Do your pet-projects get killed by the Enterprise Program Management Office (EPMO) or Venture Office? If that is the case, you are probably misaligned with the strategic drivers at your company. One of the many responsibilities of the EPMO is to ensure that your company has a proper balance in your project portfolio in regard to risks, pay-back and strategic alignment. The strategic alignment is usually measured on their fit to certain drivers, I call them strategic drivers. The chart below indicates that is three times as likely that you will get your pet-project approved if the business case is based on Risk Mitigation compared to Improved Productivity. Similarly, the quota for improved retention & customer value is higher than top-line growth.
The chart is NOT based on any Gartner Report. It is the result from me playing with a business development tool that I use to ensure that our offerings are aligned with the strategic drivers in the Financial Services industry. The tool uses a simple approach to prioritizing the drivers by making a pairwise comparison of them. Instead of trying to rank the list with drivers, you compare them two at the time. On the first row in my example below, I am saying that the Financial Services Industry consider Cost Cutting to be Less important than Compliance but Significantly More important than Productivity.
Feel free to download the Excel workbook and make your own pairwise comparisons to ensure that you are strategically aligned with your company’s strategic drivers. It has never been as important as now if you want to get your pet-projects approved. The budget for IT-projects will probably be squeezed next year when the IT-budget is fixed on the same level as this year, at the same time as the costs for keeping the lights on in the server rooms is increasing.