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Daniel Wentzel
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Deriving Projects from the Organisational Vision Using the Vision-to-Projects (V2P) Framework – A Su

Published on 4/13/2014
For additional information  Click Here

According to Marnewick and Labuschagne (2009: 119-146): Although project management skills exist today in many organisations because of the popularity of this young, flourishing academic discipline and its well established set of standards—significantly, PMBOK and PRINCE2—many organisations still experience difficulty measuring the real contribution that their selection of projects has towards realizing the strategic intent of the organisation, that is, assuming that the organisation has a vision. Formerly, the quantitative research approach dominated the research arena for this discipline; nevertheless, there still existed many challenges and thus a significant gap between the success and failure of the final product for many. Contemporary thinking, however, suggests a new research approach should be adopted, namely, that of qualitative research and more specifically, using the Participatory Action Research (PAR) model. The authors show that this alternative research approach was instrumental in developing a more practical and holistic framework, namely, that of the Vision-to-Projects (V2P) Framework. The V2P framework has the advantage that it can be applied to a broader spectrum of organisational types. Also, it illuminated the following beneficial gains: Firstly, it provided organisations with a framework that assisted them with aligning projects more closely to their strategic intent and consequently the achievement of their organisational vision. Secondly, it showed that the PAR model was better suited to the project management discipline as a whole using a method modelling. The holistic V2P Framework is theoretically illustrated clearly in Figure 1 of the article, beginning with the vision. Significantly, the modelling introduced the following deconstructed echelons of management within the framework: Firstly, at the uppermost echelon, we have the vision, set by the vision stakeholders of the organisation. Secondly, we have portfolio management at the next echelon measuring each strategy against its portfolio. Definitively, a portfolio is a collection of programmes that meet the strategic objectives and strategies of the organisational vision. At an intermediate echelon, there is the programme management—or macro level of project management—responsible for a collection of projects, measuring the business objectives against the programmes. Finally, at the lowest echelon, there is the project management, with each project manager having their selected project with its concomitant action plans, looking for that panacea of: on-time, within-budget, and within-scope, all measured against their projects. Importantly, the management communication layers that keep these management echelons—vision, portfolio-, programme- and project-management—working effectively are the strategy maps and balanced scorecards coupled with the necessary feedback to complete the bilateral requirements of communication. The first layer of strategy maps translates the organisational vision into strategies for the portfolio management and the portfolio management is tasked with measuring each strategy against its portfolio and providing feedback to the organisational vision stakeholders. The second layer of strategy maps translates the strategies into business objectives for the programme management and programme management is tasked with measuring each business objective against its programme and providing feedback to the portfolio management. At the bottom layer, the balanced scorecards provide a communications layer between the programme- and project-management and project management is tasked with measuring measurement and targets against projects and providing feedback to programme management. The holistic objective here according to the authors is as follows: “to enable the organisation to share, enhance and analyse their knowledge of the strategies and business objectives in order to plan or derive new projects and then to act or execute these projects”.

From the article: The Organisational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3®) of the Project Management Institute (PMI) states that “projects help organisations deliver desired strategic changes in a changing world” (PMI 2003). It also states that “this is true whether the goal is the development of a new software product, implementation of new systems in an organisation, or designing and building a bridge”. Although the OPM3® recognises the fact that the vision and strategies of an organisation are implemented by means of projects, it does not provide a lucid or well-articulated approach for proceeding from the vision to the projects. According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, “any project undertaken by a company should be driven by business objectives” (Peterson 2002). This left many organisations with a management gap between their vision and project selection. The V2P Framework provides an elegant solution to bridge this management gap by providing a management and communication framework between the vision stakeholders and the individual project management teams. Software project management and IT project management are also driven by business objectives and as such form an integral part of the organisational vision and thus should be included in the organisation’s plethora of projects at the lower echelon of the V2P Framework. In conclusion, if managed correctly, the V2P Framework is an iterative framework in search of strategic alignment to the organisational vision through continuous improvement regardless of the type of project. In so doing, organisations will reduce that significant waste of financial resources, time, effort and scarce human resources (Marnewick and Labuschagne, 2009). As you can see in the real world application where a Qualitative Research approach was applied using the Participatory Action Research (PAR) method in a real implementation, the theoretical model evolved to what was finally shown in Figure 6. One can conclude that the theoretical model is sound and forms a solid basis from which to begin. There may be a possibility that the final evolutionary model may differ from organisation to organisation as this may be influenced by the management structure and culture of the organisation.

Reference:

Marnewick, C. and Labuschagne, L. (2009) 'Deriving projects from the organisational vision using the Vision-to-Projects (V2P) Framework', Southern African Business Review, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 119-146.

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