Project Portfolio Management

3 Signs Your New Project Is Non-strategic

What makes a project strategic versus non-strategic? A strategic tech project is one that contributes tangible business value, in direct and measurable ways. Strategic projects are key to an organization’s ability to prosper, while non-strategic projects usually deal with local or tactical issues. In an article for, Pradeep Henry shares three warning signs to avoid launching non-strategic projects:

  1. The driving strategy is not aligned with organizational strategy.
  2. It is an independent technology project.
  3. There is no access to a method for strategy translation.

Strategy in Disarray

It is not uncommon for an employee to come up with an earnest tech strategy that tries to unite all the disparate pieces hovering in space, but the strategy turns out to have no alignment with the overall organizational strategic agenda. Similarly, different teams might unknowingly start on projects that are all trying to solve the same general business problem, but from different perspectives. And no one ever attempts to integrate. With poorly integrated business processes comes a poor customer experience.

Here is the second warning sign:

Often, it’s not just technology, but a combination of technology and business change that collectively makes a strategic contribution. It’s the coming together of certain business elements (processes, technology, etc) in a certain way. On the other hand, what we see more often is organizations executing independent technology projects. For example, they may be planning to “automate” a business process when the organizational agenda requires re-imagining that process.

Lastly, there are many reasons as to why a project is undertaken. To make a project strategic we need to access strategy-driven discovery-and-design method. This means the project as conceived must apply toward solving a business problem, and then it must be reconfirmed that the project as it is subsequently designed still aligns too.

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