GAHO - Strategy Alignment Framework
What is GAHO?
A technique that is proven to increase productivity and align organizations on their strategy. GAHO is a strategy alignment framework
and its purpose is to help an organization plan its outcome and ensure it is achieved by harnessing the collective strengths within the
organization. When organizations use the GAHO framework properly, they achieve twice the results in half the time it took before and
the turnaround rate improves.
It works by continuously challenging premises and foundational items (also known as assumptions) that serve as the basis for
planning. GAHO creates alignment by exposing assumptions, which are behind the decisions employees make, so that they can be
discussed and challenged. Once an organization is aligned on assumptions, then it can align on the activities it chooses to achieve its
Goals are objectives that describe the desired outcomes of the organization, the future state it strives for. Consequently, because goals
represent a future state, the organization should be able to describe that state and compare it to the current state. When assessing the
difference between the two, there will be a gap, which is the definition of a problem, and the gap needs to be closed to achieve the
Assumptions are statements that are believed to be true, the mental models the organization uses to make its decisions. Using GAHO,
teams identify their assumptions by asking, “what must be true in order to reach the goal?” In order to get alignment, the employees
need to have the same mental models and same beliefs so they can agree on the right decisions. When assumptions are incorrect,
then the decisions made from those assumptions will produce ineffective work efforts, resulting in undesirable outcomes.
Hypothesis explains the relationship between assumptions, goals, and the activities that the organization plans to take to reach the
goal. A hypothesis should be used to test out the riskiest assumptions, to build confidence that the decision is correct, and to validate
the organization is progressing towards its goal. When a hypothesis is tested and it fails, it's because either the outputs and activities
need to be changed or the underlying assumptions are incorrect.
Outputs are the actions the organization takes and the items it produces in pursuit of its goal. It should want to look at the current
state and compare its outputs to the future state (desired goal). If the activities the organization is doing aren’t getting the desired
results, then it needs to change its outputs and challenge its assumptions.
All four elements of GAHO mentioned above are crucial for yielding the desired outcomes.
Organizations often focus on the Outputs and overlook Hypotheses, which are essential in agreeing on mental models (Assumptions)
in order to achieve their Goals. Also, correctly stating goals in terms of the future state is essential for communicating both the
attributes of the end result, enabling the feedback necessary for approach correction, and innovations in methods of operation.