Why CEOs should Embrace Project Management

Why CEOs should Embrace Project Management

Project management offers a structured approach to driving business results through a strategic focus on an organization’s most important initiatives.   It is a powerful tool. Unfortunately, many CEOs do not understand project management as a role, a profession, or an organizational competency that enables delivery of strategic initiatives.  

CEOs need to realise that all strategic initiatives are delivered through projects and programs.

It is not uncommon to find dedicated and hard-working individuals focused on positive outcomes with no sense of structure or consistency around how to achieve those outcomes. Furthermore, there may be no understanding of how those results would contribute to overall organisational success.

While the goals are often achieved, how much more profitable and effective could the organization be if it had t formalized its organizational capability in project and program management.

This would avoid re-creating the wheel (and spending the same money over and over) every time we started a new project.

CEO’s need to know is how much money is wasted on projects that fail to meet their objectives due to poor performance. On average, organizations in the public and private sectors waste over €100 million for every €1 billion invested in projects and programmes.

Other alarming research results reported in PMI’s Pulse of the Profession report:


  • more than half of projects are over budget
  • a third fail to achieve business objectives
  • 17% fail outright.  

How often do CEOs  look at the waste generated by poor project performance across the entire enterprise? Do they have the visibility or means to measure overall project success — and by extension the organisation’s strategic success?

By viewing projects as a portfolio — the collection of activities that drives the organization’s strategy — a CEO will get a better sense of not only how well the organization is meeting its strategic goals but where waste is hiding in the form of poor project performance.

If the future strategy is not reflected in  the portfolio of projects and programs, you have little chance of ever achieving it.

If, as CEO,  you don’t have the project management capability to implement and deliver your organization’s most important strategic initiatives, you will lose to competitors that have adopted such an approach.

Why spend the time and money creating a unique strategy without ensuring your organisation has the capability to deliver it? A CEO should not leave strategy implementation to chance or assume that the operating divisions will “figure it out". Embrace  project management as the strategic competency that delivers results.




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