Project Management Institute

The right fit

One of the field's most widely discussed and researched topics is the concept of aligning projects with business strategy. Despite the abundance of this literature, many organizations have yet to successfully accomplish such alignment. This article discusses the significance of this alignment. In doing so, it explains how developing and using a common value creation framework can help organizations to both clearly articulate their business strategies and explicitly show the link between projects and strategies, a framework that not only helps organizations keep their projects on track but also ensures they ask questions that focus on the project's purpose. It then explains the benefits of translating organizational goals into project goals and of communicating organizational strategies in the language common to an organization's culture. It also looks at how senior managers can help project managers understand organizational goals and understand how they can link project outcomes to these goals; it describes how organizations can more fully engage all employees in working to achieve organizational strategies. Accompanying this article are two sidebars: The first overviews four key lessons that the leader of IBM's Project Management Center of Excellence has learned about how to strategically align programs to organizational objectives; the second lists seven signs indicating that a project portfolio is not aligned to organizational strategy.
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