All companies require that the overall strategy be driven from the top of the company in order for projects to be successful. The organizational executive team usually provides the leadership for the overall business and IT strategy. Before any project is even considered, the executive team must assess and align the solution against the business and IT strategy, before committing any project resources to it. Companies can achieve this by formulating a strategy steering committee, which is responsible for deciding on the priority and feasibility of each and every project within the organization.
The source of many failed projects can be traced to the point where corporate politics gets involved, and executives often throw big money at technologies to solve their problems. Project managers are accordingly assigned to such projects, and, eventually, they fail. The IT project should therefore complement the overall business strategic plan. Once the steering committee has deemed that the strategy is satisfactory, the following tactics may be necessary to implement this strategy:
Executives may need to establish alliances or cooperation agreements with other businesses or competitors. Synergy is the name of the game here. The sum is greater than the parts. If strategic alliances are formed, the project manager will need to work across all environments and consider using soft skills such as (1) people management, (2) negotiation, (3) presentations, (4) diplomacy, and (5) tact.
Additionally, organizations often need to reshape their structures to accommodate subtle changes to already-established strategies. This is why it is so common to read about companies restructuring in the business media.
Organizations need to have available resources (i.e., project managers, facilities, etc.) to execute the various projects that have been identified as a result of the strategy work session. Sometimes, attempting too many projects all at once in an effort just to remain competitive can result in failure. An example of this is trying to integrate multiple IT projects concurrently with an existing billing system. It is better to implement a few successful projects instead of several projects, many of which may not succeed.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.