Harvard professors Robert S. Kaplan and colleague David P. Norton (the Balanced Scorecard creators) offer a key points with their essay on "Managing Alignment as a Process."
Their book, "Alignment: Using the Balanced Scorecard to Create Corporate Synergies" tells how to see alignment as a management process.
"The alignment process, much like budgeting, should be part of the annual governance cycle. Whenever plans are changed at the enterprise or business unit level, executives likely need to realign the organization with the new direction."
"Using these eight checkpoints as a point of reference, an organization can measure and manage the degree of alignment, and hence the synergy, being achieved across the enterprise. Organizations that master this process can create competitive advantages that are difficult to dislodge."
BOTTOMLINE: In Six Disciplines for Excellence, Discipline III. Align Systems is all about continual alignment. Achieving alignment is not a event. It is an on-going battle that's part of what it means to pursue enduring business excellence. If we, as business leaders don't learn how to align resources with company goals, the free market...will.