Purpose of Strategy

The purpose of strategy is to provide direction and concentration of effort as organizations continually strive to improve their position or gain the upper hand within the marketplace. Basically, it's a struggle for advantage, and the one with the best advantage wins. It's that simple. On what areas must businesses concentrate? Businesses clearly have to

■ Gain new advantages that increase or improve customer satisfaction, which will differentiate them from their competitors

■ Either eliminate or minimize their competitors

■ Achieve speed to market

■ Re-engineer business processes for improved competitiveness

■ Align their organizations to the latest economic trends

■ Implement the strategy (i.e., through projects)

■ Evaluate the success of the strategy (i.e., measure project success)

Organizations must focus on project management as the key business driver that will achieve these advantages for them. As a profession, project management would be able to support the overall business strategy with clear-cut benefits and advantages.

1. Reduce delivery costs. Project management can provide products and services more cheaply by following a structured and formalized project methodology and by ensuring that excessive costs are not spent without due consideration.

2. Enable quicker product to market. The advantage permits the business to deliver products or services more efficiently than the competitors and the business is able to react more favorably to market demands.

3. Focus advantage. The projects will be focused more on the client needs and products, instead of having a solution that does not deliver the expected returns.

4. Produce quality deliverables. Project management builds quality into the products or services right from the start, ensuring that the right things are developed at the right specification.

5. Provide customer advantage. Project management gains advantages for their organization by working together with the customer(s) and by accommodating their needs and requirements.

So, to gain a competitive advantage, executives will inevitably ask certain questions: (1) Do we have the resources and skills to gain the advantage?

(2) Is it worth the effort for us to do this? (3) How long would it take for us to gain the advantage? (4) Who within our business will take charge of leading the development of a new product or services? (5) How compatible is the solution with the rest of our existing IT portfolio? (6) How much would it cost us to gain the advantage? (7) What is it that we want to do with the technology?

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