Project Management Case: From Experience: Linking Projects to Strategy

Q1- Why are successful projects so important to Hewlett-Packard? Ans: Growth in organizations typically results from successful projects that generate new products, services, or procedures while on the other hand failed projects will result in expense, wastage of time and frustration. Managers are increasingly concerned about getting better results from the projects under way in their organizations and in getting better cross-organizational cooperation. Same is the case with Hewlett- Packard, as the company put a lot of emphasis on selection of successful projects. The companies monitor its projects for relevance to its strategic goals because it knows that projects without strategic emphasis often result in failure, and the successful projects will ultimately result in the success to the whole organization by increasing its profits, efficiency and achieving the overall organizational goals within specified time and limited budgets. Projects can make or break an organization future. Successful projects also provide experience in the form of new findings and understandings that can help in increasing productivity of the new projects in the organization. It is helpful in a positive way as other people in the organization can learn from the previous successful projects processes and teach others, thereby creating a learning organization.

Q2- How far should an evaluation team go in trying to quantify project contributions to the firm’s mission or goals? What is the role of financial selection criteria in HP’s project selection process? Ans: The extent to which the team could go on evaluation of project contributions to the firm’s mission is dependent upon the availability of data. Technically, as long as the data is available, the evaluation team can continue to narrow down projects until the remaining projects are approachable for analysis. Screening process is a twodimensional approach – with the criteria complexity being the horizontal view and number of screens being the depth, the extent to which the team could go on both directions tends to rely on how much data is available. The evaluation team should also consult other member in the organization, upper management and stakeholders at the appropriate time to determine whether the project contributes to the firm’s goal or not. Initially, the team develops the goals expected from projects and then based on the goals it sets the criteria for selection. The team should select a criterion that is measurably in

Q3-What was your impression of the impact that Hp’s project selection process had on the number of projects underway? How do you expect HP would score on project management maturity? Ans: HP’s project selection process tends to narrow down the number of undergoing projects to a manageable and more comparable level. Is the aim of carefully defining these measures to simplify the project selection process or something else? Ans: Hewlett-Packard pays considerable attention to the measures for evaluating projects. quality and decision making across the organization. this is done to simplify the project selection process that would help in making a strong integrated systematic process that gives growth to the organization. improves profitability. a quote from HP Executive Vice President’s that emphases on it: “We have to be very selective. Q4-Considerable attention is paid to the measures HP uses to evaluate its projects. Although. . The analytical hierarchy process (AHP) and the plan of record (POR) are both examples of processes that HP adopts to facilitate its selection process. The HP’s project selection process does not heavily rely on it for selecting a project. it just won’t work. The rationale being that selecting project based primarily on its financial value can sometime lead the team to unproductive selection criteria. efficiency.comparing how projects support the organizational strategy. In this regard.” HP Project Management Initiative is a firm advocate on focusing on doing fewer large and complex projects. financial selection criteria plays a critical role in assessing and comparing the projects. as it would distract the team by causing them to focus on financial data or computations rather than project missions and business strategy. if you have a lot of them with our culture.

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