfaction. It involves mapping out your customers’ and team members’ touchpoints with these systems and defining IT’s role in your overall business strategy.

What is business process alignment?

Business process alignment is the process of mapping out and connecting your organization’s processes to ensure that the entire company is working towards the same goals. This helps to optimize resource allocation, decision-making, and performance tracking across departments.

What is the strategic alignment model?

The Strategic Alignment Model gives a company an overview of the internal and external elements that are relevant to the alignment of organizational objectives. These elements represent the variables you can change to achieve your strategic goals.