For long-range or strategic projects, the project manager must continually monitor the external environment in order to develop a well-structured program that can stand up under pressure. These environmental factors play an integral part in planning. The project manager must be able to identify and evaluate these strategic variables in terms of the future posture of the organization with regard to constraints on existing resources.
In the project environment, strategic project planning is performed at the horizontal hierarchy level, with final approval by upper-level management. There are three basic guidelines for strategic project planning:
• Strategic project planning is a job that should be performed by managers, not for them.
• It is extremely important that upper-level management maintain a close involvement with project teams, especially during the planning phase.
• Successful strategic planning must define the authority, responsibility, and roles of the strategic planning personnel.
For the project to be successful, all members of the horizontal team must be aware of those strategic variables that can influence the success or failure of the project plan. The analysis begins with the environment, subdivided as internal, external, and competitive, as shown below:
• Internal environment
• Management skills
• Wage and salary levels
• Government freeze on jobs
• Minority groups
• Sales forecasts
• External environment
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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.