Align Product Vision Part 1: Where Are We Going? How Our Team Thinks About Align

Written by: Joey Muething, Align Product Manager

At Align, our newly-formed product and design team recently implemented a new user feedback program. We’re committed to building a product that solves your team’s growth challenges.

Being able to get so intimately involved in learning about your processes, and truly making you all an equal partner in improving Align, is such an exciting part of my job. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and your teams, and working together to solve problems to improve your Strategic Planning, Communication and Execution habits.

Over the last few months our new team has been working hard to roll out some of the new features you have been asking for the most.

For example, users were asking for a way to quickly check the pulse of their company’s most important priorities and how their progress was trending. At the beginning of the year we were excited to release our Company Priority Insights feature to address this feedback. We’re excited to continue to add new features like this, based on what we learn from you.

In this post, I’m going to talk briefly about the broader vision for Align. These are some of the high-level concepts that guide our strategic thinking into how we will make Align even more valuable for teams. It’s vital that we share these concepts with our users, so that you can understand the way we think about our vision for the product that you spend your valuable time using.

This is the first of a two-part post. Another post in a couple of days will connect these principles to features you can expect to see in Align this year.

Our Guiding Principles:

  • Align should guide your team through the strategic planning process. You may also have a coach guiding your team, but the Align product itself should also naturally guide you towards best practices, while freeing your coach to deliver higher value.
  • The more of your team that contributes and executes through Align, the more value the team collectively gets. Align makes your communication channels and information sharing more efficient. Using Align means that doubling your team size doesn’t mean you have to double your meeting time.
  • Similarly, you don’t need to spend that much time every day in Align. Data entry should be fast and will be connected to your other workplace tools. The product bubbles up relevant insights and action items, so you’re not wasting time digging through reporting.
  • Team leaders should be able to measure their team’s strategic progress in two minutes every morning over coffee, know immediately where to focus on the most impactful tasks, and know who on the team deserves special recognition.
  • All team members should feel empowered to contribute to their company’s growth. That principle includes team leadership all the way through to frontline employees. Everyone should have direct line of sight between their daily actions and their company’s strategic goals. They also know that their actions are recognized by the rest of the team.
  • Finally, team leaders are able to transparently see how their team members are contributing to growth goals, and can provide feedback and evaluation directly.

These themes guide how we think about the Align product and come from what we hear from you.

In a follow-up post coming in a few days, I’m going to explore three areas of focus that will guide much of our feature development for the rest of the year. They are:

  • Support Larger Teams
  • Team Contribution and Transparency
  • Insights and Guidance

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