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Empower Your Projects: 10 Expert Tips to Elevate Execution and Conquer Challenges!


There are many variables to consider when managing an implementation. Budgets, timelines, resourcing, requirements, risks, and stakeholders are just a few examples. If any one of these variables are not adequately managed, your implementation may not meet its desired outcomes. Some project failures are so crucial that it may impact the viability of the organization. Imagine a failure to launch a mission critical product, or failure to construct a manufacturing plant on time to increase capacity, or an inability to implement core systems of strategic significance. Not only is there a risk of short-term financial loss, but these may have a material impact on the organization’s long-term competitive position.

Project Management and Strategy Execution are Interconnected

Utilizing effective program and project management practices have a positive impact on your business’s ability to execute its strategy. With so many changes that are likely to be required to deliver on your value proposition and acquire/develop capabilities to execute your strategy, successful businesses know how to fund, prioritize, and deliver using a structured approach. They know how to manage project portfolios, and cascade downward at the project level where things like scope, budget, resourcing, requirements, and timeline are well managed. The inter-dependencies between projects are monitored and prioritized accordingly. The complexities of major projects that overlap several business lines/functions are well managed and implemented with positive contributions from all stakeholders. Challenges are viewed from an organizational level and the focus is on critical areas such as value, risk, and short-term/long-term perspectives. Executives are ‘champions’ and they lead the way in communicating the importance of implementation and how it aligns with the organization’s strategy.

As an executive that may be responsible for major implementations within your business, you may need some guidance in leading these mission critical implementations. Not everybody is a skilled project manager, but understanding some of the core elements will help you be a more effective executive because it will provide structure to your ‘change the business’ responsibilities. Here are 10 tips that will help you succeed when it matters most to your stakeholders.


Project management governance is pivotal in ensuring project success. By establishing a well-designed structure with appropriate expertise, complex decision-making becomes more efficient. The strategic guidance provided by the steering committee and operational oversight by the project committee create a harmonious balance. Engaging stakeholders throughout the project fosters a collaborative environment, promoting effective communication and buy-in. Defined authorization levels empower responsible individuals while maintaining accountability. This governance framework minimizes conflicts, aligns goals, and optimizes resource allocation. As a result, projects can navigate challenges smoothly, making informed choices, and achieving better outcomes, solidifying the organization's reputation for successful project delivery.

Planning and Analysis

Thorough planning and analysis serve as the bedrock of successful projects, much like a surgeon carefully scopes a knee before surgery. The implementation team conducts a detailed examination, identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). They meticulously manage risks, anticipate challenges, and explore alternative strategies, laying the groundwork for a well-prepared project execution. Clear objectives and well-defined targets boost stakeholder confidence, attracting crucial resources and unwavering support. This proactive approach fosters effective communication, aligns team efforts, and reduces uncertainties. As a result, the project gains momentum, overcomes obstacles, and achieves valuable outcomes, solidifying its position for triumph from the very start. Projects succeed or fail even before the actual project work begins.

Targets, Priorities, and Objectives

A well-documented project management plan is comprehensive, encompassing clear targets, priorities, and objectives. This lucid definition facilitates efficient resource allocation, risk management, and obstacle resolution during implementation. Stakeholders gain a thorough understanding of the project's direction, fostering effective communication and decision-making. Conversely, an unclear plan leads to confusion among stakeholders, hampering decision-making processes and potentially derailing the project. A meticulously outlined plan serves as a guiding beacon, aligning team efforts and enhancing the project's chances of success. It ensures that everyone involved comprehends the project's purpose, creating a cohesive and productive environment for project execution.

Requirements Management

Requirements management is vital in product development to avoid pitfalls caused by unclear, vague, or incorrect business requirements. Inadequate requirements can lead to design flaws, development issues, and post-implementation defects, eroding the product's overall value. The ripple effect becomes apparent as the implementation progresses, making changes riskier and costlier as the deployment date approaches. To mitigate these risks, it is essential to ensure that all stakeholders have a comprehensive understanding of and agree on the business requirements. Clear communication and alignment on requirements facilitate smoother development, reduce rework, and ultimately lead to a successful product launch with maximum stakeholder satisfaction.

Project Management Processes

Tailoring project management processes to suit each project's unique requirements is essential, demanding prudent judgment. Nevertheless, formal processes for monitoring and controlling vital elements like cost, scope, budget, timeline, resources, risks, decision logs, requirements, and change requests are indispensable for successful implementation. Without these processes and controls, projects are susceptible to significant deviations, leading to failures that are hard to identify and address. A robust framework ensures timely interventions, mitigates risks, and fosters accountability, enabling teams to maintain focus, make informed decisions, and deliver projects on track, ultimately achieving the desired outcomes efficiently and effectively.

