Tag Archives: program management

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

How to Develop Completion Criteria and Success Metrics

Two important strategic initiative questions are “What does done look like?” and “How will you know if you were successful?” Greg Githens provides a helpful “how to” article for answering those questions, using a project that was part of a growth playbook strategic initiative. Continue reading

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Ask Informed Questions

Informed questions are grounded in existing relevant knowledge, and help to expand strategic knowledge. The article explains preparation (including useful questions for reflection) and the discovery phase of a strategic initiative. Greg Githens briefly explains two examples: the “One Company” strategic initiative and a company that is facing growth pains. Continue reading

Posted in Examples of Strategic Initiatives, Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

How to Identify Strategic Assumptions

Strategic assumptions are an important tool for establishing and controlling a strategic initiative. The assumptions fall into four categories: marketing, organizational, technological, and resources. An examples of a team that failed to examine strategic assumptions is discussed. Continue reading

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Incremental Benefits Delivery: The Key to Sustaining Commitment to Strategy

Greg Githens offers four guiding ideas for managing benefits in strategic initiatives: 1) Different stakeholders have different ideas of and expectations for program benefits, 2) there are two types of benefits:economic and emotive, 3) people prefer their benefits early, and 4) partition benefits into compact, incremental releases. A skillful strategic initiative leader will develop an operating rhythm that delivers incremental benefits and sustains commitment for the strategic initiative. Continue reading

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops, Incremental Benefits Delivery, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Strategic Initiative Leader: The #1 Success Factor!

Greg Githens relates his advice to a CEO determined to succeed at a strategic initiative: recruit a capable program manager. He explains that the capable person provides leverage: for example, shaping and influencing the vision and strategy, managing interfaces with other groups, attracting/negotiating resources, etc. He explains the competencies and characteristics of a strategic initiative program manager; they have strengths in strategic thinking, matched by use of leadership skills, determination, and a commitment to a vision. Continue reading

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Strategic Initiatives | Executive Sponsor Roles, Power, & Politics

Strategic initiatives differ from strategic projects and programs. One difference is in the way that the executive sponsor and program manager develop partnerships for four functions (energizing and guiding decisions, clarifying direction, providing a sense of balance, network building). Importantly, power (influence over scarce resources) and politics (desire to gain power) are essential competencies. Continue reading

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments