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New tools and techniques turn project management into strategy execution


Gartner recently published its Market Guide for Strategy Execution Software. If you’re a Gartner client, you can access it here. The report speaks to the “execution gap” that many organizations are struggling with, and the main culprit seems to be a reliance on traditional tools and processes that keep project success rates stuck at around 64%.

The trap that we see many organizations fall into is trying to use traditional, bottom-up project management tools to manage strategy execution. This can be frustrating, as the real strength of traditional PPM tools is project management, and their linear nature offers little to help an organization close their execution gap.

The good news from Gartner’s report is that companies that specifically dedicate time and resources to strategy execution appeared to be more successful than companies that simply overlay strategic work onto their existing operational performance management framework. Which means if you’re truly interested in executing strategy and not just managing projects, then it may be time to consider tools and processes that are specifically designed for strategy execution.

So what kind of tools are required for effective strategy execution? Gartner lists several technology providers in its report, including UMT360, as vendors who provide some of the “must have” features. These capabilities include ease-of-use for senior management, the flexibility to capture collaborative data from across the organization, and dynamic portfolio management features. Features like bidirectional strategic communications, program management and formal scenario planning are also key features of a robust strategy execution solution.

Strategy execution is still an emerging market, but as more and more project management organizations embrace the idea of taking a more strategic role, their adoption of these new tools and processes will only help to accelerate innovation. If you have an opportunity, I encourage you to read Gartner’s research in this area. Of course, if you’d like to share your thoughts or discuss ideas about strategy execution, we’d love to hear from you!