Tag Archives: program management

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

Posted in Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

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Know The “Follow-The-Money” Story. How was Your Strategic Initiative Funded?

The leader of a strategic initiative needs to know about the investors and their performance expectations. Using the famous line from the movie, All The President’s Men, Greg Githens provides some practical leadership advice for understanding the funding of a strategic initiative. Continue reading

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A Powerful Idea for Your Strategic Initiative: Program = Brand = Trust

This practical article establishes the idea that brand positioning is a useful complement to strategic initiative program communications. Develop the program brand and you develop trust. Continue reading

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Case Study: Strategic Initiative Kickoff in a Global Joint Venture

This case study of a global new product development launch by a joint venture provides seven leadership lessons. One is to get people out of their comfort zone and into their learning zone. Continue reading

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Advice for Strategic Initiative Charters

Strategic initiative charters are different than typical project and program charters that are expecting a pre-determined result. Greg Githens explains the functions of strategic initiative charter. He provides practical advise such as the “two page” rule and outlines 12 elements that should be found in a strategic initiative charter. Continue reading

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Strategic Initiative Case Study: Delivering Large Cost Savings in Healthcare IT Infrastructure

How a manager saw an opportunity to align his work with executive vision for IT cost savings, and drove significant benefits through a large healthcare organization. Summarizes value of elevator speech, key actions, team building, managing around a boss, and incremental benefits delivery. Continue reading

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Examples of Strategic Initiatives, Transforming the Organization | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How to Build Consensus in the Strategic Initiatives Team

Consensus is a vital skill for strategic initiatives. Consensus means that there is 100% agreement to support the IMPLEMENTATION of the decision. Greg Githens explains the two necessary factors for achieving consensus (define the team and have a visible signal) and describes a personal experience in helping an IT group reach agreement on requirements. Continue reading

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