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Selecting a strategy

Are Performance, Time, Cost and Scope met?

There are a few areas to consider when selecting suitable strategies.
Will a particular strategy meet all the performance, cost, time and scope criteria?
You may wish to carry out an initial estimate, as a detailed plan and schedule will not exist until a strategy has been finalised.

Risks acceptable … contingencies?

Look at the possible risks to success and decide if these are acceptable.

Can any unacceptable risks be reduced with a suitable contingency plan?
Would there be any additional costs involved?

There could be threats form a third party or from within.
You will need to consider social and environmental issues.

Project management risk is covered in more detail in 'The Complete Risk Management package'.

Consequences acceptable … new problems?

Could unintended consequences generate new problems using this strategy?

Prioritisation... assess and review

The exact strategy chosen from an array of options will be dependant upon the business environment and the type and size of organisation.

Naturally, your project may not be the only one that exists within the organisation, or indeed within your own remit so you will need to consider prioritisation.
The business organisation may well have a pecking order in terms of how it will support the projects in terms of resource, and budget.
Clearly, the Project Manager needs to know where his project will sit in the overall scheme.
Having established the projects priority you need to review this at intervals.

The Project Manager doesn’t want any surprises later, for example, expected resource is unavailable as another project has higher priority or even worse, resource you already had has to be redirected.

Project sponsor

Buy in

For project approval you must get the backing of the Project Sponsor.
They should take ownership of the plan by signing off several aspects of the plan, for example, the Project Notebook and the Terms of Reference and via these the key milestones and project schedule.

They should attend key meetings and be available to make strategic decisions when required.
The Project Sponsor should be willing to give full support to the project.

The Project Sponsor will be interested in many aspects of the project, for example:

  • Profitability
  • Does it fit in with the values of the organisation?
  • How much resource will be needed?
  • What are the financial implications?

Once the strategy has been selected it must be recorded.