IT Best PracticesProject Portfolio Management

The failure of strategic planning

Projects that struggle for management support indicate, more than likely, that they also are not in line with the overall strategy of the business. These projects (called feral projects by blog author Lynda Bourne), are symptoms of poor governance and poorer strategic planning. Bourne uses informative and entertaining graphics to help explain the points made about how much of an impact portfolio management is beginning to have in successful project planning: Over the last few years, Portfolio Management has started to emerge. Portfolio management should have a strategic focus and make selections based on strategic priorities but in most current implementations tends to be a process oriented, stand alone function. Certainly by applying capacity constraints the number of projects that fail due to lack of organisational resources will be reduced but the focus on value creation is minimal. Management support and organisational change are not central to the process. There is literally a “fence” between the executive “strategic planning” processes and innovation within the organisation. Bourne goes on in her post to explain the value chain and how management support is the beginning of the line, followed directly by strategic planning, portfolio selection, the project itself, and value creation. She cautions that most of the work needed is outside of traditional program   and project management arena, but that focusing on the strength of the overall chain is key to success in the entire process.

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