Strategic Project Management Made Simple: Practical Tools for Leaders and Teams

Strategic Project Management Made Simple: Practical Tools for Leaders and Teams

by Terry Schmidt


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The business world is more demanding and competitive than ever, and the old project management tools and methods are no longer sufficient. Getting any project accomplished requires better methods to think, plan, and act to achieve successful results.

In Strategic Project Management Made Simple, Terry Schmidt offers a fresh approach specifically developed for today's challenges. This project management system provides all you need to get the results you want—whether you're a CEO, executive champion, project manager, or team member. Proven in large and small businesses, government agencies, nonprofits and global corporations alike, this system maps out a step-by-step, flexible approach to planning and executing change initiatives that work faster and more effectively than any other method.

This breakthrough combination of business strategy and project management will show you how to:

  • Design practical action plans for any problem, idea, or opportunity
  • Align project objectives with organizational goals, vision, and strategic intent
  • Clearly communicate project strategy among stakeholders
  • Discover and eliminate potential pitfalls in advance
  • Get teams moving faster with clear plans that show who does what, when, and how
  • Improve working relationships and reduce conflict
  • Deliver on-target projects that increase performance, productivity, and profits

Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner, by mastering the art of Strategic Project Management as outlined in Strategic Project Management Made Simple, you'll multiply your ability to execute new ideas and advance your own career in the process.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470411582
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 02/09/2009
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 276,870
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

TERRY SCHMIDT is a certified PMP and internationally known management consultant who helps organizations become more strategic, productive, and profitable. He has more than thirty years of experience as an executive, educator, and strategy coach in thirty-four countries. The founder of, he teaches strategic project management at the UCLA Technical Management Program and at the University of Wisconsin, and teaches team-building at the MIT Professional Institute. He is affiliated with the Haines Centre, a global alliance of master consultants in over twenty countries. Terry is a lifelong learner with a BS in aerospace engineering from the University of Washington and an MBA from Harvard.

For more on Terry and Strategic Project Management Made Simple, visit

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction xv

Why I Wrote This Book xvi

Getting the Most from This Book xvii

Three Logical Parts xviii

PART ONE: Are You Strategic?

Chapter 1: Thinking Outside the Bar Chart 3

Tackling the Big Hairy Issues 5

Mastering Strategic Project Management 7

Start Smart 8

Lessons Learned Along the Way 10

Why Read This Book? 12

Beware These Six Dangerous Planning Mistakes 13

Key Points Review 17

Chapter 2: Building Strong Project Backbones 19

Asking the Four Critical Strategic Questions 20

Concepts from the Cornfield 22

Making Strategy Simple 25

Test Your Strategic If-Then IQ 28

Sorting Out Your Objectives 30

Organizing Multiple Objectives Into Trees 34

Key Points Review 37

Chapter 3: Introducing the Logical Framework 40

The Best Solutions Tool You’ll Ever Find 40

Systems Thinking: Conceptual Foundation of the Logical Framework 42

Tackling the Four Critical Strategic Questions 44

Grab a Front-Row Workshop Seat 46

Ingredients of the Grid 56

Key Points Review 61

Chapter 4: Aligning Projects With Strategic Intent 63

Strategy in a Nutshell 64

Juggling Portfolios and Programs 67

Managing Multiple Bottom Lines 69

Quick and Clean Strategic Planning at Any Level 71

Eight Logical Planning Steps 72

Key Points Review 82

PART TWO: Mastering The Four Critical Strategic Questions

Chapter 5: Question #1—What Are We Trying to Accomplish and Why? 87

Shoot for the Moon 88

Linking Objectives Into Logical Levels 89

Turning a Problem Into a Set of Objectives 92

Terry’s Tips for Clear Objectives 95

Exploring Distinctions Among LogFrame Levels 99

Sculpting Your Project Masterpiece 105

Key Points Review 107

Application Step #1 108

Chapter 6: Question #2—How Do We Measure Success? 110

Winning the Peace After Winning the War 111

Four Tips for Meaningful Measures 112

Measures Sharpen Vague Objectives 118

Managing Complex Enterprise-Wide Change 123

Special Situations Demand Special Measures 124

Key Points Review 128

Application Step #2 129

Chapter 7: Question #3—What Other Conditions Must Exist? 131

The Whoops Hall of Shame 132

Spotting Trouble Before It Comes 134

How the LogFrame Accommodates Assumptions 134

Three Steps for Managing Assumptions 135

Making Fine Point Distinctions 139

Key Points Review 141

Application Step #3 142

Chapter 8: Question #4—How Do We Get There? 143

The Ancient Project that Saved the World 144

Chunking 101 144

Organizing Inputs: Nitty Gritty Project Planning 147

Clarify Resource Requirements 150

Make Responsibility Clear to All 151

Applying Schmidt’s Law of Planning Density 155

Defining the Next Action Step 159

Key Points Review 160

Application Step #4 161

PART THREE: Putting The Concepts Into Action

Chapter 9: Managing the Strategic Action Cycle 165

Taking a “Cycle-Logical” Approach 165

Three Types of Assessment 167

Type One Assessment: Project Monitoring 169

Type Two Assessment: Project Status Review 171

Type Three Assessment: Project Evaluation 172

Celebrating Success 176

LogFrame Limitations and Best Practices 176

Key Points Review 178

Chapter 10: Managing the People Dynamics 179

The Heart and Soul of Projects 179

Engaging Your Key Stakeholders 180

Building Your Own Dream Team 183

Creating Shared Norms for High Performance 187

Sharpening Your Emotional Intelligence 189

Techniques for Increasing Your Emotional Intelligence 190

Key Points Review 193

Chapter 11: Applying These Ideas In Your World 195

Exploring a Dozen Dynamic Directions 195

Terry’s Tips for Doing the Project RAP (Rapid Action Planning) 198

Facilitating by Yourself 201 Taking Strategic Action Now 202

Appendix: Reference Tools and Resources 205

Blank Logical Framework Grid 206

Logical Framework Quality Checklist 208

Logical Framework Application Case Studies 211

Ongoing Support and Services 237

Glossary and Usage of Terms 241

About the Author 243

Index 245

Customer Reviews