Change Request Process

An effective change request process is crucial to combat scope creep and its potential repercussions on project elements like costs, budget, timeline, and resources. By implementing a formal process, organizations can proactively control scope changes and limit disruptions. This process aligns seamlessly with an efficient project governance structure, as it assigns accountability to stakeholders responsible for approving or declining change requests. With clear protocols in place, project teams can thoroughly assess the impacts of proposed changes, ensuring that only necessary and well-justified modifications are approved. This streamlined approach fosters better decision-making, minimizes risks, and enhances overall project success through controlled and managed adjustments.

Stakeholder Engagement

Effective stakeholder engagement is crucial for project success. Without active involvement and commitment from key stakeholders, the likelihood of achieving favorable outcomes diminishes significantly. While challenging, it's imperative to skillfully influence and manage stakeholder relationships. By cultivating strong engagement, stakeholders can take on leadership roles, driving change and making decisions that propel the implementation forward in the organization's best interest. Engaged stakeholders act as advocates for the project, securing essential resources, support, and overcoming potential hurdles. Their alignment with project objectives creates a collaborative environment, fostering efficient decision-making and increasing the project's overall chances of success.

Roles, Responsibilities, and Accountability

Clearly defining roles, responsibilities, and accountability for all project participants from the project's outset is vital to avoid surprises during implementation. The RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed) tool is invaluable in clarifying expectations, streamlining workflows, and avoiding potential misunderstandings. Enforcing the RACI framework through project stakeholders ensures that it fulfills its purpose effectively. When everyone knows their designated roles and responsibilities, decision-making becomes smoother, collaboration improves, and project progress becomes more transparent. This proactive approach enhances team cohesion, reduces conflicts, and sets the stage for a successful project execution, meeting stakeholders' expectations and delivering desired outcomes.

Change Management

In the context of project management best practices and strategy execution, change management plays a pivotal role in driving successful business transformations. When organizations embark on strategic initiatives, they often introduce significant changes that can disrupt existing processes, structures, and mindsets. To ensure the success of these initiatives, it is crucial to prepare stakehol ders for the upcoming changes.

For example, suppose a company decides to implement a new data analytics platform to enhance decision-making and gain valuable insights into its operations. If the organization lacks a data culture and data analysis capabilities, the platform's potential benefits may remain untapped. To maximize the project's success, stakeholders must undergo a cultural shift, embracing the value of data-driven decision-making and adapting to the new competencies, processes, systems, and performance management elements introduced by the platform.

A proactive approach to change management involves thorough preparation and engagement with stakeholders throughout the transformation process. Communicating the reasons behind the change, outlining the benefits, and addressing potential concerns are crucial steps in fostering acceptance and adoption. When stakeholders are ready and committed to the transformation, the project gains momentum and can deliver tangible benefits, aligning with the organization's strategic objectives.

Mission, Vision, and Values

For project success, aligning stakeholders necessitates a shared understanding of organizational priorities, particularly in large-scale transversal projects involving multiple decentralized business units. A 'top-down' approach to communicate the organizational mission, vision, and values acts as a powerful catalyst for successful implementation. When stakeholders grasp the bigger picture, organizational strategy, purpose, and expected behaviors, they can align their efforts towards common goals. This fosters collaboration, breaks down silos, and encourages a cohesive approach, propelling the project forward with collective momentum. By creating a unified vision, the organization can harness its collective potential, driving the project towards success and ensuring its alignment with overarching strategic objectives.


In the context of strategy execution, project management plays a key role in translating strategic initiatives into tangible results. While the reading emphasizes the importance of various critical factors in successful implementations, project management serves as the glue that binds these elements together to achieve strategic objectives.

Effective project management provides the structure and guidance needed to execute strategy seamlessly. Governance ensures that the right decisions are made at the right levels, aligning project activities with organizational priorities. Thorough planning and analysis help in setting clear objectives and targets that are in line with the organization's strategic vision. Stakeholder engagement fosters a collaborative environment where everyone is invested in the success of the project and its alignment with broader strategic goals.

Change management prepares stakeholders for the transformation journey, ensuring smooth adoption of new processes and systems required for strategy execution. Additionally, well-defined project management processes, such as risk management and change request protocols, safeguard the project from unnecessary deviations and disruptions, keeping it on track to achieve desired outcomes.

Clearly defined roles and responsibilities ensure that each team member understands their contribution to the project's success, promoting accountability and minimizing conflicts. Lastly, aligning stakeholders through the organization's mission, vision, and values provides a shared sense of purpose, creating a unified front that propels the project towards achieving its strategic objectives.

Project management is the linchpin that connects strategy execution's various components. It provides the framework and discipline required to orchestrate complex projects, ensuring that they are executed efficiently and effectively to deliver outstanding results. By adhering to the 10 essential tips and embracing project management principles, executives can navigate the challenges of strategy execution with precision, securing their organization's competitive edge and long-term success in today's dynamic business landscape.

"The aim of strategic planning is action now"

Peter F. Drucker