The way a company is run is called the business model or operating system. With a hat tip to our engineering background, Axelerant's operating system is simple. We bind people through all levels of the organization through a common why, what, and how. The following are ways we apply them at Axelerant.
As an organization, we have a common purpose (why), a mission we align to (what), and shared cultural values (how)
A domain of authority bounds our departments and service areas, has a shared mission (why), prioritized goals (what), and success metrics (how)
Project teams have a shared desired outcome (why), prioritized goals (what), and expectations (how)
A domain of authority bounds roles (why), core responsibilities (what), and verifiable expectations (how)
We unite our organization for success through the semantics of why, what, and how.
Making Why/What/How Practical at Axelerant
Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, introduced the V2MOM over 20 years ago to focus their collective energy towards success via constant communication and complete alignment with the help of a management process based on aspects of Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles, and Measures.
The V2MOM enables Axelerant to clarify what we’re doing and then communicate it clearly to the relevant domain through these five points, which create a management framework for alignment and leadership:
Vision: Defines what we want to accomplish.
Values: Principles and beliefs that help us pursue the vision.
Methods: Actions and steps to take to get the job done.
Obstacles: We must overcome these challenges and issues to achieve the vision.
Measures: How we measure achievement.
These five V2MOM parts guide us on where we are going and help us understand how to get there in line with our simplified business modeling.
Why in vision
What encapsulates values and methods
How obstacles and measures
Why Use V2MOMs?
V2MOMs work because of four underlying principles.
Alignment: Every V2MOM aligns with V2MOM, ensuring that all team members work toward the same goal. In addition, everyone can see how their work is connected to the bigger picture.
Priorities: Using V2MOMs to manage how team members spend their time and resources make it clear to everyone what tasks are most important to the company. E.g., please Don’t ask people to work on something inconsistent with their V2MOM.
Accountability: Since the V2MOM is public, everyone knows where they stand. Progress is easy to monitor and track, creating a high level of accountability.
Adaptability: Business plans tend to be static and oft-forgotten. A set of tightly linked V2MOMs makes far more sense in a fast-moving business. When you need to change direction, update the V2MOM at the highest level, and people will switch gears.
The vision is the 6-month to 3-year targeted high-level context, AKA desired outcome of what to accomplish.
While Axelerant’s values don’t change, other intentional meanings, behaviors, and attitudes of values might change per group besides additional values themselves. For example:
Organization - Enthusiasm: We regularly learn, do, retrospect, iterate, and share what works.
Engineering - Enthusiasm: We constantly learn and improve ourselves and our ways of working
Excellence - Striving for top 1% effectiveness
These are ways we will accomplish what we’ve declared to do. These are often qualitative, inspirational reasoning or intended behaviors of how a group will fulfill its V2MOM.
Towards focus, the number of methods should be reasonable, like no more than five. Hopefully, it will be in a prioritized order, so we might know that precedence towards decision-making.
It would be best to consider the outcomes of methods like meaningful intent and unintended behaviors. Then, optionally, prioritize practices by department ownership, improve external interactions, improve internal operations, and develop our people.
Encourage customer retention by providing staffing services in a consistent and meaningful manner.
Create a sustainable Axelerant by generating consistently profitable revenue.
Improve cross-functional morale and engagement clarity by removing silos between teams.
Ensure role success through clarity of role expectations
Increase sales opportunities because of our industry-leading quality assurance practices
Demonstrate Axelerant's relevance as a leader in the Drupal ecosystem
Recognition of the things that get in our way of our desired state of being.
E.g., Development environments change from project to project; NPS data isn’t connectable to projects and their team members.
Desired outcomes, measures, and metrics determine when the V2MOM is successful. Typically, these are something we're working towards on an ongoing basis. One-off measures, like documentation, should be considered a method, obstacle, or outcome than a metric.
The following happenstance aspects have been vetted as desired outcomes that we might measure.