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Project Manager : Project Manager June July 2013
12 Project Manager •THOUGHT LEADERS a strategy have given some consideration to the timeframes (time) allowed for its execution, the budget (cost) that they are willing to commit to it or the human resources necessary to see the strategy through to fr uition? Shouldn't strategy-makers have some idea of how their decisions and the associated risks will be communicated to the organisation? Do the strategy- makers have any obligation to understand how their decisions will be put into place throughout the organisation (procurement)? Of course! ose waiting to implement the senior executives' strategic directives expect that the strategy-makers have at least considered all of these matters. While it would be expected that the level of detail of these items may di er from those who will be responsible for implementing the strategy, at the very least, the strategy- makers should have considered how their decisions and plans will impact the organisation in these critical areas. A new way For the purpose of this article, let us assume that the similarities outlined previously are credible. If this is the case, what could this mean to our understanding of the relationship between corporate and project strategy? Does this new paradigm allow us to investigate new perspectives on the alignment to corporate strategy? Let us tur n, once again, to the eld of project management and introduce the concept of progressive elaboration. "Progressive elaboration is a characteristic of projects that accompanies the concepts of temporary and unique," PMBOK tells us. "Progressive elaboration means developing in steps." A bene t of this is the ability to broadly describe scope early, and then develop it more explicitly as those implementing the project gain a greater understanding of its deliverables. As every project manager knows, you do not start a project with everything planned out. You start out with an idea, a concept -- a strategy. at idea develops into a scope. is scope is further re ned into a plan, and that plan continues to be re ned and implemented until the original idea becomes a completed reality. e transition from one phase of the process to the other does not signal the end of the project manager's involvement. e project manager does not pass one component of the process to another entity and then walk away, hoping that those involved in the next phase will understand and develop the project in accordance with the original concept. e project manager must keep a watching brief on the concept's progress. e project manager directs the individual outcomes as each phase develops and the strategy matures, to ensure each elaboration aligns with the original intent. Viewed from this perspective the development of a strategy is not separate or detached from the implementation of the strategy; instead, they form part of the same continuum. e process of deconceptualisation and reconceptualisation (moving from understanding the abstract to implementing the idea) at each organisational level must be monitored and controlled. e original concept needs to be an ever-present guide to the project's development and a foundation upon which more detailed decisions are built. In a progressive elaboration model, strategy is not a dominant constr uct; it is a foundational one. Corporate strategy does not sit at the top of the decision hierarchy, instead it moves to the bottom becoming the basis for all other decisions. Portfolio Objectives Program Objectives Project Objectives Phase Objectives Team Objectives Individual Objectives Portfolio Strategy Program Strategy Project Strategy Phase Strategy Team Strategy Individual Strategy STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR PROJECTS Context Business Strategy Figure 1: In a cascading model of corporate strategy implementation, strategy is developed at the top and filters down to those below to be implemented, morphing at each level along the way. THE PROJECT MANAGER MUST KEEP A WATCHING BRIEF ON THE CONCEPT'S PROGRESS AS EACH PHASE DEVELOPS TO ENSURE EACH ELABORATION ALIGNS WITH THE ORIGINAL INTENT
Project Manager Apr May 2013
Project Manager Aug Sept 2013