When introduced in the late 1970s, the 7-S framework was a watershed in thinking about organizational effectiveness. A previous focus of managers was on organization as structure—who does what, who reports to whom, and the like. As organizations grew in size and complexity, the more critical question became one of coordination.
Featured in the book In Search of Excellence, by former McKinsey consultants Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman, the framework maps a constellation of interrelated factors that influence an organization's ability to change.

The lack of hierarchy among these factors suggests that significant progress in one part of the organization will be difficult without working on the others.
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The 7S model can be used in a wide variety of situations where an alignment perspective is useful, for example, to help you:
  • Improve the performance of a company.
  • Examine the likely effects of future changes within a company.
  • Align departments and processes during a merger or acquisition.
  • Determine how best to implement a proposed strategy.

mindtools.com have produced a useful video to exaplin how the 7S framework can help an organisation achieve any of the above aims: