Effective Strategy Implementation Through Project Alignment Effective Strategy Implementation Through

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  • Effective Strategy Implementation Through Project

    Alignment

    Latifa Al Amri

    Student ID: 90047

    Dissertation Supervisor : Dr. Paul Gardiner

    Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree

    of MSc in Project Management

    Faculty of Business

    March 2011

  • DEDICATION

    I would like to dedicate this thesis to my beloved parents, had it not been

    for their inspiration it would have remained a dream!

  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT

    First and foremost would like to thank ALLAH for giving me the patience and ability to

    complete this paper. I would also like to extend my appreciation to my supervisor Dr. Paul; this

    thesis would not have been possible without his help and endless guidance. I am truly thankful to

    have such loving and caring family which I owe my sincere gratitude to them for being there for

    me in all times with continuous support and encouragement. Last but not least to all my friends

    for showing their support in numerous ways and having faith in me.

  • ABSTRACT

    Strategy implementation, alignment and projects are significant elements in understanding

    strategy. The competitive global market, changing customer preferences, computer and

    information technology are some of the factors affecting the external environment of the

    organisation. In the face of these challenges, the research seeks to illustrate the importance of

    project alignment to organisational strategy and establish the extent of the linkage between

    projects and organisational strategy to attain successful strategy implementation. This research

    takes the case study of three national banks in Dubai and interviews six people, two from each

    organisation. The research comprised a combination of conceptual analysis and qualitative

    research. Two self-constructed questionnaires were specifically developed for this research

    purpose. One designed for the senior managers and the other questionnaire designed for the

    project managers. Some of the findings of the research suggest that the notion of strategy

    pervades the lifecycle of the organisation; the divide between strategy formulation and strategy

    implementation is a fictional problem. In respect to alignment, it is currently considered as an

    important factor when assessing project success; though, to designate alignment as fifth pillar of

    project success along with the four acknowledged pillars would require the continual efforts of

    both scholars and practitioners to approve and ratify it. The role of project managers remains

    conventional in the organisation and project management is unproductively employed. Finally,

    the framework for strategy implementation must be cognizant of the primordial role of all the

    people that are involved in the process.

    Keywords: Strategy, strategy implementation, project management, alignment.

  • الملّخص

    التنافسية السوق. حيث أن اإلستراتيجية فهم في من العناصر الهامة هي والمشاريع، والمحاذاة ، إن تطبيق اإلستراتيجية

    البيئة العوامل التي تؤثر على من هي جزء وتكنولوجيا المعلوماتالحاسب اآللي العمالء ، و، وتغيير تفضيالت العالمية

    . الخارجية للمؤسسة

    تحديد مدى و المشاريع إلستراتيجية المؤسسةمحاذاة أهميةتوضيح ل، يسعى البحث هذه التحديات مواجهة ومن أجل

    لإلستراتيجية. الناجحتحقيق التطبيق ل و إستراتيجية المؤسسة بين المشاريع الترابط

    ص وبمعدل شخصين لكل بنك من ستة أشخال مقابالتمبنية على في إمارة دبي وطنية بنوك ثالثةل حالة دراسة يقدم هذا البحث

    خصيصا إستبيانينالبحث الفعلي حيث أنه تم إعداد التحليل النظري و من. كما أنها تمثل مزيجا من هذه البنوك الثالثة

    مدراء المشاريع. أخرى ل وكبار المديرين ل إحداهما، ألغراض هذا البحث

    المؤسساتية في الحياةقد أصبح سائدا اإلستراتيجية مفهوم إلى أن تشير البحث لنتائج التي تم الوصول إليها من خالل هذابعض ا

    . وهمية مشكلة هيوتطبيقها صياغة االستراتيجيات بين، وبأن الفجوة

    ، إال أن إعتبارها المشروع نجاح تقييم عند مهمال عواملوبالرغم من أن المحاذاة في الوقت الراهن تعد من ال

    الباحثين كال من منحثيثة جهودا يتطلب العناصر األربع المعروفة، جنبا إلى جنب مع عالمشرو نجاح لتقييمكعنصر خامس

    . والتصديق عليهاموافقة لل والخبراء

    .، كما أن إدارة المشاريع التزال غير مستغله بالقدر المطلوب تقليديا لدى المؤسسات ال يزال مدراء المشاريع دورإن

    ِق اإلستراتيجيِة يستوعب الدور األساسي لجميع األشخاض المعنيين في هذه العملية.إطار تطبي، يجب أن يكون وأخيرا

    ، وإدارة المشاريع، والمحاذاة.اإلستراتيجية، وتطبيق اإلستراتيجية كلمات البحث :

  • Table of contents

    CHAPTER I

    INTRODUCTION

    1.1 RESEARCH QUESTION

    1.2 RESEARCH SUB-QUESTION

    1.3 OBJECTIVES

    1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

    1.5 THESIS STRUCTURE

    CHAPTER II

    LITERATURE REVIEW

    2.1 THE CONCEPT OF STRATEGY

    2.1.1 THE CATALYST FOR CHANGE

    2.2 STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION: THE CONCEPT

    2.2.1 STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION: DEFINITION

    2.2.2 KEY FACTORS AFFECTING STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION

    2.2.3 THE FRAMEWORKS

    2.3 ALIGNMENT: THE CONCEPT

    2.3.1CONCEPTUALISATION OF ALIGNMENT

    2.3.2 TOOLS FOR PROJECT ALIGNMENT

    2.3.3 MAINTAINING ALIGNMENT

    2.3.4 CONSEQUENCES OF MISALIGNMENT

    2.4 PROJECTS: THE CONCEPT

    2.4.1PROJECT PORTFOLIO EFFICIENCY

    2.5 SELECTED FRAMEWORK

    1

    1

    2

    2

    2

    3

    4

    6

    6

    6

    8

    11

    12

    15

    27

    32

    34

    38

    40

    42

    43

    45

    47

  • CHAPTER III

    RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

    3.1 DATA SOURCES

    3.2 RESEARCH APPROACH

    3.3 RESEARCH DESIGN

    3.4 INTERVIEW TECHNIQUES

    3.5 RESEARCH SAMPLE

    3.6 SUBJECTS OF STUDY

    3.7 INTERVIEW SCHEDULE

    3.8 PILOT INTERVIEW

    3.9 INSTRUMENT JUSTIFICATION & ALIGNMENT

    3.10 ETHICAL CONSIDERATION

    3.11 LIMITATIONS

    3.12 DATA ANALYSIS

    CHAPTER IV

    4.1 FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION

    CHAPTER V

    CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATION

    5.1 CONCLUSION

    5.2 EVALUATION OF RESEARCH ATTAINMENT WITH RESEARCH

    OBJECTIVES

    5.3 RECOMMENDATIONS

    5.4 DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED DURING THE RESEARCH

    5.5 FUTURE RESEARCH

    APPENDICES

    51

    51

    51

    51

    53

    54

    55

    55

    56

    56

    57

    60

    60

    61

    62

    80

    80

    80

    82

    84

    88

    88

    89

    62

  • LIST OF FIGURES

    Figure 1 Catalyst for change pg. 10

    Figure 2 Management hierarchy pg.20

    Figure 3 The relation pg.23

    Figure 4 Communication flow pg.25

    Figure 5 Five steps in strategy implementation process pg.28

    Figure 6 Strategy implementation framework pg.30

    Figure 7 Graphical representation &definition of alignment pg. 35

    Figure 8 Theoretical framework for the nature of alignment pg.37

    Figure 9 Hierarchy of projects pg.38

    Figure 10 Project portfolio management processes pg.45

    Figure 11 The selected framework pg.47

    Figure 12 Literature summary framework pg.49

    Figure 13 Strategies pg.64

    Figure 14 The continuum of strategy pg.66

    Figure 15 A framework for strategy implementation pg.68

    Figure 16 Alignment pg.72

    Figure 17 Relationship between the three concepts pg.73

  • Page | 1

    CHAPTER I

    INTRODUCTION

    Strategy setting is acknowledged by larger numbers of organisations in today’s world,

    due to the growing competitive dynamic global market demanding organisations to be more and

    more agile and organized. Therefore, all organisations have their strategy set and written down to

    help direct the organisation over the long run. However, the hardest part is after an actual

    strategy is been analysed and chosen is translating it into organisational action. Accordingly,

    project management i