We know that projects don’t just happen.
It is, and should always be, the result of some strategic direction the organisation wishes to pursue. If the strategic reason, or ‘business case’ for any given project is no longer valid then the project should be stopped.
However, let us say that the business strategy is in place and that the project is in line with the ‘business case’. Then the project can fit into the following two main categories:
1. Projects to Add Sales or Increase Business Activities
These projects are put in place to satisfy the improvement strategy currently on the table. In other words it is to create future value for the organisation. Improvement strategy brings either incremental change, or transformational change.
Incremental change is to incrementally improve products though projects. A good example over here is the development of the new iPhone, say iPhone 6, by Apple. It is only an improvement of the previous model, but still the same model. The same goes for the development of the new BMW 316i model.
Transformational change brings breakthrough products and new initiatives with projects. A good example over here is the development of the first iPad or the new Apple Watch. When the first iPad was launched it was the first of its kind with transformational consequences to both the organization and the industry.
2. Projects to Become More Competitive by the Improvement of Operations
These are the type of projects that create business advantage through better business operations. A good example is projects involving business process re-engineering. This could be as simple as replacing existing product assembly lines or improving the existing customer relations management system for the organization.
By knowing this, we can now make better decisions in terms of what projects our organization should be launching in order to reach the ultimate strategic direction the organization wishes to achieve. It is also valuable to assist us with deciding on the project strategy when launching a new project.