by David Cotreageve – Stoneseed Ltd
In 2020, the Project Management Institute (PMI) Pulse of the Profession reported that less than half (36%) of organisations achieved high alignment of projects with their organisational strategy.
Projects that are not aligned to your business strategy are wasted investment.
Reflect on that for a moment and then re-read the opening statistic. 36% of organisations reported high alignment of projects with their organisational strategy.
So why were 64% of organisations wasting capital?
Lack of governance? Lack of capability? Lack of Project Management Office (PMO)? Lack of will?
It’s hardly likely that there’ll be a lack of desire…
So governance? Capability? A lack of PMO?
Although many organisations have some project management practices in place, many also have no way of measuring them against the achievement of strategic goals.
- Many are struggling with business case prioritisation of projects.
- Many have limited or no impact analysis.
- Many projects suffer a loss of momentum because of poor resource management.
- Many find maintaining best practice, governance and process a real challenge.
- And many projects fall just as they go live due to poor closure and transition into service?
Any of these sound familiar?
So what is your business strategy and what part does Project Management and your Project Management Office need to play?
Grab a blank sheet and jot down some thoughts.
It’s a worthwhile exercise, either to carry out on your own or even better with a fresh pair of eyes that are not blinkered by your organisational fog, internal politics and back story. In fact, taking advice from an outside source who routinely works with best Project Management practice can have massive benefits across your whole operation.
When you ask this question of your business and Project Management facility, focus on these five key areas.
i) Your Business strategy
ii) Your current project organisational structure
iii) Your current processes, procedures and governance
iv) Your current information and reporting
v) Your current tools and technologies.
In my experience, much leakage of project value occurs not just through bad practice but poor forecasting too. Managing of stakeholder expectation – accurately estimating how long each task will take – is vital. You can reduce risk of over-run and eliminate the risk of over allocation of time and resources by taking time to forecast based on data, relevant experience AND business case priority rather than (as often happens) a gut feeling.
When you start measuring your PMO performance against your business strategy you will find that Project Management talent within your organisation becomes rejuvenated and creative. Discover new metrics to measure success beyond the traditional constraints of time and budget, for example, solicit feedback from project sponsors, customers, end-users and stakeholders and use that satisfaction data to lift you higher.
Many organisations have a Project Management Office to help deliver their projects successfully. Some are working efficiently, however, many are underperforming or are not delivering the desired outcomes. That’s simply not good enough.
Set some time aside for gap analysis, measure how well your projects are helping achieve your business strategy and act to close the capability gap by re-focussing, refining or redesigning YOUR PMO.
David Cotgreave MBA, BSc (hons), PRINCE II, is Professional Services Director at Stoneseed, with over 30 years’ experience in IT Project Management & Consulting. David has worked with organisations such as BT Engage IT and KPMG, before founding Stoneseed in 2009 and has gained considerable business experience whilst working with a wide range of organisations across the UK and Europe carrying out a range of strategy, review and implementation projects. David is currently responsible for leading the Programme and Project Management Services PMaaS offered by Stoneseed.