Projects: The Engine of Strategy Execution
JAMES S. PENNYPACKER, CEO, DANCE COMMUNICATIONS, LLC
JEANNETTE CABANIS-BREWIN, PROJECT MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS, INC.
Most of us have participated in strategic planning sessions and later wondered what became of all those great ideas. There has long been a disconnect between the vision of strategy and its implementation. Fortune magazine has reported that nine out of ten corporate strategies devised on the executive level never come to fruition.1 One reason is found in a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Balanced Scorecard Collaborative: 73 percent of polled organizations said they had a clearly articulated strategic direction, but only 44 percent of them communicated that strategy well to the employees who must implement it. These companies “are like a body whose brain is unable to tell it what to do.”2 Another reason is because strategic planning becomes meaningless in the absence of a way to execute planned strategies. Organizations pursue their strategies through the creation of “strategic initiatives”—portfolios of programs and projects—which become the vehicles for executing the strategy.3
To what extent does integrating corporate strategy with project portfolio management contribute to organizational success? To seek an answer to this question, which has significant importance for executives and project managers alike, the Center for Business Practices (the former research arm of Project Management Solutions, Inc.) conducted a survey in November 2005, targeting of a broad spectrum of