Connecting Business Strategy with Project Management

Project management is a very powerful tool for facilitating business strategy and creating long term wins. However, merely executing projects can drain out company resources, productivity and time. It’s vital that organizations draw a line between resources, project activities, effort, time and how it favors in achieving business goals. Connecting business strategy and project management can be a tough task but it’s important if projects serve the purpose and cater to intrinsic business needs. Therefore it’s good if you learn making the connection. In order to line up business objectives with project management, enterprise project management leaders must indulge in strategic planning meetings with the senior-level managers. The groundwork for achieving success in business and project proposals begin here. It’s very important for the executive sponsors to remain in tune with project leadership. The organization and project leadership working together brings more project success and more chances of sustaining organization-wide goals.

The CTO of NYU Langone Medical Center, Suresh Srinivasan tells CIO that there are two main components inside the IT department of NYU that connects business plans and project management. The first is constructing institutional IT policy. Here, business strategy is converted into realistic technology plan where technology programs are placed in sequence giving attention to functional and technological dependencies. The second is leveraging a precise portfolio and project management authority process. Srinivasan says, “Major programs identified in the first step are decomposed into smaller projects and carefully reviewed during the bi-weekly Portfolio Planning Review session. The review involves, financial, technical ( UX, Workflow Design, Architecture, Data, Security, etc.) and operational elements”. He adds – “The first step provides strategic focus ensuring business alignment across multiple stakeholders and minimizing the business process risk. The second step provides execution focus ensuring implementation options (reuse, build, buy, rent decisions, integration, etc.) are done properly thus minimizing technology risk”.

It’s crucial to ensure each one knows where they exactly fit into the plan. According to Evan Harris, CEO, SD Equity Parners – “The only way to be successful with strategy is if the entire company is aware of it and making sure that all actions taken further the business along towards that strategic goal”. He details that if you intend to reach a specific market by earning profits within that particular sector and within a timeframe, you must be very active and clear with the project management team. The team members must understand their responsibilities towards building company strategy to achieve the goal.

All planned alterations in a company happen via project and program management. Executives must take the responsibility to make sure that the repayments are recognized, monitored and is consistent for all projects. But a recent research showed that mere three-quarters of companies recognize the expected benefits prior to starting a project, half of them have idea about the proper project delivery including business benefits. This is where BRM plays a vital role. Heard of BRM? It stands for Benefits Realization Management; it’s a solid approach to assist project alignment, portfolios, and programs to the organization’s overarching policy. A lot of companies do have BRM procedures in place, but practicing it consistently is all that matters.

BRM is a journey that will continue and it helps companies to perform and enhance their performance. A one-time overhaul in the way organizations how organizations apply strategy and project management might not be successful. BRM helps improving in incremental steps, manages the project portfolio dependent on realistic strategic outcomes. BRM delivers certain benefits, a survey conducted by Project Management Institute (PMI) states that organizations that have strong BRM capabilities are about 1.6 times more prone to identify project objectives and approx. 3 times more likely to cater to or even exceed the ROI target on each projects.