Strategy to outcome
Article by Stephen Barney

How many organizations understand their real strategic drivers, how many understand how to make them a reality? How many projects do you see where you cannot tell what their value is to the organization?

The key is in Programme Management, not the sort where the organization thinks that programmes are just big projects but in real organizational transformation.

The answer goes something like this, if you can identify the key strategic drivers for your business, the things that actually make a difference the things that change the bottom line and make you a success, then you are on the first step.

Once you know what drives the business you need to understand what you get out of that, what is the benefit that the organization sees from achieving this business driver. This is the key to being able to deliver the driver because once you understand the benefit you can determine what capabilities the organization needs to change, or create, to deliver that benefit.

Once you understand the capabilities that are needed, it is an easy job to divide these into project outputs, and set up the right projects to deliver these outputs.

This is where many fall from the road though, because projects deliver outputs not benefits, it is not enough to create a stack of outputs and expect all of your strategic drivers to be fulfilled, this is the point where business change becomes the essential ingredient. At this point the organization needs to rely on business people to help integrate the transformational change into the operational business.

Remember that making an axe does not create a nice warm fire it is only through the use of the axe that we cut down trees, create fire wood and build a fire. There are a series of operational processes and procedures that need to be institutionalized if you want your benefits to be realized. To some organizations the answer to the problem is a project to make an axe, to the smart ones the answer is to run a transformational programme to make us warm.

Too many organizations, don’t understand how important programme management is to business survival, couple this with good portfolio management, so that you attack the most effective strategic drivers first, and spend that limited pot of money wisely and you will quickly see the return on your investment.

How many of you can point to that long list of projects your organization is working on and hand on heart say that every one is carefully delivering part of the strategic vision of your organization. When used properly there is no such thing in programme management as a project that is not delivering something to further the corporate strategy.

If you are interested in learning more contact Avner for a discussion.

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