I often find that we talk too much about strategy. Yes you read that correctly. It probably sounds surprising. Why do I say that? Yes, it is important to have a strategy. I am a chess player and in chess you must have a strategy to play a good game. Often, we like to say that it is even better to have a weak or bad strategy than no strategy. The problem is not having a strategy or not. The problem is that by overemphasizing strategy, we can easily forget that once a strategy has been decided, it must be implemented. And everything after choosing a strategy is implementation and operational. We should have a good implementation plan, and manage the daily tasks to make sure the strategy is successful.
For this reason, I found this article from Art Petty interesting.
Improve Strategy and Execution Planning with Project Management Practices
I’ve danced with this topic before (Struggling with Strategy? Think Project Management), and the more experience that I gain helping clients improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their strategic planning and execution program development activities through project management practices, the more sold I am on the approach.
In my experience, many of the biggest gaffes in strategy and execution planning processes occur because the common-sense steps of the Project Manager are ignored, often because a functional leader or worse yet, an executive is charged with running the project.
Just a few areas where I’ve observed complete strategy project derailment because good project management practices were ignored: