Aligning Projects with Strategy

By Paul C. Dinsmore

Aligning the company's portfolio of projects to maximize their contributions to strategic objectives takes a highly coordinated effort. It requires more than the old "grenade over the wall" approach, in which the business planning staff identifies and characterizes the project and then tosses it to an uninformed and uninvolved project management group that is supposed to complete the project. As any primer on modern management says, folks have to "buy in"—everyone must be engaged with the project before charging ahead.
The concurrent engineering approach to managing projects is based on this theory of buy-in. Yet, the need to link corporate strategy to projects is sometimes overlooked, perhaps because of fine past performance by both business planning people and project management people. Normally, both groups do sterling jobs in their respective areas. But just think what these talents could do if they worked more closely together!

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