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.

HSBC’s Powerful Idea: Separate “Change the Business” from “Run the Business”

Strategic initiatives are intended to change the business, but have to compete with run the business imperatives for resources. HSBC has a simple powerful concept for portfolio prioritization: it’s either run the business or change the business. Greg Githens explains the concept, and covers three lessons for leaders of strategic initiatives: use this as a first cut, pay attention to the follow-the-money story, and think more deeply about the question, What is strategic alignment? http://wp.me/pZCkk-z6 Continue reading

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Why Your Organization Will Perform Better With Fewer Strategic Initiatives: Six Bits Evidence

Companies that have fewer strategic initiatives more likely to be at the top of their industry. Why? The discipline and focus of strategic choice! Too many projects and initiatives tend to cause fire fighting, distraction, frustration, etc. This article will provide you with examples and good talking points for maintaining focus on the “vital few” strategies rather than the trivial many. Continue reading

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A Template for Strategic Objectives (Benefits Propositions, Part 3): A.D.V.I.C.E. & Business Drivers

This article explains how to write a strategic objective with a verb that addresses a business driver. The ADVICE acronym is provided for the verbs. Several examples of strategic objectives are provides. Part of a series on benefits propositions for strategic initiatives. Continue reading

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Strategic Initiative Benefit Propositions (Part 1): Identifying the Duties of Internal Stakeholders

Strategic initiatives deliver benefits to important stakeholders. This article explains how to identify benefits sought by internal stakeholders (CFO, CIO, and Treasury Managers as examples). Greg Githens explains that you should look at the individual’s job duties with respect to organizational performance and success. Understanding their duties can help the strategic initiative leader craft messages that increase acceptance for the vision and for the strategy. Continue reading

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Eight Distinctions between Portfolio Management & Program Management

This article clarifies the differences between program management, portfolio management, and program management along 8 dimensions: purpose, temporal nature, aggregation, strategic alignment, success criteria, risk, decisions, & competencies. Greg Githens explains four implications for leaders of strategic initiatives: meaning of strategic alignment, number of strategic initiatives in the portfolio, strategic initiatives as programs, and immature standards. The leader applies strategic thinking to do that. Continue reading

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A Practical Tool for Gaining Program Management Insights

Greg Githens describes the SIMple model (SIM = Strategy, Inquiry, Metrics) as a tool for framing key issues in a strategic initiative. He recommends starting with inquiry and metrics, and using that to evaluate and refine the program strategy. Continue reading

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Vice President, Director, Manager of Strategic Initiatives: Position Description Best Practices

Greg Githens reviewed a number of employment opportunities for individuals with the phrase “strategic initiatives” in the job title (and the trend is upward). Examples are Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Director of Strategic Initiatives, and Manager of Strategic Initiatives. This article provides a snapshot of five positions and commentary on trends and omissions. Continue reading

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How to Secure Buy In for Your Strategic Initiative

Greg Githens explains that commitment – or “buy in” – means people accept and support a specific concept or course of action. He explains how to advocate benefits to stakeholders. Benefits are of two types: emotive (soft) and economic. The secret sauce is to establish the emotive benefits first, which serves to motivate stakeholders and buys time for acquiring economic benefits. Continue reading

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Interpreting Strategy Documents: A Key Skill for Implementation

Strategy fails in part because strategy formulation documents must be interpreted as they are implemented. The article provides practical ideas for clarifying strategic concepts and assure that strategy implementation is successful. http://wp.me/pZCkk-7R Continue reading

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Six Leadership Traits

Academic research points to six things that characterize the leader of a strategic initiative. They foster alignment and create commitment. Also, interesting point that determined individuals make more of a difference than “organizational process.” Continue reading

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Program & Portfolio Management, Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives, Transforming the Organization | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments