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Author Archives: Elizabeth Harrin

Elizabeth Harrin
Elizabeth Harrin is a career project and programme manager with over a decade of experience in healthcare and financial services. She's also a content strategist, award-winning blogger and author of several books about project management. Find her online at A Girl's Guide to Project Management

Top 5 Competencies for Strategic Project Managers

Is there a difference between managing ‘ordinary’ projects and managing ‘strategic’ projects? I think that there is. First, we have to acknowledge that there are different types of project. Of course, no project should be started that doesn’t have some direct link back to the strategy and purpose of the organisation. Otherwise, what’s the point of doing it at all? If it doesn’t help the company move forward, it’s not ...

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Managing Communication on Strategic Projects

Communication is an important part of any project, but it seems to me that strategic initiatives need even more of a focus on engaging stakeholders and communicating effectively. With a strategic project there is far more to lose if the message doesn’t get across in a way that creates commitment and action. Having said that, I don’t think that the core principles of communication are that different between strategic projects ...

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Building Teams To Improve Strategy Execution

The concepts of strategic alignment have been around for some time. You probably see this most clearly in staff appraisal processes. Wherever I have worked, my manager has waited to get objectives from his or her manager and so on, and then cascaded objectives to me. The point is that everyone in the organisation, from the CEO to the most junior or personnel, has objectives for the year that hang ...

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How To Improve Credibility as a Project Manager

When I’m mentoring project managers one of the key things I hear time and time again is that they want to be given more responsibility and have greater influence over the work. Project managers often struggle from not having budget and resource responsibility. If you don’t control these elements of the project, you don’t really have the option to take many decisions about how the work unfolds. You can’t do ...

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3 Ways to Resource Your Project for Strategic Success

We all know that people deliver projects, and having the right people on the team makes a huge difference as to whether the work is completed successfully or not. And yet, putting the thought into selecting the right team is sometimes an afterthought. You might be able to get away with that for smaller or straightforward projects, where ‘generic’ project managers and resources would be able to successfully deliver the ...

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3 Easy Ways To Improve Strategic Success

It often feels like the advice on how to improve project success is either very, very difficult to implement, or surprisingly easy. This article highlights three of the latter – easy – ways to boost your chances at delivering on your strategic initiatives. Because it doesn’t have to be hard to make little steps in the right direction. OK, so you don’t have an expert facilitator and the budget to ...

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7 Reasons Why Your Project Management Methodology Is Letting You Down

Are you getting the results that you expect on your projects? You have aligned your top initiatives to your corporate strategy. You’ve got great communication going on. You’ve implemented a PMO and they’re doing a fantastic job. But something is still missing. There’s something the project delivery teams can’t quite put their finger on. There’s a general sense of unhappiness at the way things are done but it is proving ...

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Strategy from the Bottom Up

What comes to mind when you think about creating a company strategy? Todd C. Williams puts it like this, in his book, Filling Execution Gaps: “Visionaries define where the company can go. Executives select the options that appear to make business sense, set goals for their development, and identify initiatives to meet those goals. Middle managers decompose those initiatives into programmes and constituent projects in order to build and implement ...

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