Projects have increased in recent years due to the highly competitive nature of our world and rapid changes in technology. After reading much on the subject, one might reasonably conclude that linking project management with business strategy requires a strong calculus background and learning a new lingo.
Fortunately, it’s not that hard and can be reduced to a few simple steps. When projects align with your business strategy, your organization can achieve project success on multiple levels.
Select projects which best complement your strategy.
Understand your strategy. A low-cost strategy is different from a product differentiation strategy. A law firm that seeks to minimize costs will have a different strategy from a law firm that seeks to provide the highest client value. A doctor’s office which provides general care to the entire area population will operate differently from a boutique shop catering to its members. A zero waste recycling firm will address projects differently from a recycling company which seeks to keep its pricing low. Knowing your strategy allows you to select a balanced portfolio of projects which will compliment your strategy.
Periodically review the business value for individual projects and consider eliminating projects which do not add value to your business.
Develop a business process to measure the value that your projects bring your organization, and link this process to your business strategy. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Common sense should prevail. Consider eliminating projects which no longer add value to your business.
Know what is important to your management.
Is it scope, cost, risk, schedule, or quality? Use those factors in your project management decisions. High quality is neither fast nor cheap. Your organization may be budget conscious, risk averse or quality driven. Knowing that the CEO is driven by costs or quality will allow the project manager to make better decisions as a project unfolds.
In the bigger picture, connecting project management with business strategy should improve the investment quality of an organization’s project portfolio and enable better portfolio decision making. On a micro level, it can change the focus of project team discussions from those designed to protect the project at all costs to protecting and promoting the business or mission of the organization.
Have some other great ideas for aligning your projects with business strategy? Share those in the comments. Sign up for the newsletter to receive more helpful suggestions.
Photo Credit: Project Success by Angeline Veeneman; CC BY-ND 2.0 License; https://ow.ly/MQVyr