Project Management

Five Skills with the Greatest Impact on Strategic Execution

There have been enough pieces on strategic execution to fill entire libraries with books. IT needs to be able to act effectively as it becomes a more integral part of day-to-day activities of many organizations. And while you may have a strategy already planned out, it doesn’t hurt to double-check it against new ideas. In a post for the PM Perspectives Blog, Rebecca Leitch gives five key skills that will have the greatest impact on strategic execution of projects:

  1. Strategic alignment
  2. Project alignment
  3. Risk management
  4. Communication
  5. Change management

Skills to Execute

The first skill in this set is the ability to align your execution with overarching businesses strategies. You need to be able to maintain that what you’re doing will work with what the larger organization has in mind and routinely re-tune that alignment. Make sure you’re also placing emphasis on building smarter, faster, and cleaner plans in the long run.

Good risk management will help with strategic execution, as well as with everything else. Identify what may cause issues later on and deliverables that could cause problems to other components if they’re delayed. Create plans for these issues and monitor your risks regularly in case anything new can be added or a risk should be given higher importance later on.

In all of this, it is important to have good communication. Create an open environment where people can voice their concerns, and particularly be clear about defining workloads. Don’t be afraid to over-explain it to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Lastly, Leitch discusses how change management is a key skill in strategic execution:

With every initiative undertaken, something is going to change. Whether making a large or small transition, resetting a strategy or acquiring a company, the impact needs to be assessed and addressed quickly and forthrightly. Change management training helps your team:

  • Develop an overarching approach for making change happen in your organisation
  • Articulate a compelling vision for each change
  • Engage stakeholders in support of the change
  • Develop a communication plan for change initiatives
  • Manage employees’ emotional reactions to change

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