Today, companies are actively initiating projects that would supposedly give them an edge over competition. But, regardless of how colorful the project is, it is bound to fail if key players fail to understand the big vision.
But how can you successfully manage a project that delivers? One of the prerequisite for long-term success is adopting frameworks that ensure alignment between strategy and projects.
The question is: how can you connect your business with project management? Here are five pointers you might find useful:
‚ÄòMap out’ the strategic value of your project
Every project you undertake must deliver value and meet your client’s needs. Project managers (PM) should always emphasize on value and find a way of linking it to their corporate strategy. The final approach should take a more qualitative “business terms ” that gives your client a clear idea of the value they are expecting and be part of it. Decompose your project into smaller projects, evaluate and carefully review each sub-project to see if they relate to corporate strategy.
Let your client know the potential value to be gained or lost
There is always an opportunity cost for each decision you make. As a project manager, you should help your client recognize all the risk associated with choosing one project over the other. In some situations, your clients might come up with preconceived notions about the value of the projects. Take it as your personal prerogative to help them make rational decisions based on the data you will supply them. In case you don’t have technical expertise on the aspects of the project, find time to brainstorm with experts so that you get a clear understanding of what the project entails. Once your thoughts are gathered and ready, arrange a meeting to present your response to your clients.
Don’t be a lone player
Avoid the trap of being overly confident with your management skills. Create a work environment where your client is a key participant in decision-making. To align projects with the corporate strategy, you have to create an open and honest dialogue. Make sure the client knows you want to include them in determining the approach that best aligns with the company’s strategy. However, this doesn’t mean your project team should be afraid of working on the nitty-gritty’s of the project getting behind closed doors.
At the end of each stage of project execution, senior executives and PMO(s) should sit down and quantify the success rates. They should be interested in how the progress relates to the visions of the company and the changes that needs to be institutionalized to keep the project moving in the right direction. Part of success formula understands why you failed.
Use pragmatic technology
To maintain alignment between project managers and the executives they should work closely to establishing key performance indicators, and be able to measure and communicate what matters to the company. Using good project management software, you can easily sequence the activities, paying special attention to both the technology dependencies and functional dependencies. Technology also helps to measure performance and track progress on the go, delivering you performance metrics per cycle.
Summing it up
Aligning strategy with project management isn’t a one-off activity. Once a new project is conceived, it has to go through a lot of checks to ensure that it hits all the right points before work starts. Otherwise, taking on projects that don’t connect to the strategic plans of the company would just divert resources to uses that won’t deliver any value to the stakeholders.
Recommended Project Management Software
If you’re interested in learning more about top rated project management software, the editors at Project-Management.com actively recommend the following: