Far from a senior leaders-only topic, strategic alignment and delivery affects project managers as well. Being aware of the company’s corporate strategy is integral for a project manager because it allows them to situate their project in the greater context of the company. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Elizabeth Harrin gives four reasons why project managers need to care about business strategy:
- Because outcomes matter
- Because it helps secure support
- Because it builds morale
- Because it’s good for your career
Why Strategies Are Significant
Despite the way it used to be, it’s not someone else’s job to think about the outcomes of a project. Making links between your project’s deliverables and how these will affect the company are some of the tactics used by the savviest project managers out there. You may not have the resources to keep track of a deliverable’s effects for the next few years, but there are a variety of tools at your disposal that can help affect the outcome. Utilizing these tools will help ensure that you can put forth the best results you can for your project.
Being able to explain where your project fits into the bigger picture can help build morale and secure support in your company. There’s a drastic difference between someone who can fully articulate why their project is important, as opposed to “I was told to get it done.” Your staff can get a morale boost from hearing how their work will be significant in the long run. Stakeholders will also be more likely to buy into the project and shows how their investment will be worthwhile.
Understanding business strategy will ultimately help your career over time. Being able to successfully cover the essential needs of the company instead of just having good spreadsheets is a key point Harrin makes:
Being able to talk about your project in terms that relate to strategy and organisational context will set you apart from the next project manager. In the main, executives don’t care much about dependencies on a Gantt chart or your beautiful resource tracking spreadsheets. They care about the bottom line, hitting shareholder targets, what the markets think and how they are going to get the next massive project done while still keep the P&L balanced. They care about sticking to the strategy.
Someone who can communicate in ways that hit those buttons will stand out – and this goes for anyone in any role, not just a project role.
You can view the original post here: http://www.esi-intl.co.uk/blogs/pmoperspectives/index.php/why-project-managers-should-care-about-business-strategy/