You might have heard the story before.
It was 1962, and President John F. Kennedy was visiting NASA headquarters in Washington D.C. for the first time. While touring the grounds, he spotted a janitor carrying a broom. The president stopped, walked over, and asked what the man did at NASA.
“I’m helping put a man on the moon!” the janitor replied.
The tale has become legend for capturing what it looks like when an organization’s mission permeates every level of its operations. The janitor understood the vision of NASA, and took pride in its common purpose.
This example of “line-of-sight” – from NASA’s rocket scientists and astronauts to its janitors and maintenance teams – continues to be an aspiration for companies today. Maintaining a true line-of-sight means all employees have a clear understanding of the company’s strategic goals, and can focus their work on attaining them. No matter the business, instilling a deep emotional understanding of an organization’s value to customers and society creates stronger engagement among employees and, ultimately, a better product.
The pharmaceutical giant Roche found that nurturing this idea was a powerful source of motivation. Management used the story of the janitor at NASA as its benchmark when it attempted to improve line-of-sight throughout its workforce. The process helped employees in one part of the company see how their work related to their counterparts in different areas.
Roche found that when people understood their role, they found meaning in their work.
But too many managers lack a clear understanding of why line-of-sight matters in the first place. At large companies, employees tend to work in silos, rarely interacting with other departments or customers. Managers might be satisfied that their employees are well-informed and engaged, even if team members have only a vague understanding of the company’s broader vision.
This can be more harmful than it seems. According to a survey by Clear Company, 97 percent of employees and executives believe that a lack of alignment within their team negatively affects their company’s work. Those surveyed report that ineffective communication and a lack of collaboration is the cause of workplace failures.
When an organization is in alignment, strategies, resources, and managed systems intertwine seamlessly, which naturally leads to better productivity. McDonald’s epitomizes what fully activated line-of-sight can achieve: the company’s fanatical attention to design and management makes it possible to serve 70 million customers every day around the world.
But implementing a line-of-sight across a company is not always easy. Without clearly communicating organizational strategies and goals, employees won’t be able to successfully execute the plan.
That’s where Planview AdaptiveWork comes in.
Planview AdaptiveWork is the leader in collaborative work management solutions that drive focus, effectiveness, and speed, enabling enterprises to manage the full work lifecycle from strategy to planning to execution. Planview AdaptiveWork solutions align everyone on how their work supports the company’s goals, ensures employees are working on the right things and operating efficiently, and provides the visibility and real-time information required to quickly adapt and realign resources and priorities.
One of the most important benefits of using Planview AdaptiveWork is the transparency it brings to each project. By creating more visibility, Planview AdaptiveWork creates a direct line-of-sight throughout the company.
Planview AdaptiveWork allows executives to have total access to their business operations so that they can view portfolio health and monitor projects.
In the reporting module, employees can make simple data assessments to quickly gain real-time insights into a project’s progress. These reports can be made visible to everyone in a company.
Clarizen’s simple and intuitively designed features make implementation easy. By creating a line-of-sight across an organization, Planview AdaptiveWork can make even the most ambitious of “moon shots” a reality.