A Key Responsibility of a Project Manager Is to Understand the Business Goals and to Make Sure There Is Alignment With the Project Objectives": Why You Think This Is Important?
Good project management ensures that the goals of projects closely align with the strategic goals of the business. Of course, as projects progress, it is possible that risks may emerge, that turn into issues or even the business strategy may change. But a project manager will ensure that the project is part of that realignment. Project management really matters here because projects that veer off course, or which fail to adapt to the business needs may end up being expensive and/or unnecessary.
Tracking and reporting on such tactical measures are critical to good project governance. Strategic measures are how the organization knows that it is working on the right things. Even areas that don't seem inherently tied to strategy, such as a simple maintenance project, can free up funds for new development. If described in those terms, more value will be recognized in a project. Risks should be described in terms of impact on strategic objectives, not just project status. Strategic measures may address elements such as resource optimization, cycle time, customer retention and governance (Alleman, 2003). As project managers, cost and schedule are primarily measured as lagging indicators. What has happened and when? For proper execution, the project needs to also measure leading indicators. A leading indicator, if promptly reacted to, can change the outcome of the strategic objective it influences. For a leading indicator to be effective, it needs to be continuously measured, not just at the end of large phases, so corrective action is possible.
Finally, if you are uncertain of what the customer expects of you, then the project will not even get off the ground. Project communication can thus be summed up as knowing “who needs what information and when” and making sure they have it.
Alleman, G.B. (2003, October) Using Balanced Scorecard to Build a Project Focused IT Organization, San Francisco, California, USA
Niven, P.R. (2002) Balanced Scorecard Step-by-Step New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons
Kaplan, R.S. & Norton, D.P. (1996) Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System Harvard Business Review [Electronic Version] Retrieved on 3/2/2006 from http://harvardbusinessonline.hbsp.harvard.edu/hbrsa/en/issue/9601/article/96107.jhtml;jsessionid=Q5MQQYL1A3OBUAKRGWCB5VQBKE0YOISW?path=arc&pubDate=January%201996
Kaufman, G. (2006, September) How to Fix HR. Harvard Business Review 84/9, 30