Your IT department provides the foundation for your organization’s success. We have all seen organizations grind to a halt when one internal system goes awry - whether it is email delivery or an order management system. With your entire business depending on the limited capacity of the IT team, leaders must ensure that they are prioritizing projects with the highest impact on the overall company strategy.
Projects that are strategically aligned with business goals are more likely to succeed, drive higher ROI, and benefit from increased stakeholder engagement.
So, how do you accomplish this?
Create an IT Strategy
Your IT strategy should support the overall business strategy, both functionally and technologically. For example, the business objective is to lead the market segment through strategic customer acquisition and reduction of customer churn. Within the IT department, your strategy would be to optimize the effectiveness of your Salesforce CRM to improve communication and engagement with prospects and current customers.
By clearly stating this strategic goal, you can evaluate any changes requested to your CRM against the goal. For example, integrating your marketing automation solution would clearly fit within the objective, while adding tools to manage raw material inventory may not.
Evaluate Projects Against Strategies
Once you have defined your strategies, you will want to create a process to assess projects against those strategies. One way to evaluate and prioritize projects is with project portfolio management system (PPM). With project portfolio management, projects are organized into strategic portfolios and then prioritized within the portfolio based impact, cost, and level of effort, often using a scorecard methodology. Using a PPM strategy helps reduce risk of project failure and maximizes the impact of your team’s work.
Aligning your work into these portfolios does more than help you make decisions. It helps you reduce the risk of project failure and underperformance. Stakeholders are also more likely to support your projects, both financially and with manpower, when they can that clearly move business objectives forward.
Communicate the Goals
The strategy does not just belong to the executive team. While we often talk about stakeholder buy-in and engagement, it may be even more important to have enthusiasm and buy-in from the team who is executing the projects. You get better results when everyone understands the “why” behind a project and “how” it aligns to overall goals.
When you are creating your strategic plan and planning the projects that will help you meet your goals, it is tempting to fill your schedule to capacity. Over the course of the year, your organization's needs may shift, with one goal taking priority over another, through market changes, acquisitions and more. By leaving time in your schedule, your team will have the flexibility to take advantage of these changes when and where they happen.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Creating these plans can help give your team clarity in the short term; however, you should also use a system to maintain that focus throughout the year. Leveraging a project management system that integrates with your existing BMC Remedyforce service desk system can help set and maintain priorities. Plus, an integrated system can help your team organize and prioritize their daily work.
Learn more about how you can integrate project management with BMC Remedyforce at our free webinar on Thursday, August 31. Register now >>