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Jonathon Hensley
Alignment: Overcoming internal sabotage and digital product failure
Alignment is the one thing you’ll find at the heart of every successful relationship, team, and organization in the world. When developed and leveraged, alignment can create the foundation for unparalleled product success. As the internet continues to enable, encourage, and demand that leaders say yes to digital product transformation, now is the time for Alignment. This book provides industry insight into why alignment is so critical to the success of digital products and business transformation. Drawn from dozens of interviews, plus thousands of hours of research and first-hand experience, author Jonathon Hensley offers a straightforward look at why so many digital products fail, shows how leadership, strategy, and team performance must align to achieve results, and delivers practical tools to help you bring alignment into your next digital transformation initiative. The book is broken down into five parts. Part One focuses on what alignment is, and why it’s so critical to the success of digital product and business transformation. Part Two provides a straightforward, honest look at why so many digital product and transformation initiatives fail or underperform. Part Three explores what leading with alignment looks like today. It sheds light on the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary to build teams in order to navigate the digital product life cycle and transformation. Part Four reveals the baseline from which every successful digital product initiative must start, and the elements and guiding forces that make up a strategic foundation. Part Five explores the connection between your digital product strategy and team performance, rapidly accelerating the delivery of results.
Consulting firm CEO and Silicon Valley native Hensley gives practical, real-world advice geared toward management teams and organizational leaders looking to successfully launch digital products and services in this comprehensive business guide. Hensley’s stated goal is to demonstrate “that true alignment requires clarity, focus, and a powerful strategic product foundation.” Drawing upon his own career experience and extensive interviews with top industry leaders, engineers, and product managers, Hensley pins down the sometimes elusive concept of “alignment” and examines how it can be used to drive successful digital product transformations, build value, and create measurable impacts.

This guide is broken into five parts and carefully examines the various levels of alignment, causes of product failure, models of digital leadership, and the connection between a product’s strategy and a team’s overall performance. Hensley warns: “a plan without a clear strategy is worthless, and perhaps even dangerous” and goes on to explain the internal (controllable) and external (uncontrollable) factors that often lead to misalignment and product failure.The included case studies focus mainly on web, mobile, Internet and tech based products, but the concepts Henley discusses will be helpful to the launch of any new product or service.

While the audience for some of this information is highly specialized, many of the professional terms presented in the first few sections are not. Hensley briefly touches upon common business topics such as technical debt, strategic planning, and target audiences before exploring the “deeper, biological” behavioral and “innate psychological” aspects of alignment. Making graceful use of bulleted lists, illustrations, tables and charts, Hensley breaks down concepts into easily digestible snippets of information for readers to internalize. Professional and straight to the point, this guide delivers invaluable knowledge for those launching products and services in the ever-evolving digital environment.

Takeaway: Invaluable insight for product managers and organizational leaders hoping to launch successful digital products

Great for fans of: Jim Collins, Robert Cialdini.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A