Category Archives: Program & Portfolio Management

All strategic initiatives are programs, requiring competency in program management. Leaders need to have a knowledge of the different discipline of portfolio management.

Complexity: Four Principles for Program Managers

I started writing this article to report and elaborate on eleven useful practices as identified in a 2014 Project Management Institute (PMI) publication titled Navigating Complexity: A Practice Guide. I thought it would be a straightforward project, but it morphed … Continue reading

Posted in Ambiguity and Strong-Minded Thinking, Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Program & Portfolio Management, Useful Practices & Management Tools | 2 Comments

Four Recommendations for Effective Program Governance

This article discusses good design of program governance, tailored to the special case of strategic initiatives. It identifies three common mistakes, and then four recommendations. The recommendations are: 1) People respect what you inspect, 2) Allow for mistakes, 3) You want to selectively impose policy, and 4) Design so that the organization is concentrating on the decisive aspects of the strategy. The article concludes with few remarks on striking a balance between conflicting needs such as strategy and risk management.
http://wp.me/pZCkk-11e Continue reading

Posted in Program & Portfolio Management, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How to Prioritize Strategic Initiatives

This article concludes with five recommendations for prioritizing strategic initiatives. It describes a the challenges that organizations face with too many projects, and explains that strategy is used to screen all of these important – or so-called strategic – projects into a much smaller portfolio of projects.
http://wp.me/pZCkk-OG Continue reading

Posted in Interpreting Strategy Documents, Program & Portfolio Management, Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Three Tips for Leading Strategic Alliances

Strategic alliances are a growing subset of strategic initiatives. A Strategic Alliance is a relationship between two or more parties where they collaborate to capture an opportunity or extend their reach into complementary areas. Author and consultant Greg Githens has participated in many strategic alliances, both as a leader and as a consultant and offers three tips that will increase the probability of success. Tip #1 – Meet in Person, Frequently. Tip #2 – Find and Articulate Strategic Insights. Tip #3 – Explicitly discuss risks, risk tolerances and risk response strategies. Continue reading

Posted in Program & Portfolio Management, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Launching a Strategic Initiative? Here are Three Good Practices

Observations of a new product development kickoff strategic initiative. Cultural challenges make the natural ambiguity of strategy even more difficult. Three good practices are 1. travel the world and get in front of stakeholders, 2. Identify key contributors and help them step up, 3. Initial milestones are guidelines; not millstones around your neck. Continue reading

Posted in Examples of Strategic Initiatives, Program & Portfolio Management, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

B.A.R.E.D. – Five Domains for Program Management Performance

Program management performance domains can be understood as B.A.R.E.D: Benefits, Alignment, Roadmapping, Engagement, and Decisions. The article illustrates how BARED is applied in Wal-Mart’s strategic initiative for sustainable operations in China. Continue reading

Posted in Examples of Strategic Initiatives, Program & Portfolio Management, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Four Things Strategic Initiative Leaders Need to Know About Requirements

Requirements capture and management is critical to the success of a strategic initiative. Leaders need to know: 1. It is some of the hardest work, 2. Requirements are a concept that is distinct from solution design, 3. Capturing requirements requires structure, 4. Integrate requirements into program governance. Continue reading

Posted in Program & Portfolio Management, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Strategic Initiative Steering Teams: A Sharp or Dull Blade?

Steering teams can be useful program management governance tools. When sharp, strategic initiative steering teams facilitate strategy by improving the characterization of the problem or opportunity, improve understanding of the solution, supply resources, and assist in championing. When dull, they waste time and dumb down the strategic results. This article provides useful perspective for the strategic initiative leader to consider the need for a steering team, and their relationship to members of the team. The article also links to useful “how to” advice for strategic initiatives. Continue reading

Posted in Program & Portfolio Management, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Job of the Program Manager is to…..

Strategic initiatives are programs led by very capable individuals. In a nutshell, the job of the program manager is to look outward and upward, conveying messages to stakeholders about the stakeholder receiving benefits. The program offers these benefits in exchange for the stakeholder’s commitment to the program. The article explores some of the nuances of this position, and provides helpful links to other content relevant to the competencies of program managers. Continue reading

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Program & Portfolio Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Purpose of a Strategic Initiative is Closing a Performance Gap

Performance gaps are a powerful focusing and motivating force for a strategic initiative. This article illustrates the concept and discusses analytics that help to clarifying the gap. Knowing your performance gap facilitates strategic alignment. The article offers two useful questions and a practical hint for provoking a discussion on strategy. Continue reading

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Program & Portfolio Management, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments