Breakthrough Alignment for Business and IT Teams

Breakthrough Alignment for Business and IT Teams
How to make alignment work and mitigate project delivery risk
Despite an unprecedented investment of time and money in project methodology, tools and process over recent years, organizations continue to face an unacceptable rate of strategic project failure. Why is this?
Studies show that the reason most projects fail is because of misalignment between three main organization elements which are essential to successful project execution:
Organization Strategy, Business Sponsors and IT Project Management
More work on methodology and tools won’t help – improvement begins by understanding the root cause of failure and eliminating it. This program will provide its participants with the knowledge and resources necessary to dramatically improve project execution through breakthrough business and IT alignment.
  • To assess the current state of project management in the organization and provide a baseline against which improvements can be measured.
  • Identify key issues that will address the active engagement between executive level business project sponsors and project leaders to drive the following learning outcomes:
    • Understanding the connections between organization strategy making, project proposal and selection, and project execution to drive results.
    • Creating improved mutual accountability through higher levels of joint ownership of key project outcomes (RACI), deliverables, processes and methods.
    • Driving a mutual understanding of the connection between project decision-making, lapsed time to decision and impact on project timelines.
    • Learning how to gain project benefits realization and not just project installation.
    • Increasing mutual awareness of structured methods of communication and interaction which facilitate improved execution and reduced conflict.
  • Provide coaching as a follow-up to training for those who need it.
Program Format
  • The program consists of five phases:
    1. Establishing the baseline through a survey to:
      • assess the current state of project management in the organization
      • provide a baseline against which improvements can be measured
      •  identify key issues that will be addressed through participation in a 2-day workshop
    2. Stakeholder communication to position and align the workshop with attendees’ objectives
    3. A 2-day customized training workshop for designated business and IT project leaders
    4. Support for the workshop attendees through post-training coaching as needed
    5. A final summary of findings which willl include the baseline and any additional issues as input for future planning
Who Should Attend
  • Business project sponsors and leaders at all levels
  • IT project leaders, directors and managers
Curriculum Overview
Phase 1: Establishing the Baseline:
Having a baseline and common understanding of the current state is the prerequisite for planning for an improved future state.  The survey will provide the organizational input needed to establish the success road map for the rest of the program.
Phase 2: Stakeholder Communication:
There are four main communication objectives:
  •  To ensure those involved understand the rationale for the training of project sponsors and IT project managers.
  • Focus on how the learnings from this training will help achieve defined project objectives and what roles those participating in the training will play in that success.
  • To motivate employees to participate in the training by encouraging their input and ideas, stressing the important role they play in project success.
  • To support sponsors and IT project managers as roles are clarified, expected behaviors are defined, and necessary skills are applied to project work to ensure desired outcomes.
Phase 3: The Workshop:

This 2-day facilitated workshop is designed to assist IT project managers and their business project leads identify and address key issues by focusing on the needs of each group.  Attendees should be in the role of sponsor or IT project manager and have at least basic knowledge of the project management lifecycle.  (See Sample Workshop Goals below.)

Participants begin together, diverge for separate discussions and content, and re-converge to establish and enhance understanding across the various learning modules in the program. 

Methods taught, when consistently applied, will have a measurable impact on project ROI organization-wide by providing clarity around responsibility and accountability across the entire project landscape. This leads to:

  • Elimination of controllable project delays
  • Increasing the speed of project-based decision-making
  • Enhancing understanding of risk and reward trade-offs for decision-making, especially under uncertain conditions
  • Producing a measurable, positive financial impact in terms of improved resource utilization and more certain project execution
  • Substantially reducing the risk of project failure

This unique approach is designed to reduce the underlying culture of tension and mistrust that often exists, replacing it with an improved sense of mutual respect, understanding and co-operation which positively impacts corporate culture by reducing politics and improving productivity.

Phase 4: Post Training Coaching for the Workshop Attendees:

This phase is custom-designed for each client and will be developed as part of the workshop process.

Phase 5: Final Summary Report:
This customizable report provides a scorecard of the Breakthrough Alignment results, detailing identified requirements and results achieved through the workshop and post-workshop process. It also serves as a planning document for future resolution of any additional identified issues.

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