Aligning projects with Business strategy


It is entirely possible to have successful projects that don’t align with the business strategy. How useful can these projects be?Often times, new businesses make a very common mistake of conceiving projects and making a business out of the project. It is also very common for these entities to then come up with their strategies based of on this project and then finally, just to follow through with good business practice, come up with the mission and vision of the organization. This methodology of establishing projects first, followed by strategies later on is not the correct way of doing things

The right flow of things is to come up with a vision for the organization, followed by mission and core objectives. To fully embrace the right way of doing things, a set of strategies can be formed at this stage and more importantly, critical success factors (CSF) should also be incorporated. Both of these (strategies and CSFs) allow organizations to come up with proper projects to help the organization grow.  In the chart shown, projects, programmes and portfolio comes at the lowest tier of the hierarchy.

One could argue that this is not the right way but one of the many ways. There have been many success stories in the past that started of with one successful project and formed strategies around these single projects. It is possible to argue that business can succeed without the need to follow a step by step guide (and that’s where innovation lies in). But eventually, down the line, organizations need strategies that is supported by projects and not vice versa. If you do form strategies after conceiving an idea, you are planning to fail

This is the reason for big organizations to have come up with many ill conceived projects that didn’t support the overall vision but end up hurting the company. All big names such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook have gone stray in the past with projects and products that seemed so out of place from the organizational strategy and eventually failed on the long run. We will have a look at these projects later on in another day

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