How Organization Project Management (OPM) helped

a Global Organization to Revamp a Business Unit

 

CASE STUDY

By Conrado Morlan

Texas, USA

 


 

Introduction

The Express business unit of the world’s largest logistics company was facing challenges at global level. With the support of their two sister business units – Global Forwarding and Supply Chain – the Express business unit was kept a float for a couple of years until it was time for the Express business unit to take the required actions to become sustainable.

With a well-defined global strategy that required the contribution of the three business units, the Express business unit started the alignment of its portfolio of projects with the global strategy and defined their strategic multi-annual programs that helped to crystalize the benefits that made the business unit sustainable.

Strategy, Vision, and Mission

Strategy, organizational strategy and corporate strategy are terms that are commonly used in business. For the purpose of this paper, I will refer to them all as strategy. In recent years, strategy has been repeatedly mentioned in both the printed media and television. Investors and people interested in a particular organization want to know about their future plans, what new products or services will produce, what new markets they will target, and their policies on corporate responsibility among others.

There are many definitions and schools of thought surrounding strategy. I, in particular like Kenneth Andrews’ definition in the book The Concept of Corporate Strategy:

Corporate strategy is the pattern of decision in a company that determines and reveals is objectives, purposes, or goals, produces the principal policies and plans for achieving this goals, and defines the range of business the company is to pursue, the kind of economic and human organization it is or intends to be, and the nature of the economic and non-economic contribution it intends to make to its shareholders, employees, customers, and communities. (pp. 18-19)”

Andrew’s definition describes where the company wants to go and why the company exists; how to move from their current state (“AS-IS”) to the future state (“TO-BE”) and address any gaps by taking actions that will lead to strategy modification as required, in order to be back on track.

The strategy is supported by two elements of the organization:

  • The Vision; and
  • The Mission.

The vision statement is one of the elements that supports the strategy and describes the aspirations of the organization. It must describe a picture of the organization in the future, and therefore the framework for all the organization’s strategic planning. The vision statement should answer the question, “Where do we want to go?”

The mission statement is the other element, which describes the purpose of the organization and should answer the question, “Why do we exist?” The mission statement articulates the organization’s purpose for those within the organization and for the public.

For an organization to achieve its vision and mission, it will require some time and its strategy will define the path to achieve both. The strategy’s outlook is usually multiannual and will require frequent checkpoints to verify and ensure that the correct path to the “TO-BE” state is followed. Internal and external factors may impact the strategy and may trigger contingency plans.

To avoid the chasm between strategy and results, the strategy needs to be communicated clearly at all levels of the organization. The communication must be understandable for every member of the organization, so that each person can picture a mental model of it.  It needs to identify accountable parties and describe what needs to be done. These actions will ensure the strategy will produce the expected results.

More…

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Editor’s note: This paper was originally presented at the 13th Annual University of Texas at Dallas Project Management Symposium in May 2019.  It is republished here with permission of the author and conference organizers.

How to cite this paper: Morlan, C. (2019). How Organization Project Management (OPM) helped a Global Organization to Revamp a Business Unit; presented at the 13th Annual UT Dallas Project Management Symposium, Richardson, Texas, USA in May 2019; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue VI, July.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/pmwj83-Jul2019-Morlan-how-opm-helped-revamp-a-business-unit-case-study.pdf

 


 

About the Author


Conrado Morlan

Texas, USA

 

 

 

Conrado Morlan, PfMP, PgMP, PMP, CSM, SA is an experienced global portfolio, program and project manager with more than 20 years of experience in aligning projects with organizational strategy for multinational companies and leading virtual and collocated multicultural and multigenerational teams in the Americas and Europe. Mr. Morlan was one of the first 150 individuals to achieve the portfolio management professional (PfMP) credential worldwide and was the recipient of the PMI 2011 Distinguished Contribution Award for his activities and influence in championing project management to Spanish-speaking practitioners and organizations. His contributions to Project Management are numerous as he strives to increase the field’s visibility and advance the profession through conferences, blogs, articles, and interviews. One can also consider that his presence and its effects are multiplied by three, as his linguistic talents enable him to work across borders at equal levels of comfort in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Conrado can be contacted at conrado@thesmartpm.com