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.
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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.
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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

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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

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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

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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

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