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Strategic Project Management


StrategicProject Management

Table of Contents

Outline 3

Abstract 4

Introduction 5

Definition of Strategy 6

Strategy and Project Management 7

Project Strategy and Project Plan 7

Empirical Research 9

Case Study 9

Project 1: Network Collaboration 10

Project 2: Air and Ground Military Communication System 10

Project 3: City Property Tax Evaluation 11

Findings 12

Conclusion and Recommendation 13

References 14


  1. Abstract

  1. of the article

  2. Project Strategy

  3. Key words

  1. Strategic project planning

  2. Thesis statement

  1. Definition of strategy and Mintzberg’s models

  2. Strategy and planning

  1. Definition of strategy

  2. Definition of planning

  1. Project strategy and project planning

  1. Difference between strategy and Planning

  2. Importance of a strategy

  3. Importance of planning

  1. Case study

  1. Network collaboration

  2. Air and Ground Military Communication System

  3. City Property Tax Evaluation

  4. Findings

  1. Conclusion and recommendation


Strategicproject management is one of the current trends in businesses andresearchers have gone to greater depths to learn more about it. Thesestrategies are applied to improve the outcome of the final product orservice. Apart from this proper planning may also lead to a businesscompeting favorably in the market. It is important to note thatstrategies will not alter the goals and traditions of the firm, butwill elevate it to another level and even offer them a competitiveadvantage over other businesses in the market. Many managers havefailed to explain and define the term project strategy and fail tounderstand its effects on business. This article describes whatproject plan is and how it leads to a successful project.Furthermore, a case study will be carried out, and its findingsdiscussed.

Keywords:Strategic project management Project success project strategycompetitive advantage.

StrategicProject Management

Patanakuland Shenhar (2012) argue that competition and the increase intechnology in different industries all across the globe have mademanagers more cautious on their approaches regarding planningprojects. Numerous Researchers claim that projects are not yethandled the way they are supposed to be and that is why many projectsend up being ineffective. This eventually led to lower profits andeven losses. Also, the employees in the organization become lessaggressive in their areas of specialization. The article “Whatproject strategy really is…” asserts that projects need to bestrategically planned before they are worked on (Patanakul &ampShenhar, 2012). Failure to accomplish this will contribute todisaster and wastage of precious resources that could be put to otheruses. It is important to note that project planning will not ruin orrather effect the overall goal of the organization instead, moreideas could be achieved. Although, managers should be careful not tocome up with plans by themselves without consultation because attimes hearing what a fellow employee suggests is crucial to improvingon the approaches of the project. The article recognizes that sincethe employees are the ones that deal with the project, therefore,their participation in planning is necessary and important.

Theperspective of the operations in an organization is not affected byplanning projects strategically for marketing, budgeting andcompeting favorably remain the primary goal of the company orbusiness. This is to say strategic planning will help managers andexecutives to be aware of the various challenges affecting theoperation of the business and find ways to deal with them. Also,strategic thinking will assist in coming up with future developmentplans. Personally, I agree with this because without proper budgetingand planning, nothing of great interest will be achieved. Themanagers of the business will be alert at all times when there is aplan since there is a specific procedure to be followed. Managersshould be aware that the tactics and strategies applied in executingprograms and projects need to be balanced for them to be successful.Numerous scholars have suggested ways that could be implemented for asuccessful project. For instance, Slevin (1987) suggest modalitiesand approaches to managing projects strategically, while Turner(1999) discussed the various processes that would lead to greaterachievement (Patanakul &amp Shenhar, 2012). The objective of theproject is to provide strategic methods that could be applied byorganizations for a successful project. Furthermore, the elements ofproject strategies will be looked at and broadly analyzed.

Definitionof Strategy

Thisterm can be defined as the best possible ways that can be applied forsuccess to be achieved. This term was first brought into use wayback during the times of wars as commanders came up with ways to wintheir enemies. During this era, the term was mainly applied in warzones (Walker &amp Garrett, 2016). However, as time went by, theword has been expanded to focus primarily on different aspects ofpeople’s life. Some scholars view it as a guide that will elevatethem from one place to another in the future.

Inan organizational aspect, it has been defined as the methods orrather plans set by managers to achieve excellent outcomes, and theygo hand in hand with the mission and objectives of the business. Allthe activities done are supervised by the management and so it istheir responsibility to come up with the strategies that will seethem win in the competitive market.

Theauthors identify Mintzberg as one of the most influentialbusinessmen, and discuss how he defined strategy as simply the planrequired and applied to more from one point to another (Patanakul &ampShenhar, 2012). He continued to argue that effective strategiesdeveloped through the combination of control and deliberation. Also,the flexibility of the organization is necessary when planning aproject.

