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Business process management: establishing and maintaining project alignment

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Purpose ‐ The aim of the research was to develop a model for establishing and maintaining alignment of purpose in business change initiatives. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The research methodology combined a synthesis of the literature across the diverse fields of change leadership, project management, and organisational alignment; and a parallel analysis of two industrial case studies. Findings ‐ From an analysis of the cases, and a synthesis of the literature, a Project Alignment Model was developed. To help industrial project leaders operationalise the model and hence maintain alignment in their projects, the key points from the Project Alignment Model are also presented as a checklist. Practical implications ‐ Managing change is increasingly relevant for all industries and companies, and the rate of change is predicted to increase. Project managers in this environment must have more than just technical delivery skills; they need to be good leaders, capable of influencing strategic direction, and skilled in managing the political dimensions of their projects. The model presented will help these leaders improve their change management capability. Originality/value ‐ The developed model can be useful both as a descriptive model and as a prescriptive model. Used descriptively, the model can help structure the analysis of change projects. As such it could be a useful research instrument. Academics could use the model to analyse change projects and structure their findings in a way that allows ready cross-case comparisons. Such an approach can, by categorisation, lead to a more detailed understanding of the factors affecting project alignment and successful change. Used prescriptively, the model can guide project managers in creating and maintaining project alignment, and in doing so increase their chance of success in implementing change.

Keywords: Business process re-engineering; Change management; Project management; Strategic alignment

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2005

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