Critical Essay Strategic Project Management

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Heriot-Watt University


Strategic Project Management

Critical Essay



This paper analyzes the broad scope of strategic project management and identifies the key issues and the limitation of strategic alignment within organizations, through a thorough and critical reading of the different approaches in the theoretical framework. During the realization of the task one of the main difficulties, as stated by Aaltonen and Ikävalco (2001),was that strategic management literature tends to focus on either strategy formation or strategy implementation (Morris and Pinto 2007).

The development and importance of strategy

The term strategy seems to be one of the most widespread business concepts. Despite the extensive dissemination of the term and its recognized importance, there is no agreement on the definition of strategy.

Strategy cannot be enclosed in one paradigm, meaning that cognitive and metacognitive levels of understanding must take place, that is, how to think about strategy and how to think about the process itself (Mukherji and Mukherji 2003).

Specifically, the strategies need to be capable of following their company’s environment and predicting behaviour fluctuations(Mintzberg et al. 1998). Mintzberg suggested two different but not that differentiated strategies, since the strategy can have elements of both: deliberate (which means no learning) and emergent (which means no control).

Moreover, Quinn (see Morris & Pinto, 2007) proposes that the strategies should move from broad concepts toward specific commitments, which means that they should be flexible and made as late as possible. Porter (1998) argues that an organization should decide determine one strategy that it wants to follow, thus avoiding the critical point of the loss of its objectives, being trapped between two strategies. However, organizations should be careful in the process of changing the strategy since the most dangerous period of time is the moment...