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Understanding Strategic Project Management (SPM)
The losses incurred from project failure in the past are huge. You might have heard of the financial disaster Coca-Cola experienced when it launched New Coke back in 1985. They planned to launch a new coke, which failed miserably. The product didn’t receive the attention the company had planned, resulting in a loss of $4 million in development and $30 million in inventory that remained unsold.
Coca-Cola isn’t the first and only brand to experience a catastrophe like that. Nearly all major brands and small companies experience some kind of loss or failure when executing a project. When you plan a project, there’s no guarantee the end product will turn out exactly as you planned.
There are many reasons to be blamed. Poor communication, poor vision, and inability to plan the project precisely can have a devastating impact on your project execution. That’s why strategic project management is crucial to the success of projects of all complexity levels. In this post, we will discuss everything you should know about strategic project management, its benefits, and how to execute SPM. Read on.
What is Strategic Project Management?
Having a strategy for a project gives your teams and stakeholders a clear picture of what deliverables to expect and by when. No matter how small, projects executed without a strategy can lead to delays, overspending, and poor quality. So, what exactly is SPM?
Strategic Project Management shows you the bigger picture of how certain types of projects will affect the company’s efficiency and your business as a whole. It’s based on a belief that modern projects can be fulfilled better when considering all aspects of project management instead of just the three vitals-budget, scope, and time. This can be achieved by combining project management methodologies with different frameworks to achieve organizational objectives. The main purpose of SPM is to ensure that projects are completed successfully and each project is aligned with your company’s goals.
How to Implement Strategic Project Management?
There’s no major change in your current management approach. You just need to look at your management processes through a strategic lens. You will still follow the traditional methodologies and frameworks, but it has a broader scope and is focused on aligning your strategy with your business goals.
Align Your Strategies with Business Goals
The most common cause of project failures is the lack of proper alignment between your projects and business strategies. Experts believe your success rate for all kinds of projects will increase dramatically when your projects contribute to your company’s goals. The question is how to do that.
You must identify the pattern that causes project failure. Take a look at your finished project portfolios and see where you are lacking or what’s the main cause of these failures. For example, if a majority of your projects fail due to poor communication, set communication as the important criterion for understanding the project’s feasibility.
Before you start work on a project, make a list of all projects and identify the impact they have on your staff, different departments, and the organization as a whole. Projects that are not aligned with your business strategy won’t be profitable for you in the long run. Develop a strategic project management plan to figure out if the projects are good for your organization and if they have an impact on your business plans.
Build a Culture that Promotes Strategic Project Management
When you build a culture around Strategic Project Management, the stakeholders and other people involved in your business won’t face any trouble understanding their roles and responsibilities in the project. To achieve that, you must create a committee that’s responsible for bringing cultural change to the organization.
This committee should be responsible for ensuring that SPM is followed in all management operations. Building a culture where every employee, manager, leader, and stakeholder follows strategic project management will enable you to handle all management operations effortlessly.
Implementing the Right Project Management Methodologies
Project managers are task-oriented. The focus isn’t always on strategies but on the duties that each employee has to fulfill. While that’s important, managers need to see the bigger picture. How is their project planning affecting other areas of their business?
Are the project methodologies or frameworks they have adopted feasible? Do they generate the planned outcome? As mentioned earlier, anything that’s not aligned with the company’s objectives should be dropped immediately. There’s no point in executing a project that doesn’t benefit the organization.
Encouraging Knowledge Retention
Each project teaches you the right ways to finish manual tasks, the right management strategies, and a perfect framework that simplifies all complex management operations. This helps you manage your budget, allocate resources, and finish everything within the timeframe.
To reap the benefits of a project management strategy, it’s important that you retain knowledge. This can be done by documenting the lessons learned from each project. After completing the project, you should organize a meeting and invite each stakeholder and employee who worked on the project. Identify the areas you could have improved, whether the results are satisfying, and what you could have done better to improve the project outcome. All these factors are part of your Strategic Project Management.
Tips for Implementing the Strategic Project Management (SPM)
Build a system to execute strategic planning
Identify the resources you need and arrange everything in advance to avoid delays.
Monitor if your project is achieving the organizational goals, budget, quality standards, regulatory compliance, and delivery targets.
Conduct regular meetings with your stakeholders and clients to see if your project management processes contribute to the company’s goals and how exactly these processes benefit your business.
Most companies have already selected and deployed their chosen project management methodologies years ago. However, they are looking at project management from a strategic perspective. The focus has been shifted to identifying projects that offer better value for the company and the clients. That’s how aligning your project goals with organizational strategies can benefit your business in the long run.
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