For businesses today, the crossroads of strategy, innovation, and execution can be difficult to clearly find. Products and processes abound to help inform and ease major undertakings but confusion still can arise from changing landscapes, siloed teamwork, and unrealistic expectations. How can we find this union between compounding and opposing forces that must work in cohesion to enable success?
Let’s start by breaking down the core practices that companies need to execute on innovative projects to drive overall business growth. Rolling up from the bottom of the execution tree is Project Management, followed by Project Portfolio Management, with Strategic Portfolio management at the top.
Project management executes certain criteria that have been outlined and defined within a predetermined period of time. This is the execution arm of all programs that are constantly in work. There are often dozens of these projects occurring at the same time per team, multiplied many times over across a single enterprise.
Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is the collection of all the projects that are in progress. This practice allows priority to be given to projects that more closely align with the overall strategy of a business initiative. Having PPM practices in place allows for a unified view of the forest for the individual project trees.
Strategic Portfolio Management adds a new level of agility and clarity to the PPM world. Every enterprise has countless investment options to chase, but limited resources to actualize those opportunities. How can an organization prioritize which strategies to direct subsequent projects? Enter: Strategic Portfolio Management. SPM is focused on doing the right projects as the evolving world surrounding every business can dictate a shift in what can be defined.
By Evaluating investments against results SPM allow an enterprise to prioritize the overall strategic vision of the organization over the execution of projects for execution’s sake. By having a specified approach to the selection of projects, organization of such projects, and execution of those projects, businesses can continuously and appropriately innovate to match the competitive landscapes they operate within.