Tag Archives: Project management

Scope Creep in Strategic Initiatives: How to Recognize It and Avoid It

Scope creep is a frequently-heard complaint. The word scope is ambiguous; experience shows that even highly experienced and trained professionals cannot agree on its meaning. The Includes-Excludes Table is a simple two-column table with the word “in” placed at the top of the left column and “out” at the top of the right column. It helps us to visualize scope creep as something that was determined to be “out” now has crept over the line to become “in.” The advice for the strategic initiative leader is straightforward: pay attention to the partitioning of in and out. Don’t let something that is out cross the line unless you understand the impacts on the governance of the program. Also, use preferred modifiers: Problem Scope, Product Scope, and Work Scope.
This process of describing the in and out, and making choices, encourages the strategist to think about their business model in a more complete and logical way. The Includes-Excludes Table can help you stay focused on root causes and core strategic problems. They key is to maintain a focus on the problem scope, and avoid the tendency to start designing solutions and implementing them.
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Posted in Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Strategy, Ambiguity, and Strong-Minded Thinking, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

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

Use the Prospective Hindsight Technique to Improve Your Vision Statements and Story Telling

The practical technique of prospective hindsight – on both the disaster scenario and the delight scenario – will help your strategic initiative team identify risks and think more strategically about turning the vision the vision into results. The difference between a prospective story and retrospective story is also discussed. Continue reading

Posted in How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops, Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , | 2 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

Posted in Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Strategic Initiatives | Are You Ready to Implement?

Readiness to implement strategy is achieved when the physical resources are in place and there is a will to take action. A strategic initiative should formally assess readiness by either of two methods: self-audit or use of an outside resource. Leaders are advised to recognize and avoid the causes of failure: poor requirements, poor communications, and inadequate resources. The article also includes a set of do’s and don’t for strategic initiatives. http://wp.me/pZCkk-G1 Continue reading

Posted in Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Path Finding and Way Finding

Path finding for a strategic initiative is composed of the activities of pattern searching, sense making, and nudging. It is a straightforward method for addressing strategic complexity. Greg Githens first provides the analogy of path finding through a forest, and then briefly illustrates with examples from Google, Wal-Mart, and Domino’s Pizza. Please provide comments. Continue reading

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 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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Director Business Transformation: Position Description & Relationship to Strategic Initiatives

Provides three examples of Director Business Transformation roles at Hertz, Sears, and SuperValu and suggests that there are similarities and distinctions with roles for VP, Director, or Manager of Strategic Initiatives. Continue reading

Posted in Examples of Strategic Initiatives, Transforming the Organization | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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

Posted in Incremental Benefits Delivery, Program & Portfolio Management, Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments