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

Strategic Planning: Which Direction Shall We Go?

SiStrategicDirection4gns and times are confusing. Which way should organizations go? Which mix of projects can get you there? So how can project professionals help leaders navigate turbulent and traumatic times and provide direction?

Over yummy breakfast burritos in San Diego I asked Dave Davis (aka Santa) a PMI CoP advisory Board member for his best practices in planning and leading strategic planning sessions. Dave Davis has extensive experience working with clients on strategic planning and has powerful planning suggestions.

Dave is pictured below playing Santa. Mom is hiding from the picture taking as Rachael, her daughter, is giving Santa (Dave Davis) her December 2013 Christmas gift list.Dave_Davis1

Here are Dave’s strategic meeting planning suggestions:

  • Begin with the end in mind and document what is intended outcome of this meeting stated in both objective
  • and emotional terms
  • Pull stories or narrative from audience on what these future outcomes look like
  • Ensure stories are stated in benefit terms and not activities
  • Document which factors influence these benefits
  • Identify who dis-benefits from these benefits or the intended changes
  • What are risks associated with achieving these benefits which keeps the conversation from degrading to risks associated with the activities needed to get there
  • Be politically astute by mapping  energy exerted by the proposed changes e.g., what sentiment, attitudes, moral is aiding or resisting the change and
  • Focus on member, client, or customer perspective to keep it outward focused and stop group think

This is a facilitator’s dream list of questions.  Thanks Santa for this early Christmas Gift!


About the Author

Rosemary trains IT project teams on delivering project success by improving business analysis and project management practices. She is founder of Project Management Perspectives LLC consulting and training in both the commercial and government sectors. She led many global software and hardware projects; created PMO's, and conducted project assessments. Rosemary speaks at conferences on the topics on Planning for Project Success and is a co-author of Unearthing Business Requirements, Elicitation Tools and Techniques and Organizational Project Management (June 2010) Rosemary received her B.S. from Oregon State University and M.B.A. from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. She is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and implemented the Tools and Techniques initiative of the Silicon Valley Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI).
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