The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world

Corporate development & finance – Business value from the corporate perspective

– Understanding the realization of business value at the enterprise level

The last area of interest for an “enterprise-aware” PM is the areas of corporate development and corporate finance. So far we have explored how IT Services Management helps the PM connect the delivery of projects to the on-going life of that service in the enterprise, how the service connects to a capability and how the services and capabilities fit within the enterprise.

Now it is time to explore how these services and capabilities are viewed by the enterprise in terms of true business value and competitive advantage.  Corporate development concerns itself with the management arm of the enterprise, setting the strategy and priorities, and ensuring that the enterprise wide investments are aligned with future strategic goals.

Corporate finance deals with financial decision making that the enterprise makes and the tools it employs to help it make those decisions.  The primary goal of corporate finance is therefore to maximize the corporate value and manage the associated risks.

Understanding the two areas above rounds out the business or enterprise-aware PM’s knowledge areas, in my opinion.  Understanding how decisions are made and how the delivery of a particular service impacts the overall enterprise and its future state allows the PM to organize around these principles and guidelines for one, as well as enables the PM to discuss decisions related to the project in terms of corporate imperatives rather than that of a functional focus or one-off (non-leverageable) focus.

To learn more about Corporate Development and Corporate Finance, check out “Shareholder Value: Key to Corporate Development, Volume 10 (Best of Long Range Planning Series – First Series)” and  “Essentials of Corporate Finance” on Amazon.


About the Author

Gustav Toppenberg is a Sr. PMO Manager in Cisco's Communication & Collaboration IT group. Gustav is currently responsible for leading the PMO and driving project and operational excellence in his team. During his career at Cisco, Gustav has led several projects in change leadership, acquisition integration, and globalization strategy. He is also part of Cisco IT's transition to a services-oriented organization (technology, process, and culture), enabling a client-focused, value-driven, cost-effective alignment between IT and business. Gustav is a native of Denmark and serves on the board of directors at the Danish-American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco and the NorCal chapter of ASP (Association for Strategic Planning). He has a background in strategy consulting, program/project management, and global change management. Gustav has an interest and passion for the convergence of business and technology; he is a natural change leader and constant disruptor. He continuously seeks to occupy the gap between business and technology, thereby leveraging technology solutions to strengthen competitive advantages in business. Gustav is an MBA graduate of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, ranked the #1 U.S. Business School for International Business by the Wall Street Journal and U.S. News and World Report. You can contact Gustav at "Some of the individuals posting to this site work for Cisco Systems, Inc. Opinions expressed here and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors, not those of Cisco."
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