Projects are increasingly becoming the way that companies implement their strategic initiatives. As such, as a project manager you need to understand your company’s mission and strategy so you can explain how your project contributes to the company’s mission, goals and objectives and therefore be able to advocate for your project. Project selection and justification is thus related to the strategic management (SM) process within the organization.
Strategic management is the process of assessing where an organization is, where it intends to be and how it is going to get there. It provides the theme, focus and direction for the organization. It allows the organization to respond to changes within its environment and to maintain or improve its competitive position and it influences resource allocation decisions that might impact your project.
There are four typical stages in the SM process.
1. Review and define the organization’s mission; briefly missions represent what an organization is about, what it wants to be known for.
2. Set long-range goals and objectives – goals are desired targets within the mission while objectives are more specific targets within the goals.
3. Analyze and formulate strategies to reach objectives
4. Implement the strategies through programs and projects.
The attached diagram summarizes the strategic management process and where projects fit in the entire process Strategic-Mgt-diagram