“Without strategy, execution is aimless. Without execution, strategy is useless” – Morris Chang, CEO of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.
When you think about a project, it makes sense that all projects should be enablers to reach organizational goals. If not, why would a company work on that project? More and more, companies are making an effort to ensure this occurs, but it’s not exactly as easy as it sounds, especially within large corporations.
Within our own clients, companies are looking to reduce the chasm between strategic planning and results, and the solution for this is good execution. This only happens when you can translate organizational strategy into a portfolio’s components (i.e., programs, projects, operations, initiatives, etc.) and align them to overall strategy. Below are a few great resources for helping you with this whether you’re a large organization or just getting started in your career as a project manager.
In the last five years, PMI (Project Management Institute) conducted surveys in government, for-profit and non-profit organizations to identify their approach on how their organizations are aligning their portfolios with the organizational strategy and what they have done to improve execution. The results of the survey have been published in different issues of Pulse of the Profession.
There’s also a new guide that the PMI developed: Implementing Organizational Project Management: A Practice Guide. This guide helps executives and project management practitioners to envision the alignment and execution that can create the required synergy to produce the products and benefits to achieve strategic goals. It’s everything you need to meet or exceed the stakeholder’s expectations.
What are the real applications of this?
One great example in the public sector on how project portfolios were aligned with strategy to enable success is the City of Frisco, Texas, which has been named “The Best Place to Raise an Athlete.” To keep achieving that vision, it has run several projects partnering with the U.S.’s major sports leagues and teams to create a thriving sports-related market. The City of Frisco secured the right capabilities – not available in the public sector – and implemented them in the right place at the right time throughout partnerships with external sources that share Frisco’s vision. Today, the stadiums and arenas used by professional teams are surrounded by sports academies that help young kids to develop tomorrow’s athlete.
In the private sector, organizations like 7-Eleven do not limit their employees and executives to staying in the same position forever. As an example, their CIO held several leadership positions from logistics and merchandising to operations. His strategic and business acumen helped him to select and prioritize the alignment of IT projects with business needs to gain full support from stakeholders and to execute and prioritize business initiatives through innovative technology solutions.
Organizations can take advantage of those combined skills in business and strategic management, and versatile resources are driving their success. As business evolves, there is a great opportunity to elevate your value as a strategic partner and be more successful as an organization.
PMI identifies these versatile resources as the PMI Talent Triangle. It’s the ideal skill set combining technical, leadership, and strategic and business management expertise. This is what we’re seeing within our own clients at Daugherty and how we’re helping many of them be more successful.
Does your organization have an approach to align and execute portfolio components to consistently and predictably deliver corporate strategy that produces better results? If you’re a project manager, do you have the additional skills to stay competitive in the ever-increasing complex market? With the right capabilities and planning, this can make a significant difference in your success.