Thursday, September 13, 2007

Initial Thoughts

When I founded the company, the Capability Alignment Professionals, the initial thoughts were around aligning incentives. That is still a large part of the business. There is also a question of accuracy and alignment of communications, particularly in corporate communications.

What are the gaps in corporate communication and how damaging are they? Gartner recently said that 66% of business projects fail to meet stated objectives. I wonder if this number isn't conservative?

How many of those projects fail because of problems that could have been solved if the right person had known about the problem? Pondering this question led to the creation of our new product, the About Tomorrow Market (ATM). ATM is designed to allow you to withdraw information from the future and use it today.

As is probably true for anyone who comes up with a new product idea, it sort of becomes an obsession in your mind. Honestly, I've almost had people say, "It's nice that you have a way to withdraw information from tomorrow and use it today, but all I want to know is, do you want fries or a Coke..."

ATM was developed to create a channel where bad news could be aggregated, evaluated to see if it is meaningful or background noise and then presented on a management dashboard.

For the executive overseeing the projects, there is a simple dashboard representing the ten, twenty or thirty projects they oversee. These dashboards signal which projects deserve closer scrutiny and which ones are going along nicely.

For the workers, there is a business game that allows you to see who really knows what's going on with a project. Do people really understand problems? Are they critical or can they be solved? Will something finish early or late? ATM gives workers the change to prove their competence and that they know what's going on.

That is the goal of communications alignment. Accurate information being entered and seen by the people who can make use of it.