A Model of Hierarchy of Purpose

All Organisations, Departments or Sections within them, have to be skilled in the art of establishing priorities, identifying and selecting projects to work upon and managing them through to fruition.

To allow this to take place effectively the following framework should help in finding the right path through the maze!

  • Purpose. What is the purpose of the organisation/Department/Section and how can we best achieve these goals? What is the strategic vision supporting this purpose?
  • Priorities. Given the stated purpose and vision, what matters most to us both now and in the future? What are our priorities now and over the next two to five years?
  • Projects. Based on the answers to the first two points, which projects are the most strategic and should be resourced as much as possible? Which projects align with the purpose, vision, and priorities, and which should be stopped or scrapped?
  • People.  Who are the best people to execute on those projects? Do we have them and if not how will we get them?
  • Performance. Traditionally, project performance indicators are tied to inputs which are always easier to measure and assess – these include items such as cost and time. Outputs are trickier animals and need careful metrics to capture the outcome-related targets, including benefits and impacts. Sadly here it is the impacts that really matter or why else are we expending such energy to make things happen? Being really precise about performance outcomes and value creation/distance travelled is essential in bringing our efforts together for a measurable result.

Time spent on constructing clear organisational priorities and then carefully communicating them will always bear fruit in terms of aligning activity with strategy. Any gaps between corporate strategic objectives and the objectives of various business units and departments leads to failure and lost effort and opportunity.

Never be the manager who allows that to happen!

Good Luck!

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