Chapter 2. Strategy, Objectives, and Project Selection
- Define the business strategy and goals that constitute the basis of business cases and projects in an organization, and describe the strategy cycle.
- Create SMART objectives that can be used in business cases, project charters, and project management plans.
- Outline the content of a business case that would lead to the selection of projects.
- Employ a variety of selection models to select projects.
Projects don’t start from out of anywhere. Before the organization’s project selection committee and/or executive management decides on which projects the organization can go with, the reasons to start a project must be delineated in a pre-project stage. This stage often consists of the preparation of a business case accompanied by a needs assessment and a benefits realization management plan. A business case is a document that helps an organization decide whether the project will have a positive economic, financial, and/or social impact. Business analysts, systems analysts, or product managers, or a team composed of them and relevant stakeholders can prepare a business case. In many cases which are not rare, project managers can be assigned with the task to create a business case during the initiation of a project if the project’s feasibility hasn’t been assessed before. Organizations produce plenty of business cases in which the organizational needs are detailed. However, due to the scarcity of resources, time, and budget, and also taking into consideration the boundaries determined by the organizational priorities and strategic objectives, organizations choose only some of the business cases and their solutions as projects to develop. Project managers may not participate in this process. Nevertheless, it is of utmost importance for the project managers and teams to be familiar with the process since business cases constitute the basis of projects and they include fundamental information about the projects. Business cases are used as input to conceptualize a project and lead directly to the preparation of a project charter through which project managers can receive the authorization to start the project.