In today's business world, projects are all about introducing change in an organizational context, and doing so largely through information technology (IT) in one form or another. That is where we see not only the largest number of projects, but also the largest number of project management practitioners. However, for organizations to survive, and in the case of governments where the incumbents wish to survive, then the projects undertaken need to be aligned with a successful corporate strategy.
In this case, "success" ultimately means that corporate and individuals survive. But simple alignment to a strategy alone is not enough. The collective outcomes of the projects must be tracked to verify firstly if the strategy is being achieved, and secondly whether the strategy itself is achieving the intended corporate vision and mission. Only in this way, can calamitous shocks be avoided. In other words, we are talking about corporate risk management, rather than project risk management. Nevertheless, the similarities are such as to justify our observations.
The need for broad but focused tracking is well known, of course, even if not actually practiced, so it is valuable to find a book that covers this whole territory. But what has "DNA" in this book's title have to do with it? Although not explained or even illustrated in the book itself, a picture of the familiar genetic instructions known as DNA on the flysheet cover of the book makes it clear, see Figure 1. DNA provides the instructions for the development and functioning of all known living organisms, and so the implication is that this book likewise provides the blueprint for successful organizational life.
Figure 1: DNA - The blueprint for all known living organisms
As Susan Lea has stated:
"[This book is] A must-read for any small, medium or large enterprise that really wants to achieve results. By following the Strategic DNA process, we were able to build on our core competencies, focus on our most important goals, and stay true to our strategy map without denying new opportunities. In this way we grew our revenues 300% in three years. Strategic DNA is the 'genome' that will guide our growth in the future."
Spoken like a true pioneer in the lingo of the executive suite. But since the book was only published in 2008, it must be presumed that this CEO was the benefactor of the author's tutoring on this subject prior to the book's appearance.
1. Hobbs, Lawrence, Strategic DNA: Bringing Business Strategy to Life, Agate Publishing, Inc., 2008, copied from the front cover of the book's flysheet.
2. Ibid, comment by Susan J. Lea, MD, CEO, Foothills Health Consultants Ltd., from the back cover of the book's flysheet.
3. Author's comment: "Yes, over several years until the company was bought out."