Best way to start with project strategy?

Strategy means new direction. Programs and projects are changing existing or introducing something new. That’s the main reason for building a good strategy for all projects and programs.  Strategy will affect in how things are done, executed and seen by management. That’s why strategic project management should be linked to enterprise objectives, desired outcomes. You have to know where all is based, but also how to link your project or program into big picture.


Booz-Allen (1989) study concluded that 73% of managers believe that the difficulty of implementing strategy is in formulating it. You can gather information and make analysis from the beginning so that there will be fewer issues or you know what to avoid in this process. This study is in general about the strategy, but it will also apply to your project strategy.


According to Lippit, Watson, and Westley (1958) target for any strategy is to change organization to act more favorable way. It’s a target for a project manager to get team working as by rules, especially if you’re working in agile methodology or scrum, where rules and guidelines need to be understood correctly. Without understanding, you will fail.


Success in strategy defined by Miller (1997) includes three parts

1. Completion of everything is done in expected period of time

2. Planned performance is achieved and

3. Organization has accepted a way to implement and expected outcomes.


If you put these into three principles of project management: scope relates to acceptance, completion to time or schedule and achievement to budget. All projects need to be strategic, but their execution includes people and culture, methodology like tools and system; and common rules which are followed.


Proven steps for starting project strategy

1.       Learn your enterprise strategic objectives

2.       Define program and/or project targets

3.       Align them into enterprise strategic objectives

4.       Setup KPIs which will be followed

5.       Think about how KPIs, strategy and all related will be communicated inside  program and/or project and also to stakeholders and enterprise board of directors level


There are many tools and analysis methods you can use in your project strategy start or kick off meeting. I suggest you take a look at these:

1.       SWOT analysis

Find all strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; put them into one matrix and think about how you can manage weaknesses and threats, even turn them into strengths and opportunities

2.       Balanced scorecard

This analysis you will take a look at KPIs from internal, financial, customer, learning and growth perspectives; each dimension must have several things to follow

3.       Design thinking

This analysis includes empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test phases which all must be followed by the procedures for great outcomes, early success

Why you should learn strategic project management?

I have published a new video in YouTube: Why you should learn strategic project management?


There are many reasons to be more strategic and I will open up my thinking in this video. Some cases you have a separate strategy between enterprise and project, but to be successful you should learn how to link them and how to measure them. 



Take a look and share your feedback!