Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is a priority for every organization.  Just ask any executive and he or she will tell you that it is critical for their success that they develop a multi-year plan that will drive them forward, and that they then execute on that plan effectively and efficiently.  You would think, therefore, that if strategic planning is so important, organizations would be good at it.  However, that’s simply not the case.  Organizations are consistently failing to deliver on their strategies, falling short on the execution of the projects and programs that are designed to achieve the strategic objectives.
The problem is not a lack of commitment to success, nor is it (usually) a focus on the wrong strategies and objectives.  Instead, organizations are being held back by an inability to successfully complete the initiatives that they chose specifically because they were the best ones to deliver the strategy.  So why is this happening?  Well, there is no shortage of challenges faced by any project, but many organizations are making critical mistakes before the projects are even started.  
There is plenty of evidence that strategic planning needs to improve.  Many organizations report that more than 25% of the projects approved during an annual planning cycle are cancelled or subjected to significant scope change during execution.  That’s evidence that the wrong solutions to strategic challenges were selected requiring realignment during project execution to try and recover.  Additionally, as a matter of course, strategic project budgets are reallocated or increased and that’s evidence that the wrong cost models were used.  Perhaps most significantly the benefits identified in business cases, and that were used in deciding which projects to select, frequently fail to materialize.  That not only suggests that business cases were flawed, it brings into question the motivation for presenting the project for approval in the first place.
ProjectObjects can help organizations improving the quality of their planning, and by extension improve the chances of overall project and portfolio success.  Project Objects offers functionalities that make strategic planning extremely effective:

  • Multiple Long Terms Budget Models definition: user can create the strategy budget model by defining the group of cost and revenues to be used in the analysis.
  • These groups are then associated to the cost and revenue elements used for operative portfolio planning.
  • SWOT analysis: user can storage a SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) for each strategy he creates
  • Add/Remove Portfolios and programs with a tree structure approach: Portfolio and Programs are added or removed from the Strategy by using a simple and intuitive tree structure.
  • Create strategy budget versions: user can create one or more versions of the strategy by combining different budget models with different Program and Portfolio scenarios.
  • Retrieve economic figures from Portfolios and Programs:  Strategic Top down figures can be compared with Bottom Up Budget ones, coming from Portfolios and Programs. User can select Different Strategic Budgets and Operative Budget to simulate different what-if scenarios
  • Analyse different budget versions and highlights differences: analysis can be performed through comparison tables, charts and taking advantage of conditional formats

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