The third component of strategy is adherence, typically to industry standards, specificationsand regulatory aspects. In most cases this is considered a requirement rather than astrategic component, however, we have listed it here for the purposes of visibility. In manybusiness sectors, the aspect of adherence has an almost equal weighting to finance andinnovation.The context of strategy or “the theatre of operation” is essential to our completeunderstanding. Business objectives are typically established or reviewed during the fiscalbusiness planning process. The strategic plans are driven out of that planning cycle.Strategy is most often articulated at the corporate level, but it can also be defined at thesector, division or department level. For our purposes we will be discussing it at thecorporate level. However you may substitute department or other level depending on thenature of your particular organization.We also need to establish some basic tenets that are vital to our success.
Tenet 1 - Communicate the Strategy.
The strategic plan needs to infuse your organization. Executives and Sponsors, you needto communicate it, often and clearly. Be creative, but effective. I know one organizationthat printed their five major corporate strategy points on mouse pads and distributed them tothe entire organization. You can be sure everyone knew the corporate strategy.
: Beware of situations where the strategy cannot be communicated “at this time”. Thatis a portent of failure.
Tenet 2 – Partnership
Moving strategy to business results is a partnership between strategists (Executives, Senior Management) and delivery (Portfolio, Program, Project Managers). This partnership has theresponsibility to translate the strategic plan into a course of action (a.k.a. projects).
Tenet 3 - Its business, not projects
This is about business benefits NOT projects. PM’s, this may be hard to swallow, but your company is not in the project business. Projects are a means to arrive at a particular business benefit. This mindset is pivotal for being truly successful.
We now understand the theatre of operation and agree with some fundamental truths aboutstrategy and projects. But, how do we ensure that the ‘right’ projects get the resourcesrequired and the “wrong” projects are not even started? In the case of the ProjectManagers, how do I get on the ‘right’ projects?
Start at the beginning...
The first place to focus is at the submission and screening stages of the project or atthe very least the activation stage. Bear in mind, however, that the activation stage isthe last best opportunity for you to influence the direction.
Remember Tenet #2, this is a partnership. PM’s, we need to help our Sponsor byhighlighting the linkage between the project request and the corporate strategy. If itis not linked or is linked very weakly, there is every probability that you will run into