Financial Controlling, Operational management, ppm, Project Portfolio Management, Strategic Planning

Four tips for bridging the gap between strategy and successful execution

Strategy determines the course of every company: where do we want to go? That may sound obvious, but for many organizations, turning strategy into results appears to be a complex matter. Because how do you make that translation effective? Project portfolio management can offer a solution. With these four tips, every organisation can bridge the gap between strategy and execution.

Formulate specific objectives

Many employees experience an overarching strategy as something elusive. Therefore, start from the beginning: formulate concrete and measurable objectives. With that you bring focus for your employees, and they have a direction to work in. Not only can they make clear choices, but they are also aware of their progress in achieving the objectives. It is important to carefully carry out this translation to make sure that initiatives are actually relating to the strategy of the organization.

Ensure a continuous and regular strategic planning cycle

Strategic planning is a continuous process that never ends. In some organizations it happens once a year, however the risk of being off course is too high and too costly, so make sure you focus on strategic planning at least four times a year. There are environments where a continuous process is even required depending on the nature of your business.

With a regular strategic planning cycle, you will remain in control of the project portfolio and make sure that it is still in line with the strategic direction of the organization. Making changes is often required and should not be seen as a failure, the opposite. Make sure you communicate any changes clear to all stakeholders to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Create insight into the project portfolio …

A business intelligence (BI) solution is a way to create insight into the project portfolio and the proposed initiatives. In this way you make clear what initiatives contribute to the strategy, but also how their status looks like – both operationally and financially. Both perspectives are needed to properly evaluate the current project portfolio and to see the impact of new initiatives. Without a BI solution for advanced data analysis, it is difficult to successfully execute project portfolio management.

 … but also for employees!

Keep in mind: the project portfolio should be visible for every employee in the organisation Communicate openly and be transparent. It will allow them to monitor the status and be informed about how all projects contribute to the overall strategy. By not being kept in the dark, people get motivated as they understand why they are doing what they are doing. An excellent motivator for a happy workforce.

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