IT-Business AlignmentProject Management

3 Ways to Become a Strategic Project Manager

Does strategy only apply to old-time war generals or the elite CEOs of modern time? Of course not! In a post for Project Management Hacks, Bruce Harpham elaborates on why maintaining a strategic view can help any person be better equipped to handle the barrage of challenges life may throw their way.

Developing Business Perspective

There are three trends that are challenging leaders today in their efforts to keep the strategic view clear of debris. The first of these is that IT is still viewed as a cost center when in actuality they are an imperative service provider. The second trend is a concern regarding over-regulation. Complying with regulations often takes resources away from other projects; however, there are new opportunities arising in regulatory project management. The final trend is to develop the skills of employees so they may grow into top leaders.

There are three ways to become a more strategic project manager:

  1. Take note of the questions executives ask.
  2. Say “no” to low-yielding projects.
  3. Work to align with the entire organization’s strategy.

Executives carry with them a plethora of responsibilities and risks associated with authority. Risks can be significantly reduced when there is more time spent asking questions and acquiring information. The art of asking more strategic questions will facilitate success.

Some projects may have a very slight margin for profit, in which case they are not a great use of time or resources. Managers should know how to delegate their time and select projects that will prove the most beneficial. This careful selection helps to protect the manager’s brand as well as focus.

Whatever the project may be, it is a reflection of the organization and should align with what the organization’s vision is. Reading the published document encompassing the organization’s strategy is a good starting point in aligning strategies. It may also be beneficial to compare the strategy to a competitor or to take notice of how leaders are apportioning resources to this particular strategy.

There are many additional materials that can help in understanding strategic approaches, including: The Economist, Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne, “24 Books To Hone Your Strategic Mind” by Ryan Holiday, and McKinsey Quarterly.

You can read the original post here:

Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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