Strategy management helps organization achieve business excellence. It is a continuous process seeking improvement meeting to ever changing environmental challenges.

To maintain competitive edge, Evolving businesses continuously define new road map of growth. The need for improvement is tactical (short term) or strategic (long-term) in nature. Operations and projects act as strategic functionaries helping to serve these strategic goals.

Operations are ensemble of continuous activities performed to deliver tangible or intangible outcome helping to achieve strategic goals. A project is a set of time bound activities performed to deliver unique tangible or intangible asset to its initiated objective.

Projects are generally an off-spring from operations attuned to achieve alignment to goals at the same time inheriting constraints. Project may directly begin as green field project (from scratch), and upon completion, is handed over to business operations. In future, operations may create brown-field projects (upgrades) for compelling reasons.

Project goals or reasons
Resolve constraints Add functionality
Improvement needs Technology needs
Legal obligations Reorganization

Project and project management has evolved into indispensable in successful business strategies in global economies. Project management capability and maturity has become major asset and a key determinant for enterprise sustainability and continuous growth. Every project seeks delivery benefits, effectiveness and improvements in terms of return on deliverables rather return of deliverables. Simply said organizational project management methodology is constantly evaluated to be agile enough to yield consistent growth or economy of scale.

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Strategy, Operations & Projects

Guruttam Creative Assets

Sample illustration.

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In today's scenario project management does not operate in silo of its industry or region. It has spread its branch across the globe and stands integrated with various industries as well. For example, providing integrated infrastructure development to the public in developing countries is in vogue - a metro rail construction involves global players ranging from international design consultants, lead technology providers, heavy equipments suppliers to local resourcing, skill management, supplies etc., all emulate global management practices delivering respective industry objectives and goals.

Conventional operations are trying to move their business functions in a more projectized environment for better benefit and control on the work environment thereby increasing profitability in a constraint environment. Although burden is passed or shared, the focus helps to improve and produce results in a short time to market.

The dynamics of project management is primarily based on the application of right knowledge, skills, resources, tools and techniques on project activities. It may be as simple as celebrating success with team on a milestone achievement or dealing with complex situations like frequent changes to the scope planned or pro-actively manage risks portfolios, or continuously monitor schedule and cost performances and manage them prudently. Enterprises continue to learn, adopt and grow by re-assessing and re-aligning their project management assets that include new skill acquisitions, and inculcate improvements or innovations so as to sustain business functions even during lean time or during handling complexity projects.

Project strategies

Project selection and organization depend fundamentally on continuous evaluation of financial and economic analysis outcomes of a project; high ROI, economy of scale, social benefits and so on. Some motivations for project creation strategies are innovation, resolve constraints, change management, crisis management, or by consolidation or improvement processes in organizational functions, example, to go with established or adapt new business, customer engagements, or lay more focus on horizontal market (merge similar businesses) or vertical market (merge for value chain) – or upstream (pre production) or downstream (production) in production process etc., or overall group projects in terms of any of the above strategies.

Project strategy failures = Project failure

Project strategy may also be a reason for project failures
1. Wrong project selection*
2. Wrong selection of management strategy **
3. Non-supportive environment (policy, political, public, responsibility etc)
4. Insufficient resources (funds, people, etc)
5. Quality loss (cost of non-conformance, non-standard approaches, etc)
* - missing to identify strategic blind spots – a strategic flaw - common factors for blind spots in strategy are, assumption flaw or flaw in corporate culture, expand above value, work to cover faulty decisions, over confidence, flawed analogy inheritance, flawed information to decision makers.
** - specific reason - unwilling to explore capability requirement against imposed project challenges. Ignore organic growth(learn, adopt, and grow) instead choose popular or practice or management for project management.

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Project lifecyle

Guruttam Value Assets

Sample illustration.

Life cycle - Project, Product, Management

'Organizing project activities in a manner that help to yield planned outcome in a given time frame is called life cycle'-Guruttam. Continuous measurement and control are undertaken at a logical point in order to ensure that a tangible result are obtained and is aligned to initiated objectives. The logical points are called phases, gates, stages or iterations while what is undertaken is project governance. Life cycle of a product is usually tied up with operations. A product life cycle is different from project life cycle. Product life cycle usually create and span multiple project life cycles and is longer than project life cycle. For example, in product life cycle of a FLAT television sets, Model-Z can be a project with its own project life cycle.

Example Product Life cycle
• Design, Manufacturing, Distribution, Logistics, Sales, Upgrades, End-Of-Life

Example Project life cycle
• Requirements, Design, Develop, Testing, Handover
• Pre-production, Production, Post-production
• Schematic, Design, Develop, Tendering, Construction, Pilot, Handover
• Release 1, Iteration1, Iteration 2, Iteration 3.

Example Project management life cycle
• Initiating, Planning, Executing, Implementing, Closing (ISO-21500)
• Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA - Deming)
• Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC-Six Sigma)
• Guruttam Avatar Infinity© 2013

Example Project Life cycle Scenario

1. Project development starts with Charter authorization of a project (or sub-project, phase, milestone) by sponsor or initiator and key stakeholders identified. Possibly with Operations constraints inherited (e.g. budget, resources) appointed project manager is responsible and accountable for project outcome. Project manager prepares a roadmap or master plan based on scope and invokes necessary departmental / sub plans (time, cost, risks, quality, communications, hr, procurement etc) and seeks approval during kick-off meeting.

2. Once approved or baseline committed, the actual work commences and all work in progress / process (WIP) evolve as output delivered (e.g. part deliverables, performances, work products, documents, etc). Respective performances (scope, effort, cost, schedule, etc) or product's production attribute(defects, etc) information are logged for analysis.

3. All deliverables and production attributes information are compared against the respective plans and necessary control actions are implemented so as to maintain baselines as much as possible. When final deliverable qualify to the defined objective, it is handed over to the initiator (e.g.customer, owner) and project (phase, milestone, sub-project) is closed. Also, advised administrative closure procedures are followed - verification and validation procedure for delivery acceptance, feedback, handover sign off, invoices, archives, lessons learned, payments etc.

Question and Answer

1. Business strategy and operations create this for their own benefit
• Projects
• Sponsors
• Managers
• Management

2. Continuous measurement and control are undertaken at a logical point in order to ensure that a tangible result are obtained and is aligned to initiated objectives is
• Governance
• Life cycle
• Phases
• Measurement & control

Answer
1. Projects
2. Governance