How strategic planning, operational management and financial controlling together deliver results

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

Organizations are always in motion. Market developments, new technology and demanding customers require continuous improvement and sometimes even requires reinventing themselves. As long as the changes lead to the desired outcome, all fine but many companies struggle with this challenge. In the Bizztracker model we use three pillars to steer changes in the right direction.

Strategic planning

To properly assess initiatives, they must be in line with the strategic objectives. It is important that these objectives are understandable and concrete throughout all layers of the organization. This gives employees a framework to determine whether their projects fit with the vision of the company. Many companies already do this on an annual basis. And as far as we are concerned, this should be done more frequently: successful strategic planning must be constantly evaluated. Changing market conditions, new market developments but also ongoing initiatives that are not in line with the expectations, need to trigger a new decision round. Sometimes, projects need to be stopped so that both money and manpower can actually contribute to initiatives that are contributing more to the strategy. In short: successful strategic planning is only possible with a feedback loop from both the external and internal environment.

Operational management

The second pilar is operational management: monitoring the progress of the projects, programs and the entire project portfolio.  Are there any issues? Are there (unnecessary) risks? Is the business case still standing? When the current projects in the portfolio are followed up, it is not only possible to adjust on time, but also to determine whether they are still the right initiatives with which an organization can achieve its goal. Too many organizations consider changing the project portfolio within a budget cycle as poor management. The opposite is true: it indicates that the project portfolio management process is powerful. Companies that dare to intervene and respond quickly to developments are the forerunners in their sector. Specifically, operational management of all projects is not only about managing current projects, but also about giving input to continuously making the best strategic portfolio decisions.

Financial controlling

Last but not least, financial controlling is the third pillar of the bizztracker-model. New proposals have business cases. What are the benefits, what costs are expected, what is the net present value? And how quickly can the investment be earned back? As soon as a project gets the green light and is implemented, it is important that the actual financials are compared against the business case. Financial controlling in project portfolio management makes sure that financials can be compared on project, program and portfolio level. Often, it takes a lot of time. Many companies don’t have a standard process for evaluating the financials of change initiatives. When the responsible managers have a good understanding of how the project portfolio is doing financially, it is easier to ensure that the right projects remain within budget. Along with the operational status of current projects and insight into how initiatives contribute to strategic goals, there is enough information to ensure that change can be managed.

Want to know more?

The Bizztracker application centralises data about projects, programs and portfolios, and provides maximum insight for all managers who are responsible for a (sub) portfolio. With this overarching perspective across the projects, the application facilitates better portfolio management. This makes it possible to truly translate strategy into concrete business results.

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