5 Winning Strategic Planning Techniques in Project Management

Even where there is no collaboration, and people work in silos, someone still needs to own the process of building a strategic plan and utilize techniques to prepare and lead efforts when the organization pursues significant objectives.

Project Managers develop and manage a strategic plan and understand project alignment within your organization’s strategy. Strategic planning will help you focus and define where the team is going and how you will get there.

Take a look at these five winning strategic planning techniques and the PM tools that you can use and apply to ensure that your Strategic Planning session will be a success.

Understand the Environment

Our environment is continuously changing. As a Project Manager, you have to understand what is going on inside and outside your environment. You have to modify the approach continually. Be aware of what is going on by asking questions. Interview leaders and stakeholders and find out what are the needs of your customers. What can potentially change in the industry? You may also ask, what are you worried about? Or Where do you see the industry in 5-10 years? What are the threats out there? It is also essential to know changes in the risk and regulatory laws or within the infrastructure and the industry.

PM tools:
Stakeholder analysis
SWOT analysis
Project Initiation
Charter Development

Create a Vision

The project vision should be simple, easy to communicate, and easy to understand. The concept must align with the organization’s values and overall plans. Creating an inspirational vision that empowers your team to go beyond their usual boundaries to reach excellence should never limit your group to one product or service. The project vision should be the organization’s view of success.

PM Tools:
Project Initiation
Charter Development – Business Objective
Communication Plan
Project Success Criteria

Define the Path

Sequencing efforts is the most time-consuming part of strategic planning. You are creating a strategy to achieve your vision, and now you need to determine the efforts to make it happen. You may want to validate the work by getting your team or certified SMEs to help you build the scheduling infrastructure. Next, you have to prioritize initiatives as to which one will come first, and how vital each deliverable is to the project. And for the job to be completed successfully, you have to assign ownership as it will drive planning within the organization.

PM Tools:
Work Breakdown Structure
Project Schedule
Critical Path Analysis
Cost / Benefit Analysis
entire PMBoK processes

Tell the Story

As a Project Manager, you have to develop clear and simple messages to summarize the story. You will start from the vision, explaining why the project is essential and how the outcome will influence the organization. Describe critical tasks and how stakeholders can get involved and contribute. You can also leverage technology to deliver messaging through social media, internet sites, and blogs. Continue to communicate the team as well as the stakeholders and remember to celebrate success periodically.

PM Tools:
Stakeholder analysis
Communication plan

Measure the Results

Achieving goals requires results to be measured continuously. Whether you use Monthly or Quarterly Business reviews, implement a scorecard and key metrics within your team. Some Project Management tools such as Jira or Microsoft Project can track milestones that ensure timely project delivery, analyze data, and provide reports. Please don’t forget Customer Satisfaction. It is essential to listen to the voice of the customers and net promoter scores. Revisit assumptions, staffing, and supporting models.

PM Tools:
Project Schedule
Business Benefits (ROI, NPV)
Time / Cost / Scope
Communication Plan
Change Control