The Project Delivery Strategy

One element missing in much of the discussion around project management is a focus on optimising the project delivery strategy.

At the project level, strategic decision-making focuses on the way the project will be structured and managed. Choosing between using Agile or Waterfall, pre-fabrication or on-site assembly, won’t change the required project deliverables but will have a major influence on how the project is delivered and its likely success.

One size does not fit all; simply following previous choices ignores opportunities to enhance the overall probability of the project meeting or exceeding its stakeholder’s expectations.

Some of the key steps in designing a strategy for success include:

  • Familiarization with the overall requirements of the project and its stakeholders
  • Determining the key elements of value and success for the project
  • Outlining the delivery methodology and getting approval from key stakeholders
  • Developing the project’s strategic plan based on the available know-how, resources and risk appetite of the stakeholders (including the project management team)

The problem with implementing this critical stage of the overall project delivery lifecycle is that it crosses between the project initiators and the project delivery team. Both parties need to be involved in developing a project delivery strategy that optimizes the opportunity for a successful outcome within the acceptable risk tolerance of the individuals.

Unfortunately, the opportunities to engage in discussion and planning for project delivery are difficult to arrange. Frequently contract documents effectively prescribe a delivery process, and/or the client and senior management don’t know they need to be engaged at this critical stage of the project lifecycle.

Maybe its time for a change…… chose the wrong strategy and the project is destined for failure!

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8 responses to “The Project Delivery Strategy

  1. Many of the project managers I meet are very focused on tactics. If you mention project strategy then you get a very blank response. Very few of the PMs have any input to tendering or business planning of projects. Hence the ability to influence strategy is significantly by the time project manager get on the scene. This is not to say that strategy isn’t vitally important in project success but it may explain why the topic gets so little discussion.

    • As Sun Tzu said….
      1. All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
      2. Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

      You need both!

  2. Good post,usful and systematic.
    I alaways notice some crosses between delivery and quality, so where to stand!

  3. Is project t delivery strategy a new mar for s project plan? Has the project plan become something else?

    Confused Craig

    • The project plan (or plans: cost, time, quality, etc) define how the strategy will be implemented to deliver the scope required by the customer. The project is guaranteed to fail if the wrong strategy is selected.

  4. On a lighter note: strategy is philosophical, planning is tactical. Dilbert has been a source of PM information and instruction for a decade or more: http://www.dilbert.com/

    The philosophical nature of effective strategic thinking is probably best defined by the Monty Python crew…… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQycQ8DABvc (the clip contains rude words…)

  5. Pingback: PMBOK #5 standardises its approach to planning « Stakeholder Management's Blog

  6. Pingback: PMBOK #5 standardises its approach to planning | Mosaicproject’s Blog

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