Collaborative Alignment – the ‘Auftragsklärung’ framework

BY Marc Kadish ON AUGUST 3, 2016

In this talk from Product Tank London, I make a case for the crucial role of alignment in product management. In particular, I present the new framework – ‘Auftragsklärung’ – which includes a nicely designed canvas as a tool to structure and guide this intangible process.

‘Autonomy through alignment’ is one of the catchy phases I used to describe that strong product teams expect a high degree of autonomy in how they build their products. But autonomy is not something you can simply claim — it’s something you can only earn through successful alignment with stakeholders, peers and within your team.
In the video, I take you through the before and after scenarios – so what was wrong before using this framework and what effect has it actually had? – and then through the structure of the framework in detail and explain when to use it and how to get started.

Auftragsklärung – a framework for collaborative alignment

The framework was developed by my colleagues & I at, and we’ve been experimenting with it for over a year now. We aim for clarity and alignment about these core aspects of an initiative:
  • Complication — What’s the problem or trigger for this initiative?
  • Intent — What do you really, really want to achieve?
  • Hypotheses — What must be true so that your output leads to the intended outcome?
  • Output — What will you deliver in front of internal or external customers?
  • Outcome — Which metric will you use to measure success?


It‘s about:
  • Sharpening your thinking
  • The conversation(s) that will get everybody on the same page.
  • … not filling out a canvas!

Also check out this related post on Medium by Arne Kittler, a friend and colleague of mine.

Marc Kadish


Marc Kadish

Director Product, responsible for Growth at XING, the leading professional network in the German speaking markets. Co-organizer of ProductTank Hamburg. London fanboy and Espresso geek.