Strategyand Project Management

Overthe years, management students have been keen to study the techniquesof effectively managing projects. They found out that projects maystill fail when all the procedures have been followed, and so theyshould be careful during planning. Focus is essential and everyactivity being carried out should be looked into carefully. Managersshould be alert at every step of the way and discuss at all timesways that the plan could be improved. Many scholars advise managersto be vigilant and have the hunger to be successful. The concept ofthe military arena should be in their minds and should strive to win.

Moreover,strategies are set so that the business can compete favorably in themarket. The finished product is what matters in business since itwill determine the demand for it by the potential consumers.Therefore project managers have to come up with ways to attract morecustomers to their products (Walker &amp Garrett, 2016). This canonly be achieved when proper strategies those other competitors don’tapply are put into practice. This is to mean that a grand strategywill give the organization a competitive advantage of their productsand the outcome is profit. In a noncompetitive environment, astrategy is still important. In this case, winning is out of thepicture, and project managers strive to add and create new value fortheir product. Here, the value will still attract more consumers andmore profit generated.

ProjectStrategy and Project Plan

Thestrategy is different from planning such that an approach is higherthan the plan. This is to mean that strategies are what results in aplan and it involves specific guidelines and directions that lead tothe conclusion. Through the resources given and ideas, planseventually, leads to either the success or failure of a particularproject. Moreover, by using Mintzberg’s models, a strategy issupposed to include a perspective, position, and a plan for it to beuseful in the business.

Theposition of the company will be identified after the planning andcompletion of the project. Also, it is the position of the businessenvironment after the conclusion of the project. On the other hand,product definition is the particular outcome of the project. Itdescribes the kind and type of the product and the concept used forthe operation. Strategic focus is another important component ofproject strategy that should be looked into (Walker &amp Garrett,2016). It creates a unique mindset and instructions that whenmanipulated, will eventually lead to significant profits andcompetitive advantage to the business in the market. This is to meanthat when applied correctly, it will never disappoint and willeventually gratify all members of the firm.

Inmost cases, the strategic focus will include proper guidelines forappropriate behavior. These are the numerous rules that directdecision making and behavior. Through the right pattern, theanticipated competitive advantage goal will be achieved (Patanakul &ampShenhar, 2012). Second, another strategic focus is the policyapplied. When the appropriate guidelines are enacted, managing thebusiness becomes a walk in the park and greatness is achieved. Also,through the implementation of right policies, the managers will besaved from making day to day decisions. Another important aspect ofstrategic focus is the policies. When the projects pass through thecorrect channels, the business will achieve a lot includingcompetitive advantage.

Managersshould place responsibilities with caution if they want theirprojects to be successful (Walker &amp Garrett, 2016). In this case,employees are trusted with various roles depending on the project athand. Responsible individuals will do their best in their powers tosee that goals are achieved, and the business prospers.


Beforeplanning any project, a study or rather research needs to be carriedout. This is important because the managers have to know what theyare getting themselves and the business into. The design of theresearch will depend on the type of project. In some cases, theresearch may take a long period, especially when the project isdelicate and its failure leads to massive losses. Two differentphases need to be considered and taken seriously.

Tobegin with, the first step should be on case study type of research.This study focuses on original projects that are to be worked onwithin a short period. The other phase is an action research. In thisstudy, there is interaction and discussion among project managers.This type of study takes a longer period compared to the first sincethere is the project framework that needs to be analyzed (Patanakul &ampShenhar, 2012). The frameworks are then modified as agreed by thepanel of experts and the project worked on. It is realistic torecognize that even though this method takes a longer period for itto be achieved, its outcomes are usually excellent since a lot ofprofit will be generated when all goes well.


Threecases were selected following specific criteria. All cases containedundergoing projects that had completed the planning phase. Thisallowed the introduction of a couple of modifications in the initialplans (Patanakul &amp Shenhar, 2012). Apart from this, projects fromdiverse industries were looked at. Here, the representation of theircommercial and government markets was looked into. Moreover, the factthat the research was based on strategic management of projects, allthe projects were of great importance to the organizations.

Project1: Network Collaboration

Theorganization on this project was one major telecommunications companywhich provided network services to thousands of individuals. This isa competitive field, and according to the company’s records, theprimary intervention process was manual. This affected its profit andnew projects needed to be implemented. The project that was to beinitiated was to be automatic and fast to use. The majority of peoplethat used this network were mostly workers of the company and alsoexternal customers who were not happy with the connection of thenetwork and were reducing as time went by.

Theintention of the project was to deal with the barriers ofcommunication for the enterprise to contest favorably in the market.Besides, the project was to cover a larger radius than the initialstrategy and increase their number of subscribers. The project wasundertaken by sixteen team individuals, and it was to be executedwithin a period of eighteen months. A test of the effect of theproject was to be carried out every six months and the outcome wassuperb. Eighty-five percent of the notification costs had been saved.Additionally, more subscribers streamed into this network due to itsnumerous offers it provided

Project2: Air and Ground Military Communication System

Thisproject was initiated by the United States Army that wanted theircombat capabilities upgraded. Similarly, they needed theircommunication and information systems to be digitized since theyrealized that their current systems were outdated and had theinsufficient and unreliable bandwidth. They aimed at coming up withmethods to provide universal interoperability in their systems. Also,they wanted to provide flexible communication gadgets to their troopsto ease communication when they are out on the battlefield.

Theobjective of the project was to invent and improve interchangeableradios that were two in number. One was to be used at ground leveland the other in the air. The contractor was chosen from otherdefense organization to work on the project. He was closely monitoredand vetted before the project was handed to him. The whole processtook almost two years with a budget of twenty million dollars used.The contractor did an excellent job, and the company’s objectiveswere achieved.

Project3: City Property Tax Evaluation

Theproject was initiated by the state government which said that ownersthat had properties of the same market values were paying variedtaxes. The objective of the project was to provide an equal and fairtax rate for individuals all over the country. Apart from this, theproject would lead to a reduced tax appeal rate. The market value ofeach and every property in the town was to be completed within a timespan of eighteen months. Furthermore, it involved creating ofmodernized or rather updated the database for the property owners toaccess online tax data evaluation quickly.

Asa way of performing the process efficiently, the city joined forceswith an outside firm which was to deal with the situation. The totalbudget for the project was seven hundred thousand dollars. Two staffmembers of the city helped in the process and provided the firm withall the requirements they needed for the job to be done. The projectwas a success and was completed in time, and the first system wasbuilt in the state (Patanakul &amp Shenhar, 2012). Its service pavedthe way for second assessment which took place within a period ofthree years after the first success. The time cycle for theassessment was reduced to two months instead of eighteen, and itproved its worth because transparency in the region was achieved.


Inall of the above cases, projects were critically observed and workedon after putting all their efforts into action. In the firstscenario, tests were carried out after every six months to seewhether there was a change in the outcome of the project. If negativeresults would have been achieved, then the project could have come toan end and other strategies drawn. Apart from this, the time limitthat was given was essential for the project to come out successfulbecause the project was delicate. If it had been hastened, the resultwould have come out differently.

Inthe second case, the strategy of taking time and vetting thecontractor was important because it led to a successful outcome. Ifthe military had picked a random contractor, the result would havebeen different. Also, the budget for the project is necessary whenplanning a project. For a delicate project, the company needs to setaside a huge sum aside to see the project through. Failure toundertake this measures would lead to delays and other unnecessaryinsecurities, and this is not healthy for business. It is importantto evaluate the outcome of a project before a company can decide togo on with it (Walker &amp Garrett, 2016).

Thethird case involved the problems faced in the taxation systems of acertain municipal. This is also a delicate situation, and the cityhad to look for external help to help it handle the situation. Theproject was given a time limit of eighteen months and a proper budgetfor it to come out as a success (Patanakul &amp Shenhar, 2012). Thestrategy of putting two other staff members to help in the situationwas called for and was helpful since they provided the other firmwith all the resources they required for a successful outcome of theproject. The consequent was that the scheme was completed over a veryshort period and property owners were now treated equally and justly.This is to mean that project managers need to be aware of what theyare getting into and should take time and analyze their plans withoutany hurry.

Accordingto Walker and Garrett (2016), projects will always be helpful in thedevelopment of the business in the near future. Managers should seekadvice in areas that they are not sure so that they do not end upmaking mistakes. Personally, I agree with them because a good plancould end up bad if not managed well. The success of a project meansthat the members of the staff agreed on a general idea. Theimplementation of well discussed ideas in most cases bare fruits.

Conclusionand Recommendation

Insummary, managers should evaluate the market of their products andsee where the business is heading. Competition is increasing in allindustries and organizations are fighting for the competitiveadvantage. Also, managers should know the differences betweenstrategy and planning. Strategies are what results in a plan, and itinvolves guidelines and directions that lead to the conclusion.Through the resources given and ideas, plans eventually, leads toeither the success or failure of a particular project. Consequently,the use of Mintzberg’s models a strategy is supposed to include aperspective, position and a plan for its effectiveness in thebusiness. It is only through a clear understanding of what projectstrategy is for a business to prosper in its projects. Therefore, asthe Patanakul and Shenhar article depicts projects management is acritical aspect for any business success in the world. The reportresearches on various ways that managers can accomplish project plansefficiently and on time by discussing different scenarios ashighlighted in the reviewed case studies.


Patanakul,P., &amp Shenhar, A. J. (2012). What project strategy really is: Thefundamental building block in strategic project management? ProjectManagement Journal,43(1), 4-20. doi:10.1002/pmj.20282.

Walker,D., &amp Garrett, D. (2016). Inside the Project ManagementInstitute. StrategicIntegration of Social Media into Project Management Practice,298.