Cascade Planning: The Value of Team and Company Alignment

By Tiffany Chepul

dateSat, Oct 30, 2021 @ 09:00 AM

Looking back at the most recent quarter turnover from Q3 to Q4, I realize that I introduced 14 new crowd-296520_1280cascade teams to the power of Rhythm!  It’s been a busy quarter with lots of learning along the way. Many light bulbs went off and these teams are already seeing the benefit of faster, more aligned execution.

Here’s more about the process and the improvements they are seeing:

There are three things that cascade down: the Plan Rhythm, the Rhythm tool and the Do Rhythm. First, the executive team completes quarterly planning, followed by each department or group doing their cascade planning. Next, each team records their plan in Rhythm (or something else that’s visible, if you don’t have our tool). This is key for organizational alignment.  And finally, the Weekly Meeting Rhythms are put in place for each team to drive accountability.

Each of the companies that I launched with cascade this quarter followed another best practice: the executive team did Rhythm for one full quarter before taking it to their teams.   We have found that this allows each department leader to master the methodology and establish their own personal habits before expecting the same from their direct reports. Success rates are much higher with a strong group leader.

Here are some of the benefits I’m already hearing from my new cascade teams this quarter:

  • Our team is more aligned to the company plan than we have ever been.
  • Everyone knows the common theme and is completely bought in to our plan.
  • Weekly Meetings are so much more focused, and we are actually solving more problems in less time.
  • Everyone on the team is held to the same level of accountability.
  • Execution has sped up, and we are delivering better outcomes than ever before.
  • We have never had this level of visibility across departments. The right hand actually knows what the left hand is doing!

Cascading to departments requires a commitment and can be challenging, but the rewards are immeasurable!  Don't forget to cascade your annual plans as well.


Rhythm Systems Cascade Cheat Sheet


Tiffany Chepul


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images