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Strategic Project Management

Strategic Project Management

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Strategic Project Management

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  1. Strategic Project Management Alex S. Brown, PMP Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance (MSIG USA) Session ADV09

  2. What is a Project Nightmare? • Over budget? • Late delivery? • Poor quality? • Even worse: on-time, on-budget, great quality, but delivering something your organization does not need

  3. Case Study • Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group USA • 400-person subsidiary of MSI Japan • Property & Casualty insurer, mostly commercial • Largest book is the US risks of Japanese companies • One-person Strategic Planning Office

  4. Session Overview • What is strategic planning at MSIG USA? • How does project management complement strategic planning? • How do senior executives participate in projects and strategy at MSIG USA? • What project management trends support strategic planning?

  5. What is “Strategic Planning”? • Definition debated for years among academics and business leaders • Typically a one- to five-year plan at MSIG USA • What projects to launch, what to continue • Align with medium- and long-term business plans from USA and Tokyo

  6. Key Concepts for MSIG USA • Executive Steering Committee • Was an actual committee in the past • Changed to become the President and CEO • Approve changes, provide executive oversight • The Strategic Plan • By definition, a collection of projects • Projects are essential to strategy at MSIG

  7. What is the Strategic Plan? • A collection of 15 to 25 active projects, plus more planned for the future • Monitored by a Strategic Planning Office • Authorized by top management • Cross-departmental impact • Relevant to medium- and long-term plans

  8. Strategic Planning Office • Combination of a corporate planning function and a PMO • “Project Portfolio Administration” function • Mentor all project managers • Audit and monitor budgets, schedules, results

  9. Partial Organization Chart

  10. How Project Management Complements Strategic Planning • Strategic Planning provides ideas • Project Management achieves results • Projects drive strategic changes • Feedback loop for continuous change

  11. Strategic Planning – Ideas • Projects are based on ideas and objectives • Strategic planning creates them • SWOT (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats) • Competitive Analysis and other studies • Market share goals • Vision statements

  12. Project Management Achieves Results • How to execute strategy? • Project management provides a robust way to execute change • Assign project manager, defining accountability and responsibility • Avoid creating strategy that is never realized or even attempted

  13. Project Results Drive Change • Each project advances one or more strategic goal • Some projects investigate an issue, creating new strategic goals at the end • Some projects fail, but all are relevant • Failure often uncovers key information

  14. Staff Feedback and Ideas Organizational Plan Updates Continuous Feedback Loop

  15. Events that Join Strategy and Projects • Project start-up • Project closure • Budget and resource authorization • Resource conflicts and priorities • Organizational crisis and strategic change

  16. Project Start-Up • Most strategic moment of a project is right when it is authorized • Strategy helps answer, “Why should we do this?” or “What is the goal?” • PM helps you climb the ladder, strategy helps make sure it is on the right wall

  17. Project Closure • A time to gather new ideas • Teams see unsolved problems and issues • At MSIG these ideas become new project proposals • Ensure that good ideas are not lost • A gift to the strategic planner

  18. Budget and Resource Authorization • Projects constantly fight for resources and funding • Tying projects to strategy allows PMs to explain their need in strategic terms • Examining all project resource requests in terms of strategy helps eliminate “pet projects”

  19. Project Prioritization • Often project conflicts arise, requiring a decision • Organizational strategy can provide a more relevant way to score and rank projects • Strategic planners are accustomed to scoring systems to set priorities, and can help design an appropriate system

  20. Crisis and Strategic Change • Any crisis or critical event causes project uncertainty • Strategic planners face uncertainty as well • These times call for coordination • Practical, tactical ideas from project managers • Industry trends and top-down perspectives from strategists

  21. Involving Senior Management • Tie project management to something they must do • Decision making • Training • Constant reinforcement

  22. Project Management Tied to Strategy • At MSIG USA, medium- and long-term plans were required by Tokyo • Project management easy to support as a way to implement these plans • Project practices have become an ordinary way of doing business for executives

  23. Decision Making • At MSIG USA, projects have become a way for executives to see progress more clearly • Each status report is a chance to provide input • Provided a formal, documented decision-making process • Easier for senior managers to control

  24. Project Management Training • Over 10% of the staff, including senior management, was trained in project management • Many managers accepted roles as project managers or sponsors • Middle and senior management reinforce training by using the terms regularly

  25. Constant Reinforcement • Projects appear everywhere now • Company intranet • Bimonthly reports to senior management and staff • Continuing education for project managers • Projects are now normal business

  26. Trends in Project Management Related to Strategy • Project Management Maturity Models • Standards and Books • PMI Goals and Marketing

  27. Project Management Maturity Models • An explosion of models • Hard to measure process maturity without organizational strategy • OPM3: “Transform Strategy into Results” • Executive-level focus of these models encouraging project managers and strategists to meet and talk

  28. Portfolio Management Standards and Books • How long can we focus on “selection”? • Strategy encourages “start up” and “creation” • Design new projects to fill voids in the portfolio • Do not just select projects from a fixed list

  29. Many Books “Selection-Focused” • Standard for Portfolio Management (PMI) • “priority” & “select” appear 70 times • “new component” appears 10 times • New books account for the creation of the project and organizational strategy • Heerkens, The Business-Savvy Project Manager • Dinsmore & Cooke-Davies, The Right Projects Done Right!

  30. PMI Goals and Marketing • PMI is promoting project management at the executive level • “Worldwide, organizations will embrace, value and utilize project management and attribute their success to it.” • “Making project management indispensable for business results.” • Achievable in partnership with strategists

  31. Summary • MSIG USA made “project management” inseparable from “strategic planning” • Reinforced from start-up to closure • Strategic planning and project management support and reinforce each other • Industry trends support integrating them

  32. Challenge: Link Strategy to Project Management at Your Organization • How could the MSIG USA example help? • What can you change? Whose help do you need? • Are your projects already strategically aligned? If not, why not? • PMI has set a vision for all of us – achieve it in your organization!

  33. Contact Information • Alex S. Brown, PMPMitsui Sumitomo Ins. (MSIG USA) • Phone 908-229-0202 • Email or • Session ADV09 • Website