“If you look around any organisation you will see their strategy is divided into a series of projects….”
I wrote that in 1999!! It was true then and is certainly true today.
But, what does this mean for companies today?
- It means the strategy of the business needs breaking down into projects, portfolios or programmes.
- All active projects should have a direct link to the strategy. If they do not fit then they should be abandoned or placed in the low priority queue (effectively abandoning them in some companies!). See discovery project below
- Run discovery projects (my thanks to Geoff Reiss, Hon Fellow of Association for Project Management) which analyses each project in an independent manner, formally evaluating the idea or proposal and if it fits the strategy and will deliver real business benefits then ‘run with it’. If not abandon.
- Ensure all those involved in key identified projects are trained in project management techniques and other important areas:
- influencing and negotiating
finance for non financial managers
To name a few
- Communicate within the organisation and key stakeholders the top priority projects. Keep repeating this as often as you can; ensure everyone knows what they are and they communicate to others in the business
- Have someone very senior sponsor project management within the business. This person is someone who will ensure the project management strategy is being delivered; someone who can tackle serious project management issues from the board downwards
Too many projects, too many projects not linked to the overall strategy, few discovery projects, training ill focussed (not targeted at those involved in key projects) know one senior sponsoring project management; NOT all from one company but it is what we see and what is reported to us.
Project management (and portfolio management) are valuable tools in the delivery of the overall strategy. Careful management and honing is needed to ensure they support delivery of your agenda and get the real benefits of project management.
Without careful management …..