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Alignment is the most important strategic task

There are many situations in organizations where you need to prove that what you’re doing is tightly focused on your outcomes. For instance, organizational alignment is all about this - you need to show that your projects or activities are focused on your priorities. In educational and training settings you need to prove that what you’re teaching is focused on curriculum outcomes. It can be argued that alignment - correctly targeting the use of resources - is the most important thing in organizational strategy.

It’s hard to quickly prove that you’ve achieved alignment and this is why DoView’s Counting Links Function is so revolutionary. It lets you show alignment quickly - by showing it visually.

How to count links in DoView

First simply link boxes - Left-Click on the blue diamond in the middle of a box you’ve selected and hold down the mouse button while you pull the connecting arrow out and over the box you want to connect to. Connect as many boxes as you like in this way, for instance a set of project or activity boxes with a set of outcome boxes.

Remember that if you have selected the menu item View > Show Off Page Selected Step then you can make links between boxes on different pages within DoView. This is a unique function you can find in DoView. It means you can build multi-page models you can easily read and click through, but you can still link boxes even if they appear on different pages within your model.  

Viewing the number of links

Now just click on Count Links (it’s on the right in the Tool Bar at the top of the screen). A little number will appear - at the top and bottom of each box if View > Model Direction > Bottom-To-Top is selected. Alternatively, the numbers will appear on the right and left of boxes if Left-To-Right model direction is selected.

Checking alignment is now easy because you can see how many boxes (e.g. projects or activities) are focused on each priority outcome. You can also see if there are boxes which have a lot of projects or activities focused on them even though they are not priorities. This lets you identify gaps and overlaps in allocating your effort.

Seeing exactly which boxes are linked

If you do a Right-Click > This is The Result Of on an outcome box you will see a listing of all of the project or activity boxes linking to it. Alternatively use Right-Click > This Makes Happen on a project or activity box to show a list of all of the outcomes boxes that that project or activity is focused on. You can also get a PDF listing of all of the links using the menu item File > Print As PDF and selecting the checkbox Include Details (In a Separate File).

Look at the page here to see how it’s done in practice in strategic planning.  

Check out how DoView can be used for curriculum mapping

Affordable Enterprise Portfolio Management

Enterprize portfolio management is a fancy name for this type of organizational alignment work. You can pay thousands for complex enterprize portfolio management software and platforms, or you can dip your toes in the water and prototype this approach for a few years using very affordable DoView Software. Remember that the DoView approach is scalable - you can link hundreds of project and outcome boxes. 

If you have any questions about this approach, please post them as comments to this article in the DoView Linkedin Group.

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