Strategic planning is fundamental when it comes to successfully running a large enterprise organization. Your margins depend on how effectively you manage your resources. And what that comes down to is your capacity planning, and the strategic planning process you employ.
Strategic planning for enterprise organizations
Regardless of the sector you work in, you need to have a clearly defined strategy which has been designed around meeting your specific objectives. If, say, you’re working in engineering and construction, you’ll have to decide which projects to bid for and which ones to pass on. In the life sciences sector, you’ll be more focused on managing your innovation programs.
Wherever you work, you need a clearly defined strategy to be able to plan your portfolio and maximize the return on investment (ROI) it generates.
What are your strategic objectives?
As industry consultant John McGrath writes on strategic planning, the first thing you need to establish is what your strategic objectives are. In other words, you need to begin with the big picture.
Obviously, you want to generate growth and increase revenue. But are you exclusively focused on increasing the dividend for your shareholders? Or is it equally important that your employees are happy about where they’re working, and that your customers are pleased to be doing business with you?
Are projects aligned with strategic goals?
Now that you’ve established what your goals are and what direction you want your organization to move in, you need to evaluate each project in terms of the value it brings. This will help you to understand how well existing projects, and ones that are being proposed, are aligned with those strategic goals. And the only way to do that is to drill down into each project, individually.
Once you employ the right software, you’ll be able to produce an inventory data set for each project. Which can be set up in such a way that it won’t be possible for project owners to skip any of the fields, guaranteeing that the picture you get of what each project is going to need is an accurate one.
What’s the net-value of the project?
This will tell you what the projected costs for each project are, and allow you to produce a capacity plan for each one individually. So you can calculate what resources, labor and assets you’re going to need, when you’ll need them, and for how long. Giving you the net-value for each of your projects.
Once you have that, you can run an initial portfolio assessment on data to evaluate the outcomes from the different projects. Unacceptably costly ones can be shelved, and duplication of similar projects in other departments within the larger organization can be avoided.
The prioritization tools that your software gives you can then be configured in line with your objectives and priorities. So you’ll be able to see your portfolio structure graphically, and configure those tools in such a way that their parameters are aligned with your strategy.
Running What if scenarios
Once your software has collected all your data in the one place, and it’s all up to date, you can score projected outcomes against strategic objectives. You can then use scenario modeling to compare different portfolios, using the Scenario Comparison component to see how they perform in response to different What if scenarios.
What happens if your project’s scope changes? Or if your organizational priorities become re-directed? Or you have staffing issues, and you end up bringing in contracted workers, creating costs that hadn’t been budgeted for? Or there are unavoidable delays to delivery?
Scenario modeling allows you to move timelines, alter budgets and reallocate resources and assets to see which portfolio structure will produce the best ROI. And because it’s all done using graphs, you can quickly see what works and what doesn’t. So you’ll be able to easily explain and present your findings to your C-suite executives.
In other words, as Deloitte conclude in their CFO Insight’s paper on strategic planning1,
“You should zoom out and zoom in”
You need to have a detailed and up to date understanding of the net-value of each of your individual projects. And to then assess that project’s outcome against the strategic objectives of your organization as a whole. So that every project is aligned with your organization’s goals.
Cora can help with Strategic Planning for Enterprise Organizations
Cora’s software solution makes you the ‘control tower’, gathering and orchestrating all your data so that all your assets and resources are deployed as effectively and efficiently as possible. It allows you to see and demonstrate how all the different data sets relate to one another, graphically. And guarantees that everyone and everything is kept permanently up to date, in real time.
Find out how Strategic Portfolio Management by Cora helps with strategic planning.