The Gaps in Driving Digital Alignment Across the Organization
We can all agree that organizational alignment is a top priority. But how honest are we about our shortcomings in driving internal collaboration?
Quantum Metric held a study of 500 full-time employees working across departments who help develop and enhance digital products. We asked them for their opinions on how well their company was doing competitively, and how much collaboration and internal conflict they had experienced. What I found surprising was just how optimistic C-levels were about the state of their organization and how they compared to others.
Of course, this survey was pre-pandemic and serves as a measure of an optimistic, strong economy, in a low unemployment global environment. It is incredibly interesting to consider how radically different the responses would be just a few weeks later…
But while the responses may have changed, the takeaways are just as important and relevant today. Here is what we found:
Optimism rises to the top
As noted above, C-levels reported the most content in the state of their organizations, with that group being 183% more likely to say they were outperforming in terms of market share. While that is certainly not a concern in and of itself—after all, leadership needs to firmly promote success and their belief in it—but, when looking at responses at lower levels it shows a disconnect. Middle management respondents were 180% more likely to say they are
concerned about their company’s speed of adjusting to customer demands. If a company struggles to quickly pivot to meet customer needs and expectations, that can be a real hit to their customer base loyalty.
Confusing data hurts
Every company is a data company, but can that company quickly make decisions based on that data? In the survey, those who reported that they “cannot agree on what the data is telling them to do” were 33% more likely to feel that they were losing ground on customer focus. And those who say they have difficulty interpreting how the data represents the customer point of view were 43% more likely to say they were losing ground on customer focus. That is hugely detrimental.
On top of that, confusing data was common. Nearly 60% of employees said they frequently disagreed and debated across departments over what data was correct. This misalignment costs time, money, and frankly employee happiness.
Decisions driven by seniority
When asked to rank the ways decisions get made, more than one-quarter (27%) of all respondents named seniority as the top or second most method of making decisions in their organization. It is natural to defer to a corporate hierarchy when decisions get made, but while leaders may rank higher professionally, they are still humans operating by gut instincts. The path to digital decision making should be driven by data. With real-time customer data in hand, leaders and employees alike will feel more empowered and can more confidently make decisions on their digital progress.
Today’s top data platforms bring teams together to make clear decisions around a customer focus. Technology must align and point everyone towards the most impactful results to the business. That is why we speak to the importance of Continuous Product Design.
These are just a few of the results we gleaned from the survey. For a full breakdown of the findings, download our report.