Linking Project Delivery & Services to Business Value

– What every project and program manager needs to know about the enterprise

The pace of technological development as a competitive advantage has exponentially grown over the past decade. The PM community in Silicon Valley has likely felt this more than most others in the world. As budgets have been sliced (multiple times), timelines have been shrunk to deliver capabilities faster to outpace the competition, and the requirements have been shifted to fit a new strategic goal (many times a moving target), the PM is left to tie all of this together to realize business value through the successful delivery of the program or project.

The above scenario most likely does not describe a “diet” but rather a life-style change for the PM community. While project leadership and vision continues to be a very valuable skill to realize the potential of a delivered project it is equally important for the PM to understand the end-use and implications of the delivery of this project into a business environment and how value is realized through this project.

To continue to add value to the enterprise, I believe that the PM role needs to continue to evolve more in the direction of a strategic business manager, linking the project delivery to business value. Excelling not only at delivering a project to the stakeholder, the PM needs to understand how the service delivered, as a result of the project, accelerates a business capability. The critical ability to help the enterprise leverage current-state services as well as understand the life-cycle of these services, are immensely valuable skills critical to the enterprise success.

Looking at the life-cycle of a service (the resulting product of a project) from end-to-end the PM needs 4 key elements in the tool-kit to successfully understand the entirety:

  1. – Project / Program Management (an assumed skill-set)
  2. – Services Management (Service Life-cycle / ITIL)
  3. – Enterprise / Business Architecture (Relationship between project teams and stakeholders)
  4. – Corporate Development & Finance (Understanding how to maximize corporate value and balance risk)

As technological innovation becomes increasingly important to establish a competitive advantage for an enterprise, assisting the enterprise or business owner in the role of service steward or relationship manager helps in connecting the delivery of a project or service to the realization of this competitive advantage.

In the following posts I will describe the value of understanding and developing skills in the last three of the above areas and suggest sources for further information on each topic.